CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: Without Doubt, ‘Oh-bah-keh’ Reigns Supreme

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WIMPY1By W.T. WIMPY HIROTO

After flying high for so many months, it’s not a surprise to hit an air pocket alongside Icarus.  Shouldn’t have to, but unsurprising if, oops, it happened. We like to think we’re more than a two-trick pony — featuring the DMV and “O” —   but then again,  I would be the first to admit what limited renown is based on a state agency and a spooky spirit.

So why not a year-end update on the antics of “O” as a Christmas present? And there is much of interest to discuss despite the more than two years of history. As always, I ask true believers to hold hands and vow the palms will not perspire, while “the others” are again excused to question and doubt. Maybe one day you too will see the light.

As if on cue, “O” made three rapid appearances in a row this week after a relatively inactive November. And quite forcefully. On Friday, Dec. 6, 1:25 a.m., after the eleventh month featured more telephone rings than knocks, there was a rapid trio of raps on my door, very loud and forceful, not timid and reserved. On Sunday (I knew she wouldn’t show up on the 7th), rather late at 5:22, a nominal three taps occurred. But this Monday (today), as if to demand special CR2S attention, it was impossible to disregard a three-tap sequence … on my bedroom headboard!

While true “Oh-bah-keh” believers absorb this new experience, let’s reflect back to a November that added another new wrinkle to our ongoing mystery: There were seven (7) single telephone rings that pierced the early morning silence, three of which happened after 6 a.m., when I was wide awake. Another unique twist was two of the tap-tap episodes happened on my bedroom wall, behind the headboard, an arm’s reach from where my head was in repose. Instead of being shocked, I merely supposed Madam “O” was aware her presence was in need of some new razzmatazz to retain top CR2S billing. And she sure came through.

It’s worth taking some time to review several “Oh-bah-keh” particulars:

The Mystery of Boyle Avenue started two years ago, shortly after I moved into Keiro Retirement Home. After two strange, months apart, tap-tap-tap early morning awakenings, in March of ’12, CR2S became the target of daily interruptions, sometimes three times a morning! Single telephone rings became an added attraction by summertime. Historical and religious interviews revealed nada as possible explanations.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ve also done some reading on the subject of ghosts, spirits and metaphysics, in both Japanese and English. The Japanese and Chinese have a long history in spiritual beliefs. [In a suspicious quandary at first, KRH residents now seem to look upon the mysterious “O” as a welcome if not strange guest resident; the Japanese-speaking seemingly more interested than Nisei.]

A constant review of the hallway security tapes continue to reveal squat. There is no one in the corridor at the exact time of any of the knockings. Night lighting is motion-controlled. They brighten when anyone walks down the hall; they brighten if I simply open my apartment door. Otherwise, when empty, the hallway is half-lit and dark.

As far as the perplexing question of the one telephone ring and then a dead line, I finally installed a new two-unit land line. One that has the requisite caller ID, call waiting and message feature, which my old unit didn’t. When testing the new hookup, I noticed the main cradle rang first on an incoming call, then a split second later, the second phone by my bed rings; this distinct one-two sequence continuing until I pick up one of the instruments.

Well, whadayaknow, the first time the new setup comes into play, it’s 6:16 a.m. and I’m awake sitting on the side of my bed. I hear the initial ring in the other room and then go dead without the second unit ringing. Now if that wasn’t an eye-opener, join me on Thanksgiving morn (and remember the ring-ring sequence mentioned above). Again, I’m in bed but wide awake. [If you’re wondering, I do spend an inordinate amount of time on the bed, but not in it. That’s a story for another time.]

The bed phone rings, then immediately goes dead. But note, the front phone doesn’t ring, just the second one. Hey, my life is full of exciting and inexplicable happenings like this, don’t you know by now. If anyone is curious, I get about six hours of sleep per nocturne. But a recent filbert added to CR2S’s daily routine is the practice of curling up for a zzzzzs whenever in the mood.

Anyway, there you go, folks. The saga of “Oh-bah-keh ’13” continues to be engaging and puzzling. The local grapevine has it that another resident has been proclaiming periodic visitations. Let’s just say I have my doubts.

One thing’s for sure. When dealing with the weird world of phantasmagoria, there is no sense of smell. Thank goodness because there are two things CR2S can’t stomach: the smell of perfume and kim chee. Of course there is no sense of touch or sight, either, so who cares?

W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached at [email protected] Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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