CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: ‘O’ Continues to Confound, Confuse, Chime?



Why does CR2S continue to be so concerned with a confounding mystery? One that defies reality, explanation and logic? Remember grammar school days when any argument was settled with a firm “Just because, that’s why!”?

“Oh-bah-keh-sama” returned with a vengeance. After months of hide and seek, maybe yes/maybe no, there has been a veritable tsunami of “O” adventures to report on: Starting Wednesday, April 8, there was a flurry of three in a row, one day of pause, and then another trio of invasions, making it six out of seven days (up to yesterday, Tuesday).

Avid followers of “O” continue to ask questions, especially when CR2S doesn’t make regular reports: “Have there been ‘Oh-bah-keh’ visits lately?” to doubt-tinged “Have you had any strange ‘knock-knocks’ recently?” It’s been erratic behavior so far this year. I’ve taken the opportunity to review the four-year history of this inexplicable phenomenon. It’s kinda like a rocky romance: When fearing the end is near, “O” returns like a seductive Lorelei; kind of like the Ava Gardner/Frank Sinatra affair.

Let’s bring you up to date on our amour:

I had to smile when a familiar “knock-knock” was heard at 2:20 the morning of April Fool’s Day (I tend to smile a whole lot these days). For whatever dumb reason, I had a hunch there would be a visit that morning (I also find myself having dumb hunches, too). Last month was fairly active, registering five door rappings and three telephone interludes. Add to this octet another visit to a second-floor neighbor and it ends up a fairly active month.

But starting Wednesday, April 8, a most unusual sequence of events began. It started with a routine ring of the bedside *telephone at 4:05 a.m. The next morning, at almost the same time (4:08), the phone repeated its jingle. Nothing out of the ordinary except I happened to be awake at the time, in the bathroom attending to business. Let me tell you, there is nothing like a sudden phone ring at four in the morning! Nevertheless, I returned to slumberland without giving it further thought. [*Reminder: I have a land-line telephone hook-up with an instrument in the front room, another in bedroom. The front one always rings first on incoming calls, the bedside unit sounds off a second later. This sequence continues until a recording informs caller of my obvious absence. On the other hand, when “O” decides to dial, only the nightstand unit rings, never the front, and always only once!]

Now it’s time to really pay attention, folks, here comes a shocker: At 6:38 the bedside phone once again sounds off. But it doesn’t ring, it chimes! The sound like a wind chime when swinging in a breeze. But it’s not tinkling, just one clear, single tinkle! [Is a nano-second enough time to be roused from sleep and hear the peal of a single chime? Yup, I guess so.]

= * =

Turning to alter ego Charlie Chan, CR2S kick-started another investigation of the “Oh-bah-keh” saga; all the way back to its 2012 beginning. Poring over scribbled notes was tedious, but not boring. I checked times, dates and a variety of notations that were sometimes hard to make sense of. It wasn’t like reading a book. Lo and behold, an interesting fact emerged: There were more weekday visits than weekends (including Fridays) and most of those were on a Wednesday or Thursday.

Additional study resulted in the hint of another pattern: “O” invariably made appearances after being featured in a column or had been referenced; especially so when not headlined (perchance registering displeasure?). I even challenged my own theories: Like why would “O” wait to register complaint or compliment when it’s pretty obvious she is aware of what I’m writing – as it’s being written?

As if in need of more intrigue, another appearance the very next morning at 2:19, Friday, a solid, why-don’t-you-answer sounding two-knocker. But it was like a rapping using the butt end of a closed fist, rather than a normal “is anybody home” knuckle knock.

As if to give relief from three straight visits, Saturday passed without incident.

But Sunday dawned with three brisk taps, insistent and persistent, like an impatient teacher demanding the class’s attention. Now I don’t know how to wrap up this report, Sunday/Monday being final rewrite/editing time. Because Monday morn begins with yet another “O” presence.

So here I sit with no time or space to describe the dual phone and knocking interruption that happened this very morning!

= * =

You’re wondering how I can be so precise when describing details. Especially since I’m (usually) fast asleep when the action begins. I can’t explain but I swear by the details. It’s all for real, folks.

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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