The weirdness has begun. This morning. It always happens to me this time of year. I heard someone calling my name from my PC computer at Noon today. I sleep in after the nights I work until 3:00 a.m. Woke me up out of a sound sleep. At first, I somehow answered the phone, looked and no there.
Somehow, I was magically logged into a zoom meeting with a nice lady named Nanette who said, Welcome and now it’s time to write!” Something like that.
I swear I had not even touched my computer yet. The voice woke me up from a sound sleep. So I dragged myself out of bed and started writing, though I was tired and groggy. But I still cannot figure out how or why that happened. I know Zoom pretty well and even lead music jams. You have to actually log into a meeting to join. As far as I know, there is no “automatic” way that Zoom will put you into a meeting, even if it’s one you know about.
All day long, I thought about this weird, trippy incident and how my mom has been on my mind a lot. Not only was yesterday her birthday, but this was always her favorite time of year — Halloween, or Hallow’s Eve, All Saints Day and All Souls Day, three days in a row when the veil opens offering us the opportunity to communicate with those who have passed. I still remember Mom telling us about these days, the Days of the Dead, when we were kids in her dramatic voice. Mom believed in spirits and also told many stories to us of her encounters with spirits. She was also convinced that the flat we grew up at in San Francisco was haunted and even hung a small cross right inside the front door and had it blessed by a priest.
Then I remembered the Ghost incident that we encountered around 1967 or maybe 1968. It was just me, my brother Michael and my sister Jennifer, along with David and Barry Hirrell from around the corner and Ricky Solis from up the street. We hung out on our wide, marble stepped front porch leading the Victorian flat where we lived on Second Avenue off Lincoln Way and Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Mom was at work, and it was a cool, foggy summer day which is typical in San Francisco. Always foggy summers. We lounged on the steps and David, who was the biggest and oldest and always the boss of us all sat on one stoop. Ricky sat on the other. Suddenly, Michael, my skinny little brother, looked up at the living room window with jutted out over the old garage.
“Look! The curtain’s moving!” he yelled.
We all looked up at the long, thick white curtains which hung down from the window. At first I didn’t see anything, but then Ricky saw it too. “Yeah, it’s moving, look!”
“You guys are just imagining things, you’re idiots!” David declared.
Then I saw it move myself, as if the wind was blowing the curtain only the living room windows were all closed.
“Maybe it’s just drafty in there!” I said, but a cold, creepy feeling prickled all over me. Maybe it was a ghost, I thought. Mom said…no, it can’t be.
Soon we were all convinced that the curtain was moving in the living room. And then a piano played, the piano which sat next to the living room window with the moving curtain. It could have been from anywhere. The buildings were all crammed together, so you could hear lots of stuff.
“There’s someone in there!” Barry yelled.
I ran into our haunted flat as fast as I could feeling a cold breeze follow me as I grabbed my pet guinea pig Timmy, threw him into a plastic bucket and dashed back out. No way would I leave him alone in the house.
Then we all sprinted to the Park Police Station just past Kezar Stadium. We burst into the police station and ran to the desk where a dark blue uniformed guy asked us what was wrong. We were all out of breath, but we finally told him someone was in our house, maybe it was a ghost.
“I’ll send someone out,” he said. He didn’t question whether it was true or not, and we didn’t think of calling Mom at work or asking other parents to help us.
All I know is we all got to watch a little while later as a cop opened our front door wide and slowly crept into the house. He opened up the door to the hall closet real fast and drew his gun out from its holster.
“Wow, cool!” we all shouted. The cop declared the coast clear and all was well.