Day Three of the Chronicle:
8 months ago…
Longing can be pernicious. One seeks something one doesn’t have and probably will never get. It hangs out there, like a window into an alternate future. Find it and happiness arrives. Or, find it and shit it’s not what I thought it would be. Or, more typically, never find it at all. From this can be born a life of dissatisfaction, of disaffection and occasionally of despair. You wonder at the choices you made and didn’t make. You wonder if you’ve done enough, and if this is all there is. You wonder if you possess the courage to make the break and set off in search of what you spent too many years longing for. But then experience kicks in, reminding you that even finding it could end up in crushing disappointment, or regret for what you left behind, because how often do we not value what we already have?
My wife was overseas, on an extended trip. Left in December and not anticipating returning until April. This was not an invitation to party-time. I don’t do party-time. I don’t do slovenly, either. When you make a vow you keep it. Besides, I was writing a book. So, in effect, nothing of the routine had changed.
But imagination – that interior playground – well, it circles longing like a shark. And so one (hesitating to use the next word here) conjures up images for private delectation, amusement, even sensual pleasure. Don’t be shocked, all you young’uns. Even eyeing sixty in a few years, the cock does not stay still for long. And if the very idea creeps you out, well, wait till you get here. Stay in shape and nothing seems much different from being thirty, or forty, or hell, eighteen. The only things that diminishes is opportunity.
But we all know: imagination stays in the head. Unless, of course, something’s gone dreadfully wrong with the internal wiring. Then again, bad wiring sends out signals. Symptoms. Here in the West we have dominating schools of thought all operating under the same allopathic umbrella. Psychology speaks of neuroses, psychoses, dissociative disorders, brain chemistry imbalances, and so on. The Medical Establishment hunts for tumors in the brain; synesthesia with one or more of the senses in perceptual disarray. Headaches, cluster headaches, vertigo, nausea. Mini-strokes, neural damage, signs of past oxygen deprivation. Slurred words, blurry vision, trembling of extremities, fits. It’s a big checklist for bad wiring, and damned useful when something inside’s gone wrong.
I have past training in first aid. I keep up on my reading. I occasionally make use of details and symptoms in my writing. I know the signs.
The First Three nights of the Experience…
Longing feeds the imagination; the imagination feeds desire, even arousal. All kinds of this stuff can occur in the moments before sleep arrives. As for dreams, let’s set those aside for the moment. This man was awake when a presence arrived in the bedroom, a flashing blackness deeper than the natural gloom, sweeping in or descending to send a shiver through my body, head to toe and then back up again, sometimes a third and fourth time all in rapid succession.
Such shivers – the chill-to-the-bone kind – have attended me following a nasty nightmare. They’ve hit me out of doors on a windless night. In a half-mocking way, I might think of ghosts, spirits, whatever. Or just the sheer efficacy of my imagination triggering this physical response to … nothing. And there can be a visceral fear surrounding such responses, reactions, or manifestations. Adrenaline kicking in and all that. Especially after a nightmare.
But this was different. My first moments of instinctive fear gave way to the lure of curiosity. What the hell was this? I mean, I don’t even believe in that shit. This darker stain in the air, its flash across the room, its sudden overhead descent delivering those massive waves of icy cold – am I just imagining all of it? Inducing it on the fuel of possibility?
By the second night, well, those waves of icy cold start feeling ecstatic. I begin inviting them. I strip the comforter back, lie spread-eagled like an offering and silently invoke come on, then, let’s see what you’ve got.
During the days I find myself eager for the night to arrive, eager to discover more of this strange, baffling thing. But already something else is taking shape. I’m going to bed much earlier, not to sleep, but to explore, and that exploration is becoming a fever. And I’m getting less sleep, as I stay awake waiting for what’s next, and to be sure, this is evolving. But it’s taking a lot out of me.
Imagine lying in bed, sexually aroused but not really doing much about it. The ecstatic chill arrives, rolls through you, once, twice, three times. The feeling is delicious but in dark way – a sense that this is not right. That it is, in fact, dangerous. This adds its own appeal of temptation and forbidden fruit. Because, if it’s all really happening (and sure as hell it feels like it’s really happening), then the flat world of reality has just folded back, revealing another world. Another realm of existence, and it’s populated, and passage between the two is possible. Heady thoughts, as the chills pour through you.
And then the bed lurches. As if nudged, shoved from the base.
It was a pointed pronouncement, and while I haven’t mentioned yet the audible ticking sounds I’ve been hearing, I might as well mention them now. With the visitations, the room starts ticking, clicking, creaking.
For convenience let’s call it the third night. Might have been the fourth, fifth or even sixth. No matter. The bed I’m in is a king-size, a heavy metal frame standing on four legs with a high upholstered headboard. The king-size mattress is memory foam – an important detail, since memory foam has the quality of containing motion and weight – what goes on one side of the bed isn’t felt on the other. It’s a mattress material that won’t carry waves of motion, in other words. It depresses where you press it down and nowhere else. It’s also very heavy.,
The lurch came with a loud creak of bolts from the frame. I had been lying on my back, perfectly still (the next day I gave the bed-frame a shove from its foot. It takes a fair amount to force to get a creak out of it, and when on the bed, my shifting weight does nothing). And in the midst of this sudden jolt, the dark air felt charged, agitated, excited and, possibly, hungry.
I suppose that just like most men, arousal requires the tactile and the visual. The tactile arrived sort of, via the chills, but it was nothing I could touch. The visual was no more than patches of intense darkness. Don’t know about the rest of you fellas out there, but those two just won’t cut it. Believe me, I tried.
And in trying … wave sensations through the memory foam mattress under me; sudden depressions to either side of my hips (knees?); bulging of the mattress under my back and hips. A cascade of juddering surrounding me. And now movement in the memory foam pillow my head is resting on, and something like feathery touches of brushing fingertips on the back of my neck and the back of my head.
Still, try finding sexual release in response to all that. Sorry, darling, not happening. Until I invoke the memory of a grown woman my thirteen year old self had a crush on, over forty years ago. A woman now probably dead. All at once, things get supercharged.
So, is she here?
Is that you?
The mattress trembles, rolls under me as if I was lying on an air mattress on water, in a sheltered bay with gentle, lazy swells rolling beneath me. The crotch-centered excitement burgeons. The sense of ‘presence’ is crackling. I’m not alone in this room.
The next week or two…
Insatiable. Not me. It. She. He. Them. But no, I do think ‘she’ is the right choice here. And it may be that old crush come back to literally haunt me. Or not. Maybe that mental conjuring offered something else a free ride. Maybe I just slapped a convenient face on a hungry stranger. I’m not getting enough sleep. Every night by ten I’m in bed (and for a night-owl like me that’s ridiculously early), but I’m not actually getting to sleep before three a.m., sometimes later. She wants to fuck. Yeah, I worked that out. She wants to hump. When I beg off and roll onto my side, seeking sleep, she arrives to stroke the back of my head and neck, to push down the pillow. She does things that makes either me or the mattress shudder.
I’ve stopped invited the chills, the patches of darkness (that always seems to move furtively, quick as an animal in the forest at night). In fact, I’m trying to pull out, back away. And she’s not letting me.
I go online. I hit You Tube. Paranormal stuff. I read about possession, visitations. I watch grainy video clips. I take note of one of the ‘warning signs of possession.’ Dry lips. Well, yeah, at night, but not during the day. So … maybe. The rest? No, not really. But I’m not sure, and I have growing fears.
Because now, the experience can no longer be compartmentalized. It’s now active in my body during the day. A strange dissonance, like a photo impression laid over me, but slightly askew. I’m internally jumpy. My writing sessions are accompanied by sudden ‘lifts’ from below, as if I’m about to leave my chair. Walking back from a day’s writing (and shit, the writing’s going very well indeed), I feel ‘pushes’ from behind and below, as if inviting me into a silly walk – but my walking pattern remains unchanged. It’s all internal and, thankfully, not manifesting in any outward way. I get these rushes of ‘activity’ in my midsection, as if something’s squirreling around in there. These sensations make me feel high, like a drug kicking in with a body-stone.
Oh, and I’m smoking more. Eight cigs a day is my norm but now it’s up to ten, eleven. I assume it’s a response to stress.
But it’s all getting a bit scary. I’m in over my head. I just want a decent night’s sleep. And despite the strange magic accompanying my writing, I’m exhausted. And things at night are getting more frantic, more demanding, hungrier. What she wants, well, hey I tried, but even with the old crush uppermost in my mind, I just can’t deliver it. But she’s not taking ‘no’ for an answer.
Am I possessed? Time to crack this wall of silence. Time to seek help…