Sunday, July 27, 2008

The clock

I used to live with this woman. Y. We lived in one half of a duplex of an older house. On one of the walls, Y had hung a brass clock with a pendulum. I do not think this clock was old at all, it was probably a newer clock meant to look like an older one. We came to believe that this clock was haunted. Not creepily haunted, but haunted nevertheless by a spirit living in the house that we were inhabiting. We were young.

When we were planning to have a big party, the clock’s pendulum would stop swinging hours in advance. It kept it’s time just fine, and the pendulum would start swinging, again, around noon the next day. We took it as a given, after a while that this is what would happen. There were times, also, that we heard noises in the kitchen that had nothing to do with the clock. Noises that had nothing to do with anything that we could explain. It was a little bit weird, but we didn’t think anything of it. I was a firm believer in the occult, at the time. Once, when I was sick on the couch and Y had gone out for the evening, it sounded to me like a little old lady was making some tea in her kitchen. I assumed that there were things outside of my understanding. I assumed that I was not smart enough, or sensitive enough to understand all the workings of the universe. This was before “the sixth sense” – I did not believe there were dead people everywhere. I’m sure I would have changed my opinion, had I thought that!

Anyway, I moved out of Y’s house, eventually, but was still close with her. We had just taken a trip to NYC, and met a couple of guys in a dance club. They were nice enough that we invited them a couple of weeks later for dinner at Y’s house, then a night of dancing in Hartford’s hot spots (ha-ha). It obviously was not better than the night in Manhatten when we first met, but maybe the boys from Brooklyn thought differently. While we were eating, Y made a point of catching my eye – and pointing it toward the pendulum clock. I looked at it, but had no comprehension of why it would not only have stopped, but it looked like it was vibrating off the wall. The clock had never stopped before. It was definitely shaking, vibrating, trying to jump off the wall.

We gave it no further thought. We finished dinner, had a great night of dancing, and never saw the guys, again. Again, we were young. We assumed that our ghost had grown used to not having a bunch of people around, and was kind of being a bitch about having a couple of guys that we didn't really know over for dinner. Had I thought about it with my knowledge now as a cynical late 30's woman, I never would have gone out with those men that night. However, I was in my early 20's, and didn't really give a hoot.

I found out the next morning that my brother had died the night before. Not at all at the same time the clock was vibrating, but was it trying to tell me something? My brother and I had spent that day together, looking at motorcycles. We had talked stupid talk about getting our motorcycle licenses together. Cause you know I was a bad-ass when it came to impressing my big brother. I wasn't going to be the bitch on the back of a bike! He had just gotten his driver's license back 3 weeks earlier- I was the one who took him. How was I supposed to know that before the next day, he would be dead?


chaos37 said...

God I don't remember this at all, did I ever hear that from you. How horrifying to think of it that way, that it never occurred to you that at the same time the next day he'd be dead. you may remember that after he went out with you that day, he came to my house, borrowed my convertible to take the girls to McDonalds for dinner because G and I were going to the Cousin's Dinner at C & A's that night. When he drove out of the driveway that was the last I saw him alive. Still makes me cry right now, 15 years, 5 months, 3 weeks & 5 days later. Luv, Kouf

Fancy Schmancy said...

I don't think I ever told anyone that story - most especially not you! Because 15 years later I think it still hurts you the most! Luv u, 2.