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Monday, October 30, 2006

Ghosts

It's that time of the year again when if you tune in to your TV set what you get are endless features on ghosts, ghosts, and more ghosts. Talk shows are crammed with celebrities who claim to have a "third" eye and a "sixth" sense, which allows them to see and experience para-normal events, whether or not these celebrities actually are for real or just acting out (think Mystica).

I got hospitalized once, and Barry Manilaw visited me and decided to spend the night in the hospital room. Upon my discharge, Barry promptly told me that he saw a chubby male nurse going straight into the rest room without ever returning.

It's a good thing I don't see these things or else I'll freak out. I can just imagine. One time, I walked the entire stretch from the main highway going towards our barrio via a long and winding gravel-and-dirt road, at around seven at night. When you reach the point where the houses seemed to disappear from behind you and the image of your brightly-lit house is just imaginary, you start praying.

You are alone. The lights from houses behind you disappear as you descend the road towards the valley, and darkness envelopes like a cold wind. The bushes seem to whisper; tree branches sound like they're stifling screams and the sound of your footsteps seem to magnify and create an eerie, dragging sound on the ground, as if someone has been chained. The darkness in front is unimaginable, drawing you inexorably to an unexplored abyss, especially if the moon isn't shining brightly at all.

What I really hate is that lone, abandoned hut by the side of the road as you reach a curve and a small bridge. Just a flicker of light, like a stroke of a match from inside the hut, is enough to drive you crazy. Worse, I found out later the occupant of that hut abandoned it after his son committed suicide. When everything is dark and all that separates you from that hut is a few meters of dirt, then you'll know what it feels like to be in hell.

It's still a few meters before you see the lights coming from the houses of the few people who inhabit the area. And you start running. Running for dear life, although no one was really after you. The barking of the dogs is a welcome relief, of course. Then you reach the gate, open it and go inside.

Then mom comes in and asks if anything's the matter.

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