A Strange Thing Happened a Few Nights Ago.

As I mentioned in a post from a few days ago, I had to stay up to watch the Beatles’ movie “A Hard Day’s Night,” which aired on the Flix Channel’s Late, Late, Late Show.  But a strange event interrupted the movie.

The movie got to the part where the Beatles were hanging out in a storage compartment of the train where their instruments were kept.  They sat on crates and dealt cards on top of a card board box.  They must have wanted to get away from all the stuffy people they had to sit by.

Then they were were shown as if an hour or so had passed with their instruments in hand.  They played the song “I Should Have Known Better.”  I sat in my easy chair, thoroughly enjoying seeing them together again after so many years.   After awhile, I became distracted by a strange knocking sound.

I turned the volume down.  I waited.  But I didn’t hear the noise again so I turned the volume back up.  Just when I got comfortable in the easy chair I could hear the knock through the music again.  I considered the sound was just a reverberation of Ringo’s drums on the walls in my house.  So back down went the volume.  But this time with the volume turned down low I heard it plain as day – knock, knock.

I stood up and walked down the hall.  I felt like I was inside the bellows of one of those old-time cameras, and once at the front door, I squinted my eye to peer through the little peep – hole.  An early fall had produced one of those weird and wet cloud inversions where a layer of fog blanketed the suburban streets.  I rotated my eyeball around in its socket trying to look through the milky fog.  All I could see was a hazy glow around a street lamp.

I stepped away from the door.  There was no one there, I thought. The sounds had to be a weird reverberation from the TV.  But as I walked into the well-lit and clear path back toward the living room I heard a loud thump against the door and a rattling of the door knob.  I could no longer think nothing was there – Oh my God, someone was trying to get into my house.

I rushed back to the door. “Whose there? Go home.  I got a gun in here and I’ll put a hole in you bigger than shit,” I said.  There was nothing.  I waited awhile before stepping back when I heard a little kid’s voice say “Let me in.”  I peered through the little peep hole in the door again, but didn’t see anything.  Figuring I could deal with a kid who must have been in some kind of trouble, I decided to open the door.  I stepped out side onto my front porch.  The cool damp air permeated my T-shirt and put goose bumps on my fore-arms.  I didn’t see anybody.  There was nobody there, and it was time for bed.  I must have been hearing things.  The Beatles are on the DVR recorder; I can watch them tomorrow, I thought.

But before starting back inside, I saw two little lights like eyeballs looking at me from behind the bare branches in my rose garden. “Who are you?! What are you doing there?”

A little kid appeared on my door step in the middle of the night.  On such a wet foggy night I couldn’t see the house across the street, but I could make out the kid’s face okay as he stood right in a shadow in my rose garden.

“You don’t remember me, do you?” he said pointing up to me.  He wasn’t wearing a hat.  He had on a white shirt with a skinny black tie and black slacks.  He was barefooted.  His black hair was cut down in a crew cut.

“Remember you? I’ve never met you. You should go on home now,” I said.  “It’s past midnight.”

“I don’t live around here.  My parents are dead.”

“You ran away from an orphanage?  What orphanage is there around here?  Aren’t you cold?”

“Yes, I’m very cold.”

“I’m gonna have to call the police.”

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.  They might just come and take you away instead.  Let me in,” he commands.

“Okay.  But only for a little while.  You’re going to have to go back to where you came from.”

Once inside, I stood in silence looking at him.  In the hall way lighting, I could see his ashen face and sunken eyes more clearly.  There were these bluish veins enmeshed around his cheeks.  He looked strangely familiar, standing there in his Sunday clothes.  There was an awkward pause.  But with the light glaring on him he said, “Do you remember me now?”  Oh my God, I thought, the last I saw this kid I must have been five or six years old.




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