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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Out Of The Closet

I've had so much going on lately, I don't know where to begin. After the interview with Patricia Altner yesterday, I got to thinking about other paranormal phenomena. Can it be this is what I was meant to write the whole time? A genre I have avoided for nearly my entire life--on purpose.

Confession time.

I probably spent a good three and a half decades without seeing a single horror movie or reading any ghost story. My reasons were personal. I didn't want them to feed an overly active imagination.

You see, I see dead people. Always have.

For good or bad, I got used to it. And it's actually been several years since I've seen the last ghost. (I live in a young neighborhood. Older neighborhoods harbor more paranormal activity.)

At first, I never admitted it to anyone outside the family. They knew because strange things would happen whenever I was around. Doors would open by themselves. Voices called out, and small objects would be found in unusual places. I was like a magnet for strange phenomenon.

It was especially brutal when I was a child. I never got any rest. My earliest memory is one my mother still talks about. I was three years old and I was looking up at the ceiling and pointing. I saw people climbing down a pass of some sort. One of them was an American Indian and he stopped and acknowledged me. He was the only one. The rest of them seemed oblivious to what was going on in our fourth floor walk-up in Chicago.

What's made this realization especially poignant is that I've been anguishing over how to brand myself for the last few months. What is it that identifies me and what I write? What one thread binds everything I do? Now I realize much to my horror, it was exactly what I'd been avoiding nearly my whole life. No matter what I write, a thin tendril always brings it back to the mystical, the unexplained. The paranormal.

I write paranormal. I understand paranormal.

I guess it's time I came out of the closet.

And just to prove I'm still firmly planted in the normal world, I've come to find out I might have thrown away my royalty check. Oy vey!

Apparently, the envelope from the bank looks like junk mail. I am notorious for throwing away junk mail.

Agh! At least they'll send me another one.

Note to Greg: Open EVERYTHING that comes to the house from now on. LOL!