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Weirdest things

April 21, 2012

It’s nice that when I find my stories drying up in my head, other people come along and help me remember something else to tell. That happened today with the post Super Curious at AshleyJillian.com.

She asked of her readers, “What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you?”

It was fun to respond. Thanks, Ashley!

Vying for top position as the weirdest are two things. The weird thing I recounted on Ashley’s blog was:

Weirdest thing ever was hanging around in a cemetery late at night with a bunch of other high school kids (long ago, and far away), when up walked a man dressed in red from head to toe. It was dark and he was creepy. I think he was a neighbor trying to spook us out of the cemetery and out of the area. I think.

To expound a bit on that creepy experience, we had been in the cemetery hoping to be scared by something. If the man had not scared us, the wind likely would have.

The man approached our group and asked, “Have any of you seen my son?”

We had seen no one other than him and told him so. He stood still, staring at us. His stare seemed penetrating to me and, seemingly, to the others with me. We didn’t stick around very long to stare back at the weird man. We got in our car and left. We never went back. We felt the heat of hell at our backs.

I have driven by that cemetery countless times since the long-ago days when creepy men dressed in red could scare us away. The cemetery looks neglected and nearly forgotten. There is nothing there to scare me any longer. I guess that comes with age and hindsight.

The other weird thing is already posted here within the post Redux. we were on a northern vacation and were settling into Petoskey, Michigan with Joe-your-dad, Jenny, Kim and Heather when:

After settling into the motel we headed to the pool and, almost as a unit, jumped in the sparkling water. Grandpa Frank and I were hanging off of the sides on our elbows, lazily kicking in the water, and the kids were noisily splashing each other when a man approached the pool wearing a three-piece suit and tie. He seemed serious and both Grandpa Frank and I jumped into the water from our perches and moved closer to the kids. They were also moving closer to us and we all stood in the water, watching the man and wondering if we had somehow offended him with our exuberant play.

We had not.

The man was apparently as overheated (or something) as we had been and seemingly wished to join our little party. We watched as he walked slowly down the steps of the pool and into the water without removing a single item of clothing, without removing his shoes. We moved closer together. We watched as he met the bottom of the steps and stood on the floor of the shallow end of the pool, then continued walking slowly toward the other end, further into the deepening water. We were backing up as the same unit that had leaped into the pool. And he kept coming.

The man was watching us but said not a word; we didn’t either. Our mouths were hanging open. When the pool water reached his neck he turned around and, just as slowly, exited the pool the same way he had entered. He sloshed away and entered a room at the far end of the motel. We stood with our mouths open, now staring at each other. It’s strange how time seems suspended when something bizarre is occurring. Time elapsed from when we first noticed the man to when we watched him enter his motel room could not have been more than ten minutes, which admittedly is a rather large chunk of time, but it did seem more akin to hours.

The man and his behavior were the topic of our conversation all evening, but we never figured out what could have been his purpose for doing such a thing. Had we been unwitting subjects of a social experiment? Was Candid Camera around? The next morning we saw the man outside of his motel room, neatly laying out his three-piece suit over some luggage in the trunk of his car. He never looked at us or acknowledged our presence.

We went looking for Petoskey stones.

Weird.

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