Saturday, May 02, 2015

When the Spiritual Energy Dam Breaks

I'm pretty sure I saw a vampire this week.  And I think I saw her because I moved those bookshelves.  
I was shopping at Trader Joe's.  It was at night (of course).  I spotted her as I came out of the produce section, heading toward the cash registers.  
"Holy Crap!  A vampire!"  That's what I said to myself.  An exact quote.  I stopped and stared at her.  
She was striking.  The red dress caught my attention first.  It screamed, "LOOK AT ME!" but no one was.  She was standing there, about halfway between the end-cap with frozen pizza and the nearest cash register.  Everyone was walking past her, some within inches of her even though the store wasn't that crowded.  Her hair, as black as shadows in a cave at midnight, streamed past her shoulders and down her back.  It was like a cloak.  Her face was paler than moonlight.  She looked Japanese.  
She was looking around.  Not like someone lost, or someone trying to figure out where the meatless burgers or chicken masala frozen dinners were located.  She was looking at the other shoppers.  Watching them as they weren't watching her.  Following this one and that one with her eyes as they moved past her.  
She was shopping for dinner.  Just like me.  Except she wasn't interested in the cocoanut curry chicken dinner (which is good, I have it for lunch quite a bit).  She was interested in the shoppers.  
I moved toward the cash register when she turned my way.  I pretended I didn't notice her.  I watched her, hiding behind the check-out clerk's body as he rang me up.  She probably had some sort of...  Glamor, I guess you'd call it.  She had disguised herself to look like empty air.  That's why no one could see her.  No one, but me, it seemed.  
"Those bookshelves..."  
"Hmm?"  The clerk looked up at me as he was packing my canvas shopping bags.  
"Nothing."  I took the handles of the bag he offered me.  "Thanks."  
"Have a nice evening!"  
"You, too."  Then, "Be careful."  
I checked the news the next day.  No reports of any bodies drained of blood in Pasadena.  Of course, if someone went missing, that might not show up for days.  
The bookshelves I'm talking about are the ones that were blocking the rear door to my apartment.  I wrote about my plan in a previous blog posting ("Feng Shui and Translations Breakthroughs").  I went through with the plan of moving the shelves that I had set up in front of the back door to another wall.  I did it that morning.  The same morning I saw the lady vampire.  
I went looking for her the next night, by the way.  She wasn't at Trader Joe's the next night.  I also stopped in the local Pavilions and Starbucks, figuring if she thought Trader Joe's shoppers were tasty then customers at those stores might have the same sort of flavor.  
I walked past my favorite Japanese restaurant but didn't spot her there either.  Later, I thought, "Duh.  She doesn't want sashimi.  It's raw people she wants, not raw fish."  
Things have been a bit off since I moved those shelves. 
Besides the Japanese vampire, I was told about the government fighting aliens in orbit.  
"Pop!  Pop!  Pop!"  
"Eh?"  I was at the gas station, filling up my car.  This guy, a homeless man by the looks of him, was walking by my car.  Red faced.  Old dirty clothes.  Barefoot. 
He pointed toward the sky as I looked back at him.  
"Pop!  Pop!  Pop!"  
I looked up.  All I could see was the covering over the pumps.  
"What?"  Normally I don't engage people in situations like this.  But I've been unsettled this week.  A feeling that I'm missing out on something.  A bit shook up from seeing the vampire, too, probably.  
"They're up there!"  He pointed again.  "Pop!  Pop!  Pop!"  
Was he talking about the lights going out or something?  
He came closer.  He looked frustrated with me.  At my ignorance.  He pointed again.  I kept my eyes on him as I continued to pump my gas.  
"The government, they're fighting them.  Blowing them out of orbit.  Got this secret laser, they do.  Costs THIRTY BILLION a pop, for each one of them ships trying to land."  
He nodded.  "Pop!  Pop!  Pop!  They're doing it right now.  Up there!  Thirty Billion a Pop!  Pop!  Pop!"  
I look up again, past the roof over the pumps.  Something blinked.  A plane...?
"Pop!"  He shook his finger at the sky.  "Thirty billion.  Pop!" 
I topped off my tank.  He dug through the trash can.  I didn't look up at the sky again.  
My bedroom has been much brighter since I moved the shelves.  This is easily explained.  The door they were blocking has a window in it.  Moving the shelves means more light is coming through the window.  
I used to keep the light over that door on at night.  I stopped doing that.  Too much light.  Having trouble sleeping.  Walking up in the middle of the night, thinking it was dawn.  Thinking that I was...  Someplace else.  In my room, but...  Elsewhere.  
Maybe lack of sleep is the problem.    
I walked around the night after that, but I didn't spot the vampire then either.  I looked up in the sky.  The glare from the street lights were too bright to let me see anything up there clearly.  No blinks.  No pops.  
Maybe it was a mistake to move the bookshelf.  I'm thinking, if the "energy" couldn't flow because of the bookshelf, then I might have let a whole lot of energy just...  Flow away, out the back door.  The front door was never blocked.  So, maybe what I had was this big reservoir of energy in my bedroom.  And now that the bookshelf is gone, its just rushing away.  Like when a dam breaks.  Whoosh!  And the vampire...  The aliens going Pop at thirty billion a shot...  Walking up at night in what feels like a different day...  All of that is me getting washed away on a flood of spiritual energy that I used to have safely contained.  
I heard something right before all of this happened.  It was on NPR.  The show, This American Life.  It was a story about beliefs and how hard it is for people to change them.  The lead story was about a guy, a Native American, who thought the old men of his tribe who called themselves "shaman" were lying.  Con artists, he thought.  Making stuff up to make themselves more important.  He decided to investigate by pretending he was interested in being trained.  
After some time being taught different things, one of the shamans showed him a trick.  When someone was sick, you took a small wad of cotton and put it in your mouth without the patient seeing it.  You then put your lips against the patient's body, over their heart, and made sucking sounds.  Then, all at once, you pulled away and bit on the inside of your mouth, soaking the cotton with your blood.  You then spat it out into your hand and showed it to the patient.  
"See?  That's the disease.  That's what was making you sick.  I sucked it out of you."  
The skeptic thought he had his proof.  A con trick.  No magic.  Nothing real.  But then, as part of his training, he was told to heal someone using this trick.  He followed the instructions, spat out the bloody cotton and showed it to the sick person.  
And they got better.  They were healed.  The next morning, the fever, the sickness, was gone.  
This was a lead in to a story about the placebo effect.  Another interesting fact they related was that there are studies that showed placebos having greater efficacy for people with Parkinson's Disease than actual treatment.  "Something happens to the body," one of the researchers said, "When you just believe."  
 I told someone about the vampire I spotted.  They said that they hoped it was true. 
"What, you think it would be a good thing to have blood-sucking demons hunting us at night to drink our souls?"  
"Well, no...  Not exactly."  She bobbed her head back and forth a bit.  "But, if it was true, life would be a lot more interesting than if this was all there was, right?"  
Hmm.  Maybe.  
One last thing.  I went on line, googling things like "vampire hunters" and "placebo effect" and "shamans."  I thought, if I could see the vampire when no one else could, then maybe I was some sort of...  Spiritual Warrior.  Meant to protect humanity from creatures like that.  
I googled "Spiritual Warrior."  This is what I found.

Guess it's good to know I can make a living from it.  


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