You’d’ve thought I refused to salute the American flag, was born in Kenya and illegally snuck into Boyle Heights. It becomes painfully apparent when Crossroads to Somewhere fails to give an update on the status of the O-bah-keh-sans, I may as well not write a column. As far as Rafu Shimpo’s reading public is concerned, the story of a Japanese Nobel Prize co-recipient (last week) was of no interest and a waste of time compared to the elusive “Os,” Haruo and Haruko.
[If perchance there are CR2S newbies out there who don’t know what we’re talking about, apologies. Please come back when I have an opportunity to discuss more mundane and earthly things than ghosts. Or why not stick around and read on, I’m sure you’ll be entertained if not befuddled.]
Chastised doesn’t quite describe the situation, but disappointed is obviously the state of mind of followers. Primed to the point where every “tap tap tap” episode becomes an exciting new chapter, there are others who wish to share a belief or state an opinion on the who and what of it all. The total absence of Doubting Thomases/Tomos/Tomikos is a pleasant surprise. So you are invited into my world to share, rather than merely read about it:
Picture yourself in bed, sound asleep at say, 2:38 a.m. All of a sudden, you are awakened by an unmistakable “tap tap tap” on your front door. I would venture to guess you would be startled and then fearful. If you live alone, make it terror. Now put yourself in my shoes/apartment: it would be similar to a knocking on your bedroom door! No matter what your initial thought would be, segue to a month later and it happens again. Lordy, lordy, another month passes and the mysterious intrusions become regular occurrences, sometimes as many as three incidents, all at varying times in the early a.m.! Add sudden single rings of a land-line telephone at odd hours in between, and you have eight plus months of constant bewilderment, questions without answers.
So there you go, folks, I invite you to put yourself in my bed, er, shoes. Would you have been scared witless and called 911? Or bemused and seek (il)logical solutions and explanations from a surprising array of well-meant suggestions? Or moved to install a miniature camera in an attempt to capture phantom images hallway security tapes fail to photograph?
A sampling of recent commentaries in CR2S’s email box:
“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” (Revelation 3:20 NLT)
S.K. then personally adds: “Answer the door! It is The Lord of all heaven and earth wanting to dialogue with YOU! The Rafu Shimpo community will be impacted eternally by your actions.”
Dr. D.S.H. contributes: “Perspiration in that (neck) area is sometimes associated with stress. May also be an anomaly but no suggestion of pathology. [In answer to CR2S’s recent penchant to neck sweat rather than bodily perspiration like normal human beings.]
C.S. suggests: “‘Yurei Attack! The Japanese Ghost Survival Guide’ might be the answer to the ongoing dilemma. Want to get rid of that strange woman who’s been watching you sleep at night, the one whose feet aren’t touching the ground? Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt may have just the help you need in their recently published little encyclopedia. The authors offer deep insight into yurei, figures in Japanese folklore who died under savage circumstances and who are now doomed to seek revenge until someone gives them proper funeral rites … Already being haunted? This book may be your saving grace.”
I marvel at the sagacity [or questionable mentality] of a few CR2S readers. Try as I may to be cunningly clever, there’s always someone on the same wavelength. In referencing Haruo and Haruko O-bah-keh as H20, a whimsical question followed regarding their possible relationship: husband and wife or maybe (twin) siblings? T.H. was either quick on the inference or simply is a D.O.M. He presumes to be so knowing. How can he be so sure he knows what I know when sometimes I don’t even know?
You want up-to-date? Here I sit @ 6:51 a.m. Tuesday to report that Haruo dropped by an hour ago; probably to remind me it’s Election Day. Maybe that’s why Haruko made her presence known Sunday at 3:41. To let me know daylight savings had ended. Or maybe to meet her in the laundry room? To be continued …
W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached at email@example.com. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.