[Always wondered if I would ever have the gall/huevos to launch a column in such a juvenile, inane manner. Well, there you go, now it’s done. And I’m still alive.]

But wait a minute, darned if it isn’t timely and appropriate. Here I’ve been fussing over how to introduce this week’s subject, so why not a silly ghostly attention getter? CR2S  (and impatient readers) have determined a review of the “O” situation is long overdue.

Our very famous “O-bah-keh-san” has been conspicuously absent from mention in this corner for a very simple reason:  the regular visitations had become infrequent.

As mentioned on several occasions, exact time and date rundowns of the eerie interruptions no longer have much interest value. There is no significance in simply reciting the number of knocks on my apartment door.  It is now two months shy of two years since the first “tap tap tap” episode and 17 months since they became an unexplained early morning phenomenon.

A backward look before moving forward:

Since the start of this year, the “O” saga had begun to waver. The tappings that had been so incessant had gradually tapered off, although the odd single telephone rings continued to pierce the morning stillness with regularity. There were only four incidents in June and an equal number of telephone calls while in July the count was three of each. This is in comparison to 38  tap-tap-tap experiences and six phone rings during July of 2012 alone. Last month, August, the rundown was four door-knocking instances and an increase to seven land-line jingles.

Even though there had been a slight increase last month, I  had begun to prepare myself for the inevitable departure; that I’d best start thinking about how to summarize and evaluate this bizarre and lengthy ordeal.

 Then a (faint) door noise roused me at 5:06 a.m. last Wednesday, breaking a lengthy ten-day silence. Instead of joy over the long-awaited return, I once again became a doubter: Maybe it was the morning L.A. Times being placed against the door, not “O.” This assumption made so much sense I decided a check of the hallway security tape was in order once again; a review I hadn’t made in over a year, since the time when the culprit was believed to be a human being. Voila, like in every previous instance, the camera verifies there is no one/nothing at my door at that specific time, before or after. 

Need I confess it was with joy and relief when I received word that the tape showed nothing but a dark and empty corridor. “O” had truly returned. And as if for emphasis, there was a louder, more assured rapping the very next morn at 1:01; I’m sure it was a display of “O” pique for being misidentified. Or a show of displeasure for being questioned.

After all that has transpired since Day One, the enigma continues to boggle a boggled mind. En route to becoming a public phenomenon, the strange, sidebar incidents that occurred last year are also recalled as pertinent: a lamp falls; the refrigerator freezes overnight; the television remote goes haywire on two separate occasions. And the scariest, most shocking of all:  awakening to three physical taps on the shoulder!

CR2S can understand how the ongoing mystery has lost some luster and interest in the eyes of jaundiced readers. I mean, hey, Yeti and Loch Ness are historical and they enjoy only periodic revivals. The transformation of Hannah Montana is bigger news these days. If “O-bah-keh-san” is to be my legacy, there should be explanation and conclusion somewhere in the near future. Maybe at least a hint or clue of what, why and who. Where or when doesn’t matter; that would be the title of a love song.

Whether you’ve noticed or not, some of what I write and the manner in which it’s written, is CR2S talking directly to “O.” I believe she reads the columns and her subsequent visits are often prompted when peeved, questioned, angered or pleased. And the phone rings? Obviously some sort of signal that I haven’t figured out yet. I mean, hey, I know naught about ET, angels, mysticism, ESP, Revelations, mumbo jumbo, but eventually I’ll get to the bottom of this “O” thing, allegory or whatever.

Perhaps CR2S is carrying on a spiritual affaire with “O.” Who knows? Cares? Challenges? A conceit?

W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached at Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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