Well, maybe not exactly triumphant  And since “O” never went anywhere, it wouldn’t exactly be a return either, right? Whatever, rather than rewrite the headline, let the seventy-six trombones blare and eighty-eight piano keys tinkle. It’s still cause for celebration just to  comment on my favorite subject, *Oh-bah-keh-sama.”

True believers have been patiently waiting for an updated report; it has been some time since our last review. Decriers decry while the in-betweens remain skeptical, but the faithful can’t get enough of this phantasmagoria. So let’s get on with an anniversary report on our ever popular mystery visitor, the phantom “O,” who continues to confound and bewilder.

Two years ago this month, the inexplicable door knocking began in earnest. By summertime ’12 the “tap tap taps” had reached a daily crescendo of sometimes three times a night! Since then, with other mind-boggling sidebar events interspersed, they have tapered off to where there were only nine visitations each in January and February of this year. But the most notable news to relate today is the sudden disappearance of the single *telephone rings. There was a ring at 5:15 a.m. , Saturday, Jan. 11, and then absolute silence ever since. Nothing. During this time there had been an equal number of my (land line) telephone ringing as “O” making physical knock-knocks. So now a suddenly silent telephone adds to the esoteric [please excuse, have run out of words describing “mysterious”].

[*To explain again: My land line has two instruments, the main one in the front room, the other next to my bed. When there is an incoming call, the main one rings first, a split second later, the one by the bed rings; they never ring in sync. When “O” calls, only the second one rings. And more eerily, the “O” ring always occurs when I’m in the bedroom.

Yet another noticeable difference from earlier visits is a new swagger. “O” made appearances as late as 6:32 and 6:34 on separate February mornings. The hour is significant because by that time KRH is stirring, if not jumping; some people heading to the dining room even though breakfast isn’t until 7:30. The point is the possibility someone could be walking past my door at the exact moment of a “*tap tap tap” incident when it occurs at such an hour. Being one step ahead of Sherlock Chan, I checked the security tapes (again) to see if anyone was in the corridor at those exact moments; no such luck, “O” is obviously two steps ahead of me and everyone else. It has also been noted that the telephone rings had reached a bolder hour, one sounded at a fairly reasonable 12:30 a.m. and another as late as 6:16 a.m. This change in time sequence is very unusual since both until now have almost always occurred in the wee hours of the morning between one and five o’clock.

[*I know there must be some “newbies” to CR2S. Thus “O” references are as familiar as Satoshi Dorian Nakamoto.  Unfortunately we can’t spend precious Page 3 space constantly reviewing past spectral “O” history. I hope periodic reviews will help fill in the blanks. Will try to be a bit more detailed in subsequent updates.]

I’m often asked in a lighthearted manner, but methinks with a tinge of doubt, why others at KRH haven’t experienced visitations by “O.” My responses vary, mostly jokingly, but the bottom line is I think I know, yet I’m not sure. Could be either an onus or badge of honor, but it’s real and not wild imagination. And to repeat before asked again, there is no fright or fear, ever. In a nutshell, it’s been a two-and-one-half year E-ride of bewilderment and mystery, with Who/What/Why constant companions along the way. Nonetheless an intriguing time.

KRH residents depart these premises in three directions: (a) to neighboring ICF for needed care and oversight; (b) Keiro Lincoln Park or South Bay for appropriate specialized care or alas, (c) to a permanent resting place. During CR2S’s short residency, I have had six adjoining neighbors (3+3) on my side of the wing with a seventh in waiting; a huge turnover rate when you consider the tenants across the hall have probably sixteen years between them without a single new neighbor. There is very little in and out movement for most residents not named WTH.  I never gave it much thought until the unusually large number of transitions could not be ignored. Was “O” somehow impacting innocent neighbors? It makes one wonder, yes. But worry? No. At least not me. Or I.

=  *  =

 Keiro Retirement Home Open House is Saturday, March 29, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Whether  CR2S is to be credited with enticing more than 100 guests to take a look see (in either Japanese or English) is a never no mind. The turnout will be tremendous and welcome. Whether staff is able to handle any more is the question. You can still call (323) 980-7517 or 980-7100 for Open House details. Of course, now that you’re motivated to inquire and inspect, nothing says you can’t schedule a visitation for a later date.

CR2S welcomes you to the gated community at 325 S. Boyle Avenue. “O” joins in the warm greeting.

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



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