Which Way to Go?
October 12, 2005

So, Croaker over at BlogExplosion, requested another ghost story. I had intended to save the rest of my spooky stories for just a little closer to Halloween, though.

For the moment, I'll give you a small hint as to what ghost stories you can expect to be coming in the next few weeks. Two of the stories involve satan-worshippers. Now, I want to be perfectly clear about this before even starting in ... satan-worshippers and pagans are NOT the same thing. At all. Pagan is actually an old generic term for people who aren't Christian, so in some senses, I can see how the confusion settles in. However, today, suffice it to say that most pagans follow some form of old earth religions. Maybe wiccan, maybe wittan, maybe something Native American (although we're generally better about identifying those folks as believing in a Native American religion).

Okay, lecture over.

Story One: John Discovers He's "Sensitive"
Story Two: Ender Discovers Satanists Really Do Exist -- And the Cops Are Afraid of Them!
Story Three: Kalamazoo Means "Bad Water" - and they ain't talking about the taste!

For now, I'll just tell you about something a little on the odd side.

As a kid, I had a perfect sense of direction. I never got lost. Now, you can maybe say I had a great ability to pick out where the sun was and get my bearings. Maybe I just did that instinctually. Of course, it doesn't explain why I could still do that inside a big building or a mall, but maybe I was just intensely talented in being able to retain the bearings I'd gotten while outside.

It doesn't really explain the night that the scout camp decided to test me, spinning me round and round and round and blindfolded. And when they stopped me and asked for north, I could feel it. I pointed. They marked where I was standing and where I had pointed.

When the sun came up, the compasses came out. Dead on for north.

Now, this intrigued me. I was dead on for magnetic north, which is actually not the same thing as north "for really."

As I grew up, I irritated all of my friends at some point or another simply by being able to tell how to get somewhere. They'd insist that as a passenger in the back of a car, not paying much attention, I should NOT be able to find a place I'd only been to the once. And then they'd get mad when I did it.

When I was in college, though, I discovered one "null spot." On a road trip to a conference in Oklahoma, I exited the highway on one of those grand cloverleaves out in the middle of nowhere. Flat prairie land all around. One gas station on the turnabout. I immediately headed north.

Except the signs eventually told me I was headed south. I pulled over. I felt out the area. I was headed ... I couldn't tell anymore. In fact, I realized that I couldn't tell any direction at all. It was one of the weirdest feelings I've ever had.

We stopped at a gas station, got headed in the right direction and about ten miles north of that cloverleaf, SNAP. North was right back in my head where it was supposed to be.

On the way back to Texas, we took a different route. Never lost my sense of direction.

Going back to Oklahoma City a few years later ... same damn thing happened.

The third time I drove through there, I had that spot marked on the map and a navigator ready to straighten me out. Sure enough, I couldn't tell which way was which until about ten miles north of that same cloverleaf.

Today, though, I only have a good sense of direction. Not the unerring one I had as a kid. What changed?

That sense of north lost a lot of power when I had to undergo chemo-therapy for Hodgkin's disease. I don't know if it was during the first round of chemo or a year later during the bone marrow transplant ... it was a slow process, I think.

That said, I still don't lose my way too often.

Posted by Red Monkey at October 12, 2005 4:19 PM | Storytelling: She was, of course, supposed to be sleeping. | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |

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