Goosebumps - Sunday Scribblings 8/12/07

This week’s prompt was a no-brainer for me. While there have been several events in my life that when recalled can create goosebumps, only one raises them the size of small tumors.

First, I must declare that I am a well-educated and rational person (some who know me would disagree with rational in many cases, but I am claiming rationality for the purpose of this subject). Maybe skeptical would be a more accurate description of me.

When I was living in England in the early 90s, an English lady friend of mine was acquainted with a “renowned” medium. She lived near the coastal town of Great Yarmouth. It was a good hours drive from my home near Cambridge to the Norfolk Coast but my friend assured me it would be well worth it. This particular clairvoyant was evidently not easy to get a reading from as she held a high position in the pecking order of psychics. She even claimed to work as a consultant to local police and even Scotland Yard in helping to close unsolved crimes. Though I seriously doubt that either law enforcement agency actually admits to using parapsychology as an investigative method. (From what I understand that type of activity is limited to the Phoenix Arizona District Attorney’s Office.) It is common knowledge that any paranormal activity happening in England automatically gains credibility. The occult runs rampant in the British Isles. Lets face it, there are a lot more dead people in England than in the fairly infant United States. And apparently, many of them don’t know they are dead. But I digress, as usual.

Anyway, though skeptical, I agreed to have a reading. I arrived with a totally closed mind, using the hour drive to plan my strategy of providing no useful information to the medium. I would display the stoic face of a Texas Hold’em champion and answer any questions with curt yes and no answers. I was told to bring a personal item with me from which the psychic would feel my energy and emotion. I chose a ring that belonged to my late mother. So, I went in with absolute certainty that this reading was all hokum.

OK, we have come to the part where the goosebumps appear every time I think about the time that I spent with this witch. Not just goosebumps, but the hair on the back of my neck gets a life of its own. She allowed me to bring a cassette tape to record the entire session. I brought a one-hour tape and the reading lasted much longer than that, so I did not capture it all.

She began by taking both my hands in hers and examining my aura. Then she asked me to produce the personal item and hold it in my right hand without showing it to her. I cleverly reached in my pocket, concealing it in my already sweaty palm. She said, “Your mother’s ring is an excellent choice. She loves sapphire.” She made a point of using the present tense even though mom had been dead about 5 years. That subtle point did not go unnoticed. She put both her hands over my outstretched, closed fist, and the ring actually heated up in my hand. Not just warm from being in my sweaty fist, hot like Arizona.

Then she proceeded to talk about events and people in my life (by name) that no one could possibly know. I didn’t get the opportunity to use my poker face because my mouth remained wide open throughout. Nor did I get the chance to use my curt answer plan as she asked me no questions. She already knew everything. I am glad I did not have a full bladder.

As if I was not already primed to join her fan club, she sent me home with a final proclamation from my dad, then dead 2 years or so. This is the part that raises goosebumps on top of gooseflesh.

“Your dad said you could have at least gotten the watch fixed. There will come a time when you will have to because the one you are wearing will stop working.”

That simple statement really didn’t mean much at the time because my head was reeling from the information overload she had provided me. But on the way home I had time to think about her closing remarks. A year before I was on vacation in Miami and went into the ocean without removing the watch I was wearing. A gold Hamilton watch that my dad was awarded at his retirement for 35 years of service to the Bunker Hill Company, of Kellogg, Idaho. When I realized I still had it on, it was too late. The crystal was full of seawater. Upon arriving home I put it in a drawer in my bedroom and began wearing the watch I was wearing during the session. I forgot about it entirely but after she mentioned it I took it out and opened it up. It was severely corroded (a year of whatever seawater does to metal). I put it back in the drawer. It was a total loss. I was certain it could not be repaired. Again, I forgot about the watch.

A few years later, I was living in Riverton, Wyoming. I woke up in the middle of the night and looked at the illuminated dial of my watch. It was stopped. I went to the drawer and pulled dad’s watch out. It was funny, but I was not surprised that it was running. The second hand made a couple of revolutions and then stopped dead. I took it into the jeweler the very next day. He said that he could repair it but had to order some parts and it would take a while. He said it was impossible that it had been running at all as severely corroded as it was. It was totally seized up. I did not argue, though I knew better.

A few months later, since I had not heard from him, I went back to the shop to check on the status of the watch. The jeweler had retired and the guy running the shop could not find the watch or any record that I had actually brought it in. I would never regain possession of the watch. He had no reason to lie about it as in a store full of diamonds and gold, a $300 watch is of little consequence. I do not believe I was meant to have it.

I still do not believe in the legitimacy of most mediums, psychics, or clairvoyants, but I know the lady in Great Yarmouth was the real deal. By the way, during the hour I spent writing this I shuddered several times and there is a constant drip of perspiration running between my shoulder blades.

If you don't buy this story I will not bother with my UFO encounter.