I don’t believe in the paranormal/supernatural, not really. Let me say that first. Spent most of my life wanting to believe, yes. But that’s another thing. And while I do consider myself openminded about the possibility of things beyond my understanding, I’m also an atheist and a rationalist, and most things can be explained away. However, I’ve also done my share of experimenting with mind-altering substances, obligatory fractalization of reality, experience of the Temporal as a spatial phenomenon and vice versa, and most importantly plundering my subconscious for mysteries and meaning. And that can be damn satisfying.
So I don’t know.
In any case, one such “mystery” took place two birthdays ago + 1 day. Substance-free, which makes me want to give the experience more weight. Though maybe we’ll want to count pain as a modulator if consciousness. Either way, there’s temptation to imbue the “event” with meaning that it probably doesn’t deserve, a desire to indulge that giddy feeling of a brush with the Unexplained.
Here in blog-country, we’re free to indulge away.
Some context: at this point T and I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant for something like a dozen cycles. My issue: immunological infertility, repeated implantation failure. Morning after my birthday I wake up to my period. Cue frustration/disappointment. Ah well. Exhausting day of unrelenting menstrual brutality sends me to bed that night with the heating pad.
Time around 11:45pm. Lying in bed by myself, and I start to hear what sounds like a music box playing faintly. Or maybe something like an ice cream truck, because it seems like it’s coming from outside? Maybe approaching, it’s getting gradually louder? Sit up in bed, because I can’t really tell, it must be moving so slowly. Or maybe they’ve parked somewhere on the corner. Odd. Thinking maybe it’s something to do with it being Ascension Day. Some weird German street procession or something? But so late? I almost grab my phone, thinking I’ll document whatever strange Berlin occurrence I’m about to witness.
Get up to check, and the music is suddenly gone. Open the door to the balcony, and nothing, just normal night sounds. So I turn back to the bed and reason that my ear must be picking up weird overtones in the fan wrrrring at the foot of the bed. So I lay back down.
Check the time—11:54 now—and I’m hearing the musicbox again, faintly but distinctly. So. Very. Odd.
And meanwhile I’m still cramping hard with my heating pad, so I figure, ok then, why not try to focus on the music. The way it stays mostly in the same key, it has to be an auditory artifact due to the fan perceived through pain-skewed senses and given a fanciful form.
But my sensory network is buying in, engaging with it. Synesthetic color impression is pastel yellow as if lit from behind with white light. Further impressions of light coming in through large rectangular windows in a kids playroom. Old memories?
I decide to roll with it, because what else am I going to do?
After a while I find I’m able to sort of manipulate the chords with my mind, exploring other sonorities, modulations. It’s beautiful, comforting. I’m not scared or alarmed by the experience. Waves of emotion start to churn inside me. I close my eyes, accept it like a vision or a psychonautical experience …
… I’m knocking on a door, and it’s opening up, and it’s me on the other side: glasses, long black locks tied back. It’s me from some indeterminate time in the future, but it can’t be too distant since I don’t look very much older. Other-me allows me wordlessly into an apartment. There’s a big table. A baby highchair. A toddler. Other-me seems tired but patient, also guarded, regarding me with a little wariness or mistrust—I wonder, is this an analogy for the need to be kind or forgiving to the me-of-the-past? Surely this is what other-me has to be thinking.
I want to reassure her that I don’t mean any harm or discord. I just want to meet the baby. All of this expressed without words. She allows it, though hovers nearby.
I’m squatting down on the floor now. The toddler, walking around precariously, comes over. Not sure if it’s a boy or girl, but seems like a boy. I don’t ask the name. He’s wearing just a t-shirt and diaper. Little brown curls on his head. Skin is so soft.
I want to ask other-me, when will this happen for me? Will this really happen for me? I don’t mean any trouble, I just want to know.
No answer, though I feel peaceful. Not reassured, but also not resigned, just peaceful, filled with a sense of tenderness, vulnerability, fragility, beauty. Musicbox is still playing …
… Wake up overheating, having fallen asleep with the heating pad on my stomach. Still crampy, but a little better. The music is gone, it’s just the fan now.
So, dream, hallucination, vision, temporal wrinkle. Who knows. A year later I was 9 months pregnant with B. I’ve told you I’m not a believer in this kind of stuff, but I’d be lying if I said a small part of me doesn’t wonder if in the next year or so I should expect a strange knock on my door.
I don’t know.