Not all encounters are scary, or disturbing... Some just make you wonder, "Is it something I said?"
Early in the Spring of 2006, I had to have a series of Oral Surgeon appointments due to the fact that I needed my Wisdom teeth pulled, and my dentist flat out refused to do it, citing large roots, large teeth, and a general aversion trying to treat the pain that would be bound to follow.
So, he sent me to an oral surgeon, one whose office was on a quiet back street in the otherwise noisy Southside of Birmingham.
Since my appointment was going to be the first of the day, at 07:30 actually, the Doctor had not yet arrived. I was a little early, so I thought that I would sneak out, and smoke a cigarette while I waited.
Keep in mind that during my first appointment, and in that perfunctory 100 reason doctor speak, he had been clear about his remarks about smoking, and the other problems that I had, all made his job much harder than it usually would be....
So, I thought that this time, I'd get out of the line of sight of his staff, and so, I left the parking area, and stepped up a slight incline to where I knew that there was no way the receptionist could see me, then, turn me in to her boss for the crime of smoking, as I was certain that this is how I had been caught the first time.
As I stepped uphill and to the blindside, I noticed that downhill from me, and on the same side of the little street, a large crew of about thirty black professionals was busily refurbishing the run down, abandoned building adjacent to the professional property. I remember how trashed out that building was when I was enrolled in UAB, and would regularly traverse these back alleys as, "Cop-Free Travelling conduits", and how that building had people living in it, though it didn't appear to be fit for human consumption...
These workers were having what appeared to me to be a great time. They had loud music, and were yelling above it to give orders, and such, and they took little notice of me.
As I drew in like the third drag, I turned back to the opposite direction, uphill, and there... something weird began to happen.
Ethers, little almost invisible looking strings, began rotating, then, a light formed, and then, bam: a black dude appeared out of nowhere.
Due to my extreme exposure to phenomena, since childhood, I was all...."muh", in modern parlance.
The dude was grinning, and I tell you he looked a lot like John Michel Basquait.
|Basquait was a friend of Warhole, and I had seen a Biography network special about him the previous week. Seeing this picture, again, the resemblance was uncanny.|
And he walks towards me, and simply says, "Man, at first I was all, 'yeah...this dude's right', but then, I don't care, anymore. You don't gotta take care of me."
Then, he just turned back into ethers, and was gone.
I finished my cigarette, and I admit that, at first, I took what he said personally, like he was passing judgement against me. But, as I though more about it, later, I decided that he may not have even seen me, and that for this reason no interrogations needed to follow...
But, as I turned towards the crew working on the building: they were all of them, every single one, staring at me..
One shouted, I couldn't understand, but I could hear his fear. He held up his fingers in a cross, another guy turned off the radio, then, they all started screaming questions at me, and the one I kept hearing, was, "YO MAN? WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?"
But, I could not answer them, because I was sure this ghost had not meant that I was un-trustable, he could not mean me....
Anyway, as I went inside the doctor was ready to see me. As he examined me, he said that he was going to need me to return once more, and then, we would decide what to do, about all this...
As I was leaving, I saw something that shocked me: he was standing over the receptionist's shoulder, and they were rewinding a security system that I had not seen, and restarting, watching the encounter repeatedly...
I felt sucker punched.
And, suddenly, she looked at me, and he touched her shoulder and said, "Well, OK." And went back around the corner. I could tell that they had been discussing me before I had come from the exam room.
She rose to reschedule me, and when she came over, instead, she said, "Dr so and so would like you to find a new Oral Surgeon."
I was stunned. But I am not sure if it was because I was trying so hard to hide the fact I was smoking, or the incident.
As I left, a few of the workers rose their hats in some weird salute, like, superstitiously not wanting the incident to occur to them.
This incident did not disturb me... Having to explain to my dentist why he had to pull those teeth, that was much, much harder.