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The Lost Pen

August 28, 2014


At work the other day, I dropped my pen. I saw, and felt, it bounce off my left knee, and I heard it hit the floor near my feet. I did not retrieve it right away, as I knew it wasn’t going anywhere. Besides, I was focused on a task and wanted to complete it. When I was finished with what I was working on, I looked down, and around my shoes, and then all over the floor beneath my desk. The pen was nowhere to be seen. I knew it had to be down there somewhere. I took flash pictures with my iPhone, just in case the dark-print carpet was playing tricks with my eyes. Nothing.

The next morning, upon arriving at my desk, I got down on hands and knees and did a thorough search. Nothing. The stupid pen was gone. Even though I am predisposed to looking at life from a Fox-Mulderish perspective (as I am a dedicated X-files fan since 1993), I know full well that there is a logical explanation. Until the pen turns up, though, I don’t know what that would be. So, I sigh, and I go about my business.

Life is full of annoying mysteries like this. Most of the time we ignore them, because they are of little significance. You know what I mean—socks that allegedly disappear from the dryer. A book that keeps getting “misplaced.” The phone cord (that is, if you still have a phone with a cord) that gets twisted up into tight knots, even though you know you’ve never, in conscious memory, spun a handset 360° during any given phone conversation.

Once on a busy street in San Francisco’s China Town, my wife and I were briefly separated and, though we were only a few feet away from each other, could not see one another. That was weird. In fact, on a return visit to China Town some time later, we tried to recreate what happened. We think we figured it out, well…at least my wife is convinced that she figured it out, me—I’m not so certain.

I came across a book some years back entitled, “Time Storms” by Jenny Randles. The author dealt with the supposition that momentary rifts in time and space can appear and create portals to a parallel universe, and thus account for strange disappearances and missing time. She suggests that these “rifts” are responsible for situations that have been miscategorized as UFO or alien intervention. Yeah, I know, weird stuff.

One of the accounts she transcribes in her book was familiar to me. When I was in junior college, I visited a good friend who had a part-time job in the science department. He was putting together a slide show for one of the professors. Together we listened to an account that took place in 1977 (back then, for my friend and myself, this would have been a recent event) of Corporal Armando Valdes, a Chilean military man who vanished in full view of the men in his patrol. When he turned up fifteen minutes later, he was disoriented, had a week’s worth of beard growth, and had no explanation as to what happened. Upon hearing the mysterious conclusion to the anecdote, my friend and I exchanged what-the-heck looks. And I got the requisite chill on the back of my neck.

The slide show presentation categorized this incident as a possible UFO abduction, but Jenny Randles makes the case that the Corporal stumbled into a “time storm,” lived five days in a different quantum universe, then returned home. All I know is that I now have a headache and need an Advil.

There are other mysteries that are of a grander and more sinister nature. Not long ago, while perusing Facebook, I came across a post concerning the mysterious case of Elisa Lam.

The young woman was staying in the Cecil Hotel located in Los Angeles. The 21-year-old woman was found dead in the hotel’s rooftop water tank. Her death was ruled an accidental drowning. There is elevator surveillance video that shows her acting strangely just a matter of minutes before she died.

The video is easy to find. If you’re really curious, and want to see what a real Twilight Zone episode looks like, enter “Elisa Lam video” in the search engine of your choice. A warning though—knowing the final fate of this poor woman, and that it will occur mere moments after her final appearance in the footage, makes her actions all that much more strange and unnerving.

As for the Cecil Hotel itself, one could do an entire post on that establishment alone. It has the infamous distinction of having housed two serial killers, and has been the site of murders and suicides. Can you imagine being an employee at this place?

And I should mention Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 that disappeared on March 4, 2014. I’ve heard some people say that the jet was shot down. Others say the Pilot wanted to orchestrate a grandiose suicide. One suggestion was that the plane crash-landed on an island. How many LOST fans got a shudder down their spines at that one? As of this writing, nobody knows what the heck happened, other than it’s probably at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. I have a feeling that this will remain an unsolved mystery forever.

It’s about six months since I wrote the first draft to this post. My pen is still gone. We’re supposed to get some new office furniture soon. Perhaps it will turn up when my old workspace is torn out. I’ll let you know…


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