Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Ghoul of; 97 Collingwood Street

Scene: Near midnight, in the dojo where I lived it is quiet, the night outside is still and calm, you can hear a few cars and horns now and then, but calm and quiet for the most part. It is at 97 Collingwood Street in San Francisco, it is the summer of 1968. I am living at the Dojo, until I find an apartment, I am studying karate under the Chief Instructor, Master Goesi Yamaguchi, no one else, black belts or whomever will stay overnight in this Dojo, they have, and have told me time and again, it is haunted. I have now lived here going on three months. I sleep on a couch facing the dojo, and its arched entrance. I am awoken this evening by some noises:

I stood in the archway alone and a bit dazed, listening to the vanishing sounds of chairs being thrown all about, the windows shaking, I tremble some; look out the window, everything seems to be fine, no storm, no earthquake, no anything, I’m the only one in the dojo, the chairs are all in place. Then I think—as the noise continues throughout the dojo—what might be lurking, in the unseen?

Again I walk about the dojo, even up onto the platform, and down again, a casual inspection of the place, but when I moved toward the arched entrance, I detect a presence nearby—a hint of motion, by the wooden archway, leading to my bed, my couch that is, where I sleep. It is approaching the archway: with a triumphed ululation— I call out poignantly, to this unseen ghastly and noxious frightful, and mind-blowing, beggaring description, entity: “Who are you, I’m not afraid of you, show yourself!” Not sure now if this was a wise decision to nearly insult the nondescript.

Now I had delirious company. I cannot even hit what it was like, the uncanny and unwelcome spirit, walked by me slowly, I could see the bending, the impressions his bulk made as he took step to step by me, bone-revealing horror—he must have been huge. The floor showed his ghoulish food prints, as if it were a shade of grey being imprinted with each step he made into the collapsing grain of the wood. It was something from antiquity, desolate, putrid; God knows it was not of this world—or no longer of this world.

Nearly mad, I found myself unable to fight it with the stick in my hands, and although the noise stopped—as if it and been on a rampage—I found myself saying: “Lord, if ever I needed you I need you now, please!” And I said it out loud, and I was not a prayerful man in those days. I did not shriek, but the fiendish ghoul vanished, with his rampage, I could even hear his hideous hallow breathing, as he left.

Before I went back to sleep on that sofa-couch that looked through the archway and into the dojo, where the apparition pressed so hard into the wooden floor, I said to him: “We’ll have to share the dojo,” and that was that, the last I ever said to him, or heard from him.

#895 ((31March, 2013) (12:28 a.m.))