I Want to Believe

Published 4:16 pm Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Written by Steve Wong

Call me boring (my wife does), but I’ve never had a supernatural experience. I’ve always wanted one and consider myself fairly open minded, but I’ve never seen a ghost, caused a fire by thinking hot thoughts, read a mind, or been abducted by little green men who would probe and prod and then leave me naked and confused in a field of kudzu 50 years into the future.

I’ve never really even had a moment of déjà vu — unless you count that “oh, crap” feeling I get when I see a flagged email from my editor the day after missing a deadline.

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I’ve always thought I should have supernatural experiences because of my upbringing. My mother was extremely superstitious and was fond of making predictions that never came true — but that never stopped her from making more. As a young woman, she swore she would never live to see 30, until she began swearing that she would never live to see 40. After 40, she believed her time would come before she turned 50, and so on and so forth. She passed away peacefully this year at the age of 84, after predicting she would not live to be 85. She was right, I’m sorry to say.

Mother was big believer in dreams, black cats, itchy palms, broken mirrors, spiders hanging in front of doors or over beds, dropping dinnerware, eating blackeyed peas and collard greens on New Year’s Day, and rubbing the belly of Buddha before playing BINGO down at the American Legion Hall on Friday nights.

And, she believed in ghosts, having reported seeing her dead father, Aunt Matt, and husband numerous times. Normally, these temporal visits were nothing more than social calls in that great Southern tradition of just dropping by unannounced to chew the fat. During my bi-weekly visits, Mother would tell me about her dreams/visits from the Great Beyond and how she interpreted them. They were always trying to “tell her something,” and that “something” gave her a lot of wiggle room to interpret as she saw fit. On rare occasion, she would call me in a near panic because she had dreamt about me, my brother, our wives or children, and “just wanted to make sure everything was okay because, you know, I have these dreams that always come true.”

Mother truly believed she was psychic: those closest to her fondly believed she was just a little psycho. Rest assured, dear reader, that if my mother pays me visit because of this column or any other reason, I’ll let you know. Honestly, a visit from my mother would most certainly freak me out. She believed that mothers and sons held a “special bond” — a nebulous belief I don’t care to put to the test.

Still, I want my own authentic encounter with the unexplainable. In recent months, I’ve started paying more attention to the marketing of “true psychics,” those supposedly gifted individuals who shuffle Tarot Cards, read palms, see auras, and channel the dead.

I’ve been tempted countless times by the flashing neon signs and Facebook ads of “readers,” madams, and mediums, but have yet mustered the courage (or cash) to enter the retail realms of The Twilight Zone. As it stands, I’m nothing more than a fan of things that go bump in the night. I’ve read most of the stories by H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, and Stephen King. If I could buy a ticket to The Outer Limits, I would. And I set my iPhone reminders so that I don’t miss an episode of Supernatural or The Walking Dead. Heck, I get Google Alerts for Lizard Man, that phony but fun mascot of Bishopville, S.C., my wife’s hometown.

I’m truly looking, and if you know of an opportunity to peek behind the wizard’s curtain that you would not mind sharing with me and the rest of the world, please let me know. Surely, with a name like “Dark Corner” there has to be a working wormhole that links the Carolina Foothills to the other side. I just need to find it.

As one of my all-time favorite television characters — Fox Mulder from The X Files — is stereotyped for saying, “I want to believe.”

If you are psychic (or psycho) or know of an unexplainable situation that could make Steve Wong a believer of the unbelievable, please use the Vulcan Mind Link or contact him at Just4Wong@Gmail.com. He’s writing in the peach orchards, looking for an encounter of any kind. •