For the first time since our unlikely paths crossed, the apparition took notice of my intention to lead ‘the conversation’. To my relief, he ceased his angry exhortations and allowed me to guide the exchange of information. Rather in-eloquently, I sputtered and stammered a few cursory questions. I asked who he had been in life; and why he was invading the private sovereignty of my home.
After my previous attempt had failed, I was actually taken aback when I heard his response inside my head. It was even more startling because he used my own ‘voice’ to speak.
“I stand here; not to judge you for your actions thus far; but for those things that you have not done. I am the earthly manifestation of your lost opportunities. As of late, you have completely squandered your life; to the point of absolute separatism. The hermetic, solitary existence you lead in this loveless dwelling is a waste of humanity. It will be your end. Avoiding others has deprived you of meaningful relationships and starting a family. That is the nature of your sin. Repent, before it is too late!”
In that pivotal moment of clarity, all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. The familiar, lifeless eyes boring holes through me were actually my own. I was him; and sadly the ‘lifeless specter’ in the darkness was I. The hair-raising, supernatural experience was apparently a psychological cautionary tale. My subconscious mind had woven an intricate tapestry of hallucinatory visions to encourage me to start living a more socially rewarding life. I needed to start interacting with others again.
From that day forth, I made a much greater effort to bridge the gap I felt with others. I worked hard to build upon whatever mutual strengths I had with them. At the same time, I did my best to diminish personal differences that previously kept me at arm’s length. Eventually I came out of my paralyzing shell of insecurity and shyness. With my renewed positive attitude, I married a beautiful young lady who bore me four precious children.
That was more than twenty years ago. I’ve never divulged my harrowing experience before now; for fear they might question my sanity. Regardless of whether it was real, or imagined out of desperate loneliness; I owe my happiness and personal fulfillment to that spectral visitor in the dark.