There are times, in a person’s life, when one encounters strange people or bizarre events that leave more questions than answers in their wake. Some encounters happen that take a lifetime to understand and sometimes events occur that one will never come to understand. I’m not sure where I stand with the story I am about to share with you, because I’m still alive and still have many years ahead of me pregnant with the possibility that I will come to understand what happened. I still have many years to find the answers to who or what came to visit me those two nights in my childhood, and why. But as it stands, right now at this writing, I have no understanding about what happened anymore than I did then.
So did I.
During the eleventh summer of my life, I shared a bedroom with my younger sister. We lived in the country, our nearest neighbors were trees, so the windows were open to the fresh, Indiana breezes. My mother made the ruffled, pink and white gingham curtains that billowed at the windows in our bedroom. They matched the bedspreads she’d made for our beds. Pink walls with pink throw rugs that dappled the dark, hardwood floor. Our chest of drawers had been stained to resemble pink marble, with roses appliqued in the center of each heavy drawer. This was before the era of Martha Stewart but Martha would have agreed it was a good thing.
After a particularly active day running the length of the field behind our house flying kites with my three younger siblings, we didn’t put up too much resistance that evening when our mother announced it was time to go to sleep and hunt some dreams. So after our baths and in our jammies, we children went to bed leaving our mother her first bit of quietude of the day.
Much later, deep into the night, when doors to nocturnal worlds are opening, I began dreaming there was a large, lustrous, sideways teardrop on the wall above my bed, undulating. It would then begin to move slowly, clockwise, gaining speed as it traversed the walls in my room.
It would pass the window on the wall at the foot of my bed to the corner of the room, turning, passing the closet and the entrance door to our bedroom to the corner, turning, passing the wall above my sister’s bed to the corner, turning to pass the window on the wall between our beds to the corner, turning, passing the wall above my bed and on and on this glowing, sideways teardrop sped around my room, gaining such speed it would no longer resemble a teardrop, but rather a very long streak of light.
Then it would slow until it came to a stop on the wall above my bed and there it would sit, trembling and undulating. The dream had a sinister, nightmare quality to it. I was terrified, paralyzed. I don’t know why I was terrified because the incandescent sideways teardrop did nothing in my dream except speed around the walls of my bedroom, stopping to quiver and undulate above my bed, doing nothing to threaten me and doing nothing to harm me. Still I was petrified. So frightened, in fact, that I was slammed wide awake.
And there, on my wall above my bed, was the phosphorescent sideways teardrop, undulating. Identical to the one in my dream. It began to move, slowly, casually, then to gain speed until, like in my dream, it became a streaking flash of light circling the walls in my room. Alternately it would stop above my bed, to undulate and quiver, only to begin moving again, gaining tremendous speed as it flashed around the walls of the room.
I don’t remember returning to sleep, but I must have because the next thing I know it’s morning and I woke up in my bed. The first thing I remember was the dream and the sideways teardrop on my wall. I leaped from my bed to search for my mother to tell her what happened.
The adults in my family considered me a very imaginative child. Fey, airy, conjuring or reading into things that they didn’t believe was necessarily there and was rarely taken seriously. So, it came as no surprise to me when my mother listened to my tale of the dream and the sideways teardrop with half an ear and tried to send me on my way. But I wasn’t about to be brushed off so easily.
What I’d just told my mother really happened and surely if my mother would just listen to me she’d be able to help me understand the meanings behind that strange phenomena. So after insisting I be allowed to repeat my story, she still doubted my veracity, explaining that I must have dreamed of being awake when I was really only dreaming the entire time. But, I knew different, I knew what happened. I knew what I saw. And I was awake when I saw a white, gleaming sideways shaped teardrop ripping around my bedroom on the walls.
I was determined that my mother believe me so I told her when it happened again that night, I’d wake my sister and she would be my witness. Delighted that I would be momentarily satisfied if she went along with me, my mother agreed if my sister claimed to see this teardrop herself, then she would investigate the mystery.
That summer day was spent in the back field, again, flying kites. When I tired of racing across the pasture, stubbled by hundreds of herded hooves over time, pulling and guiding a bird made of paper, wood and cloth, I whiled away the rest of the day up in my tree reading a book on haunted houses, thinking, hoping, I might find an answer to the teardrop between its pages. But alas, the book mentioned not one word on glowing, sideways teardrops that paid little girls visits in their dreams and on the walls of their bedrooms in the middle of the night. Not one single word.
The day progressed as lazy, summer days do and much later, after dinner, family TV, baths and jammies, we children went to bed. Just before lights off, I reminded my sister that when the teardrop visited again, I would wake her up. And with that agreement, we went to sleep.
That night I dreamed there was an opalescent sideways teardrop hovering on the wall above my bed undulating, quivering, visibly throbbing. It was about three feet in length with a two foot span at its width. Again, as in my dream the night before, it began moving, slowly, calmly, in an almost detached manner, clockwise, around the walls of my room. Then, as before, it accelerated, eventually traversing the walls with speeds making the teardrop shape transmogrify into a lightning-snake eating its own tail. All four walls would be streaked with the light from this bizarre entity. It would begin to slow and the teardrop shape would become discernable from the streak of light it was before. It would eventually come to a stop on the wall above my bed and breathe, quiver, tremble.
Then I woke up, terror stricken.
For there it was, again, above my bed on the wall.
I immediately threw back my summer blanket and jumped from my bed to my sister’s bed. I honestly don’t think my feet touched the floor, I just flew across the room. When I landed on her bed she awoke immediately. I couldn’t speak, I just pointed to the wall across the room above my bed. Her head turned, it seemed, in slow motion to look at where I was pointing just as the teardrop started moving across the wall, gaining tremendous speed, then passing above our heads as it moved over the wall above my sister’s bed, accelerating, going faster and fasterfasterfasterfaster until the teardrop shaped disappeared into a long streak of illumination that circled all four walls like a giant glow-in-the-dark hula hoop. Then as before, it slowed and slowed then stopped above my bed and quivered like a vibrating bowl of vanilla custard.
I looked at my sister. Her face was etched with fear and amazement and I knew she would be an excellent witness in the morning. I probably should have woken my mother up right then and there, but instead, I found the courage to walk across the room and touch the teardrop while it was stationary, though undulating, on the wall above my bed.
When looking at the sideways teardrop, it had a three dimensional quality and seemed if I touched it my hand would sink and disappear into its milky pearlescence. But it was like touching the flat, one dimensional surface of the wall. The teardrop itself had no substance that I could feel. It did not illuminate my hand, or the room, nor did my hand make a shadow on the teardrop.
I don’t remember anything more after that. I don’t remember going back to my sister’s bed, nor do I remember climbing into my own bed. But I must have because the next thing I do remember, I awoke in my own bed to the smell of coffee percolating and frying bacon.
Immediately, I woke my sister and together we went to our mother who was making breakfast in the big country kitchen. I retold the same story I’d initially recited the morning before but this time I had a witness. My sister backed my story by confessing she’d seen the teardrop herself. She told our mother that she and I had sat on her bed for a long time watching this teardrop alternate between speeding around the room and stopping on the wall above my bed. I didn’t have a recollection of this, but I didn’t dispute her confession. It sounded right, if only because I sat and watched it do that very thing the first night I dreamed of the teardrop and woke to it’s reality on my bedroom wall.
My mother went to our bedroom to investigate how this bizarre phenomenon could have transpired. She made a great show of looking over the entire room. She looked in the corners, under the beds, under the scattered, pink throw rugs, in the closet, behind the heavy chest of drawers, in the drawers themselves. She examined the ruffled curtains and the road outside in relation to our windows, but even if a passing vehicle could have possibly reflected their headlights into the shape of a teardrop, the illumination from the headlights could not traverse all four walls at the velocity that the teardrop did. Not without wrapping the vehicle around a few of the trees that lined our road. Any passing vehicle would have left the shadow impressions on the walls of the trees outside our square shaped windows with the ruffled curtains. There was nothing inside our room or outside our windows that would have, could have, explained to our mother what had happened in the dark of the night in her daughters’ bedroom.
To this day, some thirty years later, the teardrop phenomenon continues to remain a mystery. I don’t understand what the teardrop represented or what or who it was. I have no idea what it was trying to convey as it accelerated around the room at great speeds, or what message it was trying to send when it stopped above my bed and sat there undulating, almost like it was breathing. I don’t know why it chose that particular time in my life to visit or why it chose never to come again. Mostly, I don’t understand the significance of my dreaming about the teardrop two consecutive nights in a row before waking up to its authentic reality twice or why it chose to repeatedly stop on the wall above my bed, as opposed to, say, my sister’s bed. If my sister had not witnessed that strange event with me the second night, I might, today, believe it really had been but a dream. But she did see it happen.
Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end,
by forces over which we have no control. It is determined
for insects as well as for the stars. Human beings, vegetables,
or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned
in the distance.
~ Albert Einstein
© 1991 MRD, revised 2005
The Transcendental Visitor is a true story. It happened during my 11th year. I’ve had many people over the years, when hearing this story, give me their ideas as to what could have happened those two nights. Their insights ranged from alien abduction to celestial visitations. If anyone has any ideas, insights, similar experiences, please share them. It may shed light on what happened all those years ago.