I don’t want to read too much into this, but then again it just may be part of my nature to do so. We are always trying to assign meanings to things and this case is no exception.
A few nights ago, on this past Friday, Sheri’s dad came on over to the house for a visit – he was divulging his latest plans to us, so being hospitable hosts we were attentive and fed him as well.
We talked, ate, and then said our goodbyes and off he went. We then closed the evening by turning in and going to bed.
The problem is, it was too early for me and I couldn’t go to sleep – even though I was tired. I had gotten up that morning with Sheri, who gets up at the crack of down to go to work and teach the bright young minds of tomorrow (um, right). Frankly, I don’t see how the teachers can do it, let alone being in high school and getting up that early – I remember those days and cursing every single one under my sleep-deprived breath. I had yet to discover the miracle of coffee – come to think of it, I still have yet to discover the miracle of coffee. Seems like another chore to me.
Anyhow – I couldn’t sleep. Unusual for me since I tend to go down quick, but am a light-sleeper, like most ninjas. So, I decided to go lay on the couch and work out what was on my mind. Laying there, in the dark, thinking, I heard a sound – something fell down on the back porch, right behind me.
Something fell, it was a slight crack that seemed a familiar sound – I decided to investigate as we have had a local kid come onto our property and steal Sheri’s computer out of her car before (another story…). I leaped up, snatched open the door and prepared myself to catch someone by the neck. I was ready to unleash an ass whoopin.
As I suspected, the fallen item was a broom – it had the familiar crack of plastic on cement. The broom was hanging on top of our outdoor closet – it had been hanging there without interruption for several weeks now. Why it suddenly fell was a mystery, there was no wind that was stirring. I suspected that the local thief had snuck onto the back porch and dislodged it – but I never heard the creak and drag of the patio door opening. I would have heard that as my head was right by the back door.
Still, something hung over me: the weight of suspicion. If I concluded that it wasn’t our suspect, then what happened?
It seems it was an unusual suspect.
I thought I saw smoke coming off the patio out of the corner of my eye. I looked again. On top of a coffee table on the back porch was this ceramic pot and out of it was smoke – rising like a phantom. This shocked me for a second as I thought I actually was seeing a ghost. I called to Sheri and asked her if she was seeing what I was seeing – she confirmed there was smoke coming out of this ceramic pot on the table.
We wondered how smoke was suddenly coming out of the pot – and it seemed that a cigarette is what initiated the smoke. It seemed to burn and cinder the peat moss in the pot that was there from when the plant was potted. Embers continued to glow as I churned through the soil with a stick – the pot itself was very hot.
Could our suspect have gotten on to the porch, smoking, knocked over the broom and had the courtesy to put his cigarette out in the pot on the table? That would take some balls, to say the least, but that is not what happened.
As it turns out, it was Sheri’s dad, who went out onto the back porch to have a smoke. He then put out his cigarette in the pot.
What is of interest to me though is the correlation between me not being able to sleep and being drawn to the smoke itself. It could have been a dangerous situation – the pot was smoking and with embers hot enough, it may have caught the wooden table it was resting on on fire. Who knows what may have transpired then.
It may just be coincidental. Or maybe there is a spirit protector watching over us. Who knows. It was strange that a broom would suddenly fall when there was nothing to push it off the closet door. Stranger still was the fact that single, simple event led me to discover the smoking pot, which I almost missed as it was dark out.
I’ll leave it at that – for now.