In order to save money to buy a house, my parents live-in janitorial and maintenance position for a clinic in a nice neighborhood for a little while. It came with a nice little apartment attached to the clinic and pay besides. It was the place my childhood memories begin. I was about two at the time. I remember that my orphaned first cousin, Gail, came to live with us there and became my sister, barely a year older than me. I remember the bunk beds and toy box my carpenter grandfather came to build for us in the little closet of our own little nursery, the blooming roses just outside the front door, that I loved apricot baby food, that my new sister and I used to take turns riding the buffer when our parents pushed it up and down the shiny clinic halls at night, and the lollipops stored in the cupboards of the exam rooms that we were not adverse to getting into.
I also remember George, my first invisible friend and, other than my new sister, fellow mischief maker. Not that he was invisible to me. He looked just as solidly real as anyone else to me, but no one else seemed to acknowledge his presence even when I pointed him out. Seeing as I was a little girl and not generally taken very seriously, though, this was not at all surprising to me at the time.
Whenever something got moved in the house that wasn’t supposed to be and it was out of mine and Gail’s reach, I would say that George had done it when I heard my mother commenting on it. He usually had.
Whenever something got broken or gotten into, George got the blame for that too. Sometimes, when left to my own devices for a while, Mom would find me seemingly in deep conversation with myself and would teasingly ask who I was talking to. “George,” I told her.
“Who is George?” she’d ask.
“Another grandpa,” I’d tell her at first, sometimes clarifying with, “He’s a doctor here.”
“Does he have another name?” she asked.
“Doctor,” I told her
“Doctor what?” she persisted.
“No, no, no, no. Not Doctor What. Doctor Kincaid.”
“Dr. George Kincaid?”
“Yes,” I told her and did in fact sometimes call him Dr. Kincaid or just plain Kincaid almost as often as I called him George.
Baffled, my mom looked at the lists of doctors registered for the clinic and didn’t find a current Dr. Kincaid, only a deceased one, and she wasn’t able to find whether or not his first name was George. It didn’t make any sense to her. She just thought what a funny coincidence it was that I came up with his last name and title.
With the additional money earned from working at the clinic as well as the money my mother secretly salvaged and saved from my dad’s pants pockets every night, my parents were soon able to put a down payment on a big beautiful pink house in a nice neighborhood of Fairfield. I was almost four at the time. When we moved there, Dr. George Kincaid moved there with us and still got the blame for everything as well as a lot of my childish efforts at conversation. He was also invited to all the imaginary tea-parties Gail and I hosted. I don’t know if Gail saw him or if she was just humoring me in this, however.
It was a beautiful house, but we didn’t live there long. The Kaiser Steel Mill my father worked for got into big legal trouble when a piece of steel fell on a worker and crushed him beyond recognition save for his steel-toed shoes. I’m not sure if they went out of business or what, but a lot of workers were laid off and my father was amongst them, so had to look for other work. He was offered an excellent job at Boeing in Everett, Washington, and so we moved there when I was five. It seems that Dr. George Kincaid didn’t come along this time, because I can’t remember him being around after that.
I don’t recall having another invisible friend until I was about twelve, which strikes me as an odd time to suddenly acquire such. I mean, shouldn’t have I outgrown it by then? Far from it though. These two new friends, Demetry and Malachi, felt every bit as real to me at twelve as had Dr. Kincaid to me as a toddler. Yet I couldn’t see them and was troubled by this as I could hear their voices fairly clearly enough most of the time.
This isn’t to say I’d hear them any time of day I chose to listen. I thought I heard their voices sometimes when I was daydreaming while awake, something I was notorious for during boring lectures in school, but most of the time I’d hear them at night, just as I was about to drift asleep – in that borderland between waking and sleep. Then I would hear them very clearly talking to me, teaching me things, answering my random off-the-wall questions. One of those questions was what they looked like. Malachi verbally described himself though as golden-skinned and white-haired but gave me no literal visuals.
Once, after having read The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, I asked if time travel were really possible. Malachi told me “Yes” in a very audible voice and then sent me a stream of illustrative imagery coupled with the occasional term here and there: a river he called “Consciousness” running through an ageless forest to an endless sea. I wondered, seeing this, if time travel simply meant getting out of the river and walking in any direction one cared to along its banks but the next image he sent me was more technical: a girl supine on a table, apparently asleep (“Theta” Malachi corrected), with a headdress of rectangular black stones (“Germanium, radio crystals” he specified) held in a line with some fine gold-colored wires across her forehead and attached to her temples by something he called “electrodes.” There was also a board of small lights near and beneath a monitor that showed what she was seeing in some other time. I couldn’t see how or if that part were connected to her.
I was excited though. Whether Malachi was done showing me this or not, I spontaneous jerked myself full awake from the vision and ran to my desk to try and write down all I’d seen and the terms Malachi had tried to teach me. I got some of it but had the feeling that I had not stuck around long enough to get the whole spiel.
I liked Malachi’s answers better than Demetry’s. He would give me serious answers, usually taking the form of symbolic images being played through my mind. Her replies were more often phrased in half-sarcastic sounding riddles, as though she were giving me clues but, unlike Malachi was NOT simply going to give me the answers. I’d have to struggle for them if I wanted them. Kind of a Good Cop, Bad Cop scheme of teaching methinks.
Melichi’s answers would sometimes excite me so much that I just had to share them. Luckily I had a very tolerant little brother, because my sister Gail would have none of it and was more inclined to throw things at me than listen. So it was on my brother Kevin’s door I would sometimes knock in the middle of the night of early morning, babbling excitedly while he patiently listened and even shared my enthusiasm. Sometimes he even gave me the next questions to ask. I have a very unusual brother.
Demetry and Melichi gradually faded from my life. I don’t know when. It seems as though they were with me for about four years, but that’s only a guess. My memories of them have gone fuzzy over time. All that has remained of them is the way I’ve since received inspiration for poetry, the occasional story, and some unusual ideas: they come in a flash flood of images, scents, sounds, and feelings in just the way Melichi used to answer complex questions, but never any longer with a voice attached.
In a way, I was kind of relieved when they faded away. I felt a bit crazy being able to hear them the way I did, knowing full well somehow that other people wouldn’t have and if I’d ever said anything to them about (my brother excepted), they’d think I was nuts.
Only once in my adulthood can I recall ever having heard voices like that again and this time it was for sure not Malachi or Demetry. I was at my Army reserve unit at Paine Field in Everett walking past one of the aircraft hangars with some friends when I suddenly heard, loud and clear, a pilot requesting permission to land and the controller answering, complete with the mechanical static noises that accompany such communications. Mind you though, the control tower was way across the field from me so I was really surprised to be hearing this. I stopped dead and asked my friends if they could hear it too. They had no idea what I was talking about. I had to specify. They then looked at me like I’d lost my marbles all over the sidewalk with all manner of odd looks on their faces before one of them said, “You couldn’t have heard that. It isn’t possible.”
Needless to say I dropped the subject and never mentioned it again. If I couldn’t, then how was I? And what about the way I’d heard Malachi and Demetry? Maybe I was a little crazy. I decided to leave well enough alone.
I never heard of anyone hearing voices that wasn’t crazy until recent years when I started hearing of other people who did it that were not in any way certifiable: mediums, both accidental and deliberate, and UFO abductees. Whatever the nano-chip device is that so many abductees are tagged with it appears to act not only as a tracking device but also as a device capable of two-way communication. Duely noted and categorized, but I didn’t want to think about that over much. My husband has a pyramid shaped one that appeared in his back about 5 years ago that I haven’t been able to dig out of him and that the doctor, while puzzled about it, wouldn’t remove – entirely beside the point. Maybe it’s just an odd little growth because as far as I know, he doesn’t hear voices.
Meanwhile, my friend Juniper has finally taught me the word for hearing voices with one’s inner ear: Clairaudience. Learning this has given me the wherewithal to look it up. I found this: Clairaudience: Further Exploration and Development including this intriguing side comment:
“Sometimes people developing clairaudience will pick up on foul language or hear some ‘not so nice’ things. If you are properly protected, this is usually just your fears playing with you… or you may be accidentally picking up on a telephone wire or literal conversation happening somewhere in your vicinity… don’t be alarmed. You can shut down, or ask your guides to step in. This sometimes happens when our energy level is low.”
It was an “A-hah!” moment for me. Okay. I’ll stop now.