Yesterday P. told me about an odd, troubling experience he had. First, a couple things you should know about P. He carries his tiny digital camera with him all the time, and takes pictures of interesting things at a moment's notice. (He's my photo guru.) He also is a dedicated history buff, and always has at least one new history book he's reading. He's been looking forward to visiting the Tutankhamen exhibit in Chicago this summer; it promises to be just as interesting as the one that came here in 1977. And he's a steady, stable guy, not the least bit freaky.
Well, P. was downloading some photos off his camera to make room on the memory card. And in amongst the Chicago street scenes were sixteen carefully numbered negative images of... King Tut artefacts. No, he hasn't visited the exhibit yet (and even if he had, they surely wouldn't let you take photos like these in the exhibit; they'd make you buy them in the gift shop). And why negatives? They weren't true negatives, either; when he converted them to positives, they came out as faint pastels. Nobody borrowed his camera or his memory card. He lives alone and the dog doesn't know how to use the camera (or maybe she does, but disdains to use it). He didn't accidentally get someone else's card from the photo printing machine at the drugstore. There's just no good explanation, no "Aha!" waiting out there.
He deleted the mystery photos.
P's experience reminded me of my own inexplicables:
In college, I was studying one sunny day in a big park, spread out on the grass with my books. I happened to look up and I saw, on a street that bordered the park, a riderless bicycle going up the hill.
When I finished high school, we had both a graduation ceremony and a baccalaureate ceremony, which was held in the university chapel (a very grand space despite the name - more like a cathedral with tall narrow windows. As we sat there, I glimpsed out the window a white horse going by. This is clearly not impossible, but you just don't ever see horses in town, except maybe during a parade. I took it as a good omen.