Here’s a random memory that came floating into my mind recently. It was about that time when I ran into an old woman talking about a cursed family who had a dark history and she was warning me how she was trying to put a hex on them.
Most folks who stop you on the street are usually looking for directions, some loose change, or looking to make a sale (which is rare but it does happen). And these incidents rarely happen at night. In fact, if they ever happen at night, that’s when decisions should be made when the unexpected happens.
For one winter night in 2009, walking home from my evening classes, I wandered onto a snowy street where a crossed paths with an old woman who seemed to be looking for something. So, when she said, “Excuse me?” it was only natural to stop and see if it was something important. Because, one she’s an elderly person and I think it would be important if she needed help, especially if it was an emergency.
I was in a hurry at that time but it took me off-guard. My long walk was a cold hard one. It was the year of the bus strike that made going to school in Ottawa a living hell. I had moved into a cheaper apartment but with the bus system, it was supposed to be a good deal.
$300 bucks a month? Sure, why the hell not?
Then bad luck struck and it was the shittiest string of horribleness that happened to my life. In fact, it was the start of the great depression that still stings me now and then. It was one of the hardest moments of my life and all the people who were really great left me in the dust and I realized that either they didn’t like me or I had some problem that made me hard to connect to people.
So, that lack of human contact did factor in, so it was a delight to have someone to talk to.
“Do you know about the family that lives over there?”
Her finger points to some unknown direction from behind us. I had no idea what she was getting at and I said no.
“Well, they are cursed. Did you know that? They’re cursed. That family – they came from Nova Scotia and they came here and they are cursed.”
“Um, really?” I said, as politely as I could. It was at this moment, I realized I was dealing with something out of the normal. This gentle looking old woman, who posed no physical threat whatsoever, was sharing this idea that there was a cursed family that lived on the street. And she was telling me to avoid the place at all cost. I tried my best to sidestep away but she kept repeating and repeating. She went on to tell me about the hex she tried to put on the family and how they could read your minds if you tried to get too close to them.
I wasn’t scared. I wasn’t freaked out. I was mildly uncomfortable and it was bitterly cold out. So I accepted and added as little input to the conversation. She went on and on and kept talking about how they were murderers and how no one believed it because they cast spells that erased your memories. She’s been against them for years and she couldn’t get them. She told me to avoid the house and that family at all costs.
I thanked the old woman and we went our separate ways.
Well, actually, I went my way and she just stood there, staring at me with a look of great despair and warning. She kept that look until I turned the corner and went out of sight.
I definitely didn’t go that way ever again.