that cotton knit blankets, while snugly comfortable, provide a pathetically poor armor of defense against evil shadow apparitions.
I didn't have the heart to post the picture of the actual red eyed shadow figure that stalked and terrorized my poor Papi during his adolescence, but this cat eye contact lense is freaky enough. I mean, who outside of Marilyn Manson buys those things?
As a continuation of WOO WOO WEEK, we take you deep into the heart of Mexico, to the outlying mountainous suburbs of Mexico City where Papi grew up in a hard scrabble life without even one Taco Bell restaurant near by. Papi is/was/always will be a skeptical man. He's the Scully to my Mulder, attributing ghost stories to nothing more than hiccups of time and energy recorded and played over and over again. He discounts contacting "spirits", and the spirits who communicate back, along with aliens and U.F.O's as just further trickery of the Devil to confuse mankind and lead them astray from God. To some extent, I believe that theory. But Papi's very own terrifying encounter with a faceless, red eyed entity, makes me wonder how he can still believe that too.
In our faith, the young males who attain the age of 12 are then interviewed and deemed worthy or not of receiving the Priesthood. It's a pivotal stage in the life of a Church member, and Papi dutifully prepared himself for this event since the time of his early youth. His Grandmother, diagnosed with terminal cancer, came to live with the family, thus forcing Papi to give up his room, and share his sisters' bedroom.
As he lay sleeping one night shortly before his twelfth birthday, Papi awoke suddenly, and looked towards the open door. There stood something unrecognizable, cloaked in blackness, and staring back at Papi with piercing red eyes. Papi quickly pulled his blanket up over his head, refusing to acknowledge the presence that just barged into his room. While his sisters still slumbered on, the creature commenced to exerting a crushing pressure on Papi's body so that he could barely breathe. Even through the blanket, Papi could see the same crimson eyes meeting his. Papi started praying audibly, but in a small whisper, so as not to frighten his sleeping sisters. As he invoked the name of Jesus Christ in his prayer, the weight abruptly lifted. When Papi felt courageous enough to poke his head out from under his blanketed refuge, he saw not a trace of his attacker. Personally, K.C. And The Sunshine Band is my designated "Boogie Man." I guess Papi got assigned to someone less disco groovy, and far out.
Papi scoffs, and ridicules me for the stories I tell him revolving around our old house, but he neglected to reveal what happened to him until we had been in marital utopia (YES, that's right, marital UTOPIA!) almost 6 years. I sat in stunned amazement as the man who makes fun of everything and everybody took on a serious tone, and conferred that the entity visited him several more times to the day he actually received the Priesthood, then all activity ceased. That is, until, he readied himself to serve a mission at 18. The red eyed shadow figure returned oncemore shortly before Papi left, and each time Papi simply invoked the name of Jesus in prayer, and it thankfully disappeared. He never told his sisters anything about it.
A couple of years ago, while engaged in conversation with his sister, Coco, I mentioned the incident, and how odd that her and her sister slept through the attacks every time. Perturbed, Coco turned to me and quietly said, "The same thing happened to me repeatedly, but I never told anybody about it either."