Why did I leave you say? Well.
Before I launch into that little ditty I’d like to share something with the wide world that only a handful of people know about me.
Here it is: I’m like 97.5% convinced that I have a stupid and un-useful superpower. And that superpower is turning off street lamps.
You’re more than welcome to stop reading right there, like, “that’s enough Paris for one day” – I get it. I live with me. It’s draining. But if you’re interested in learning more about your friend/internet stranger (that you’re pretty sure is certifiable) then read on.
It all started when I lived in Discovery Bay (Hong Kong) as a young teen. It was the first time I was out and about, alone after dark. Discovery Bay is a (for lack of a better term) gated community, popular amongst expats in Hong Kong because of its central plaza, safety (own security guards and no cars – only golf buggy’s and internal mini buses), remoteness (it is on Lantau island) and convenience to Hong Kong Island (by ferry) and the airport (by bus, where a lot of expat pilots worked).
I started noticing that the lamp at the bottom of our hill would always turn off, the closer I walked to it, and would only turn back on as I moved away from it up the hill towards our apartment. As an angsty teen, and someone who generally believed that I was meant to attend Hogwarts school of Witch Craft and Wizardry, a small voice inside me was a bit like: well duh???
But then, as I got older, I noticed it more often. I don’t want you to think that I’m like Dumbledore going around switching off lights with a clicker, or that every street light I was under ALWAYS goes off. It’s just some street lights on occasion. But it happens often enough that I’ve pointed it out to boyfriends who roll their eyes at me. They accept that this is just something I jokingly know/believe about myself, and we all go on with our lives.
So. The streetlamp thing has led me to believe a) that my owl got lost on its way to find me and I AM Harry Potter-esque, but also b) that there is something woo-woo about me.
I sometimes get intuition about people (and I’m VERY good at reading people) and sometimes get gut feelings about things. Some may call it coincidence, some may call it manifestation. Whatever it is, there are times where I will get SUCH a strong feeling about something that I can’t ignore it. Dumb things like last week I KNEW I would get on stage at The Moth and I KNEW I would be first, and I was. And big life things like I KNEW I would get a job at the very last minute and stay in LA.
Obviously I haven’t won the lottery (or have I and am keeping it a secret?!) so it’s not like I can predict the future but…
You get it.
So last night in this movie theatre, I was all excited and happy (yay cheap Tuesday movie date night) when a guy walked into the theatre past us on our row, and I got one of my gut feelings. I could not shake it and I could not stop staring at this guy.
He was alone, and I cannot explain to you what it was, but I just got the most terrible feeling in my stomach. And my brain was yelling: GET OUT OF THERE.
By the way, I was with my boyfriend who is never going to let anything bad happen to me ever. And it was still light outside and we were in a VERY nice part of LA. But I couldn’t shake the feeling.
So I told my boyfriend (who was like…what do you think he has a gun or something?!) and told him I was going to stand outside for a minute and I texted my friend (because…I don’t know why? She looks after my dog and I wanted to know he wouldn’t die alone if I died?) and she told me the same thing had happened to her and to just get out of there. She sent me a screenshot from the book ‘The Gift of Fear“.
Long story short, I had freaked out my boyfriend and myself and we left (thank you for refunding us movie theatre).
And we went home and watched the film ‘Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile“, a movie about the series killer Ted Bundy (genius I know, to leave a fun movie to go home and watch a tense courtroom drama about a man who raped and murdered women).
But the thing is, is, a part of the film is about these victims, and how they trusted this guy, who was charming and so handsome (I disagree). It was the 70’s and apparently women didn’t think it was weird to help a guy in the middle of the woods. But I had to wonder if there was a voice inside of them that was like: “I dunno this seems bad”, and they ignored it because like me, they didn’t want to feel crazy.
It may seem weird to watch a movie about this when I was feeling so freaked out about my weird gut feeling, but actually it made me feel vindicated like: sometimes you get a bad feeling and you just gotta go with it. The further we moved away from the movie theatre, the better I felt. Like I could breathe.
So of course we have this app which tells you about crimes committed in your area (in real time – sometimes I am like what the fuck LA) and of course through the night I zoomed in on the area of the movie theatre. And of course nothing bad happened (yet…that we know of…not that I wish something terrible HAD happened but I feel like I kinda would have been a bit like HA SEE?).
That guy was probably just some normal person seeing a movie by himself on a Tuesday night.
And maybe I am a little crazy and weird (or more likely, I have an undiagnosed anxiety complex/illness) for walking out of a movie because of a “feeling”. But if that Ted Bundy film taught me anything, it’s that it’s okay to self-preserve, its okay to listen to the little voice in your gut/head/heart.
And it’s okay that I think my energy somehow turns off street lamps.