It was a late spring night leading to the hot nights of summer. Sunday at BJ’s got the old appetite going just right. Arriving at 10 pm seemed like an easy sitting for some food and a few beers, yet this was not the case. We were handed a restaurant blinker and the wait began. We went outside to wait under the night sky sitting on the red brick. We watched women in their stilettos, young men and their dates, groups of computer nerd men and happy families coming and going from the late night pub. This evening something strange happened. I did something I usually do not do. I started to scan the hotel Hilton a couple of parking lots across the way. I would say this Hilton is a 20 story high Hotel. Some nagging thoughts came to mind,
“Look at the lights in the rooms” and “I wonder if I could see any people in these rooms?”
As I scanned the now black and white hotel I realized how the rooms looked fairly empty. Some curtains were drawn and some open, a few lights on. Then one room pulled me in as a focus magnet. It grabbed me in. I could hear my family talking besides me. Yet, time blurred and I felt time slow down as well. In my view was a large big screen TV monitor which was the size of the hotel room. It was unique and the image was set back but I could tell what it was. The image was the movement of soft hues of blue and it was moving around and around in the dark room. I thought to myself,
“How strange it is to see this, There are not any other room like this one!”
Flash. I saw a flash. This flash lit up the room like an electrical storm, and then I saw the flash again and again go off. My senses were on edge and my focus was even pulled deeper not knowing at first what pulled me like water down a drain into this drama that was unfolding before my eyes. My over curious mind told me,
“I know that light, it is the flash from a camera, and it is quick and bright and blinding.”
Seconds later the lights in the room were turned on and I viewed the back of a man. No one else was in the room that I could see. He had on a white shirt with long sleeves, a black tie and he had black hair, wavy black hair. He was a husky man. The room was still dimly lit. Then he took some more shots with his camera. It looked like he was taking his pictures on his camera towards the large TV screen from different angles. The light from the room went off completely in moments. He continued to take more shots with his camera. Then it stopped. I was slightly aware of talking next to me again and of people coming and going around me. I clearly said to myself,
“This is so strange and I feel awkward about this, why am I continuing to stare?”
In another moments time he took another picture in the dark. It flashed and lit up the room. I noticed him clearly behind the flash of the camera. He was taking the shot in the direction towards the outside of the hotel room. I woke up and my mind yelled,
“What? He has turned around and is taking pictures from his hotel room of this town, of this restaurant?”
I was shocked like the electric flash of his camera.
“Has he caught me looking at him? Is he communicating to me by flashing his camera my direction?”
The room was far enough away and high enough not to catch my gaze from the inside of a hotel room. Yet in my mind I was thinking,
“Oh my, he has sensed me, he found my interest. Why is he taking these pictures, of whom is he capturing in his camera in the room? I see no one else there?”
I did not want to watch anymore so I slowly with great strength moved my stare away from the room. I noticed from my peripheral vision that the flash went off a few more times, and as my gaze stopped so did the flashes. The room faded and the restaurant’s blinker went off. Our time had come to go into the restaurant. We waited only 10 minutes, but my heart was racing from this awkward experience as we walked into BJ’s. The black and white of the night died to the warm bright colors of the pub inside and as I took my first drink of beer I let my paranoid thoughts melt away.
“Will he be waiting for us when we leave; was I a witness to something unspeakable or on the edge of the diabolical?
Unpublished Works@ Hudley Flipside June 2012