Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Ghost and kantanods

We have a picture of the family hanging on our plywood wall. There are slots in there where we, individually, then with our families…it’s like a family tree picture frame. There was an odd slot, so my youngest sister, who doesn’t want to disturb the distribution of the slot, inserted the picture of my deceased brother. I never knew this older brother of mine. He died when he was about three years old. I was about a year old then.

Anyway, my wife was looking at picture and she ran to me, pointed at the picture and said, “Look at the picture, there’s a ghost.” Ghost don’t bother me, although there are times that I feel my hair rising because of some movies or books that I read that suddenly pops in my head while walking or typing at midnight, but generally I have a peaceful relationship with ghosts. I looked at the picture frame and the old black and white photo is askew. I was looking at it and …its not the askewness that is disturbing, it’s the old black and white photo of a smiling child. It’s the photo, the black and white photo that is emitting or radiating this kind of creepy energy that my wife seemed to feel.

Before, when I was a child I and my friends feared oil painting and portraits. We don’t have any painting in our house but one of our neighbor’s old house had one. An old house and an old oil painting is a creepy combination especially during those days when the light our neighbor used was a 50 watt incandescent lamp. So whenever it we lost track of time playing at our neighbor's old house, it’s evening, on our way home, we would pass by the painting without looking at it, half trotting, and half running; felt like the painting is looking at us.

I remember an old man, a neighbor a little farther from our house. My father told me that he was a kantanod (night creature that feeds on the scent of a pregnant woman). The man is old, dirty, that’s what made him scary, his dirty looks. I don’t know if what my father told me was true or he just told me that so that I would stay away from the man because neighborhood kids made fun of him and his old pedicab. The old man died in his sleep, no one noticed his death until his one room shanty started to smell.

My father told me that the oldman was a kantanod because he was often seen walking at night near houses with pregnant women. Those were the days when there were no streetlights and lamps were still widely used. But today if that oldman is seen walking at night, in the light of streetlamps, nobody would call him a kantanod. He will be called a methamphetamine addict, the new night creatures more fearsome than the kantanods.

No comments: