Looking back on it, I do seem to remember a strange whistling sound in the background. I thought it was just a spurious noise, so I ignored it. As the whistling got louder, I could hear the sound of a plane’s engines roaring overhead. It was odd. I hadn’t heard them until just then, when they had been just as loud for at least a minute before. I realized that I had been hearing the sound, but I was simply not interested in it. As the whistling was at its highest peak, the thought crossed through my mind that it might be a bomb. I knew this was just the product of paranoia, but I started to become worried.
I looked at the digital clock on my desk and realized it was 4:19 AM. ‘I should get to bed,’ I remember thinking. The whistling didn’t seem to be coming closer anymore, but it was just as loud as before. The sound of the plane’s engines wasn’t drifting off, either. I assumed it was being caused by a private pilot circling the area. I turned to the window on my left, which was completely blocked by a blanket I had hung there. I looked in the direction it sounded like the whistling was coming from. I remember I regretted hanging the blanket, as I couldn’t see outside to find out what the whistling was.
It had gotten a lot louder by now. It was loud enough to drown out all the other normal background noises. I could still hear the planes, now plural, but not very well. I couldn’t tell if they were further away, or if the whistling was just throwing me off. I decided I had better start getting ready for bed, and glanced at the clock to see what time it was.
To my utter astonishment, it was still 4:19. I stared in confusion, expecting the digits to change at any second. I stared for what felt like several full minutes, and didn’t see the clock change. Entranced by the clock, I had completely forgotten about the whistling. It seemed louder than ever. I had no idea what was making the noise, but decided I would give it a few minutes to go away before I confronted anyone. I don’t think I could hear the planes anymore, but I’m pretty certain that by this point they had been completely drowned out by the whistle.
I stared at the clock, unsure of what to do about the situation. Digital clocks generally don’t stop. I stared at the clock, waiting for it to change, to go off, but it did nothing. I started losing myself in thought while staring at it, and my eyes made the numbers mix together. I turned my head toward the window. It was definitely passing right by here, whatever it was.
I decided to go outside, to check it out. I started to get up, but suddenly lost the motivation. I decided I would just pull apart the blinds, and take a quick peek, for curiosity’s sake. Just as I was about to reach my arm out, I saw the clock change in my peripheral vision. It was now 4:20. ‘That’s very odd,’ I thought to myself. I briefly wondered if maybe time itself had slowed. Just as I was reaching out for the blinds, the whistle disappeared completely. I paused mid-reach, completely awestruck by what was happening.
I saw through the thick blanket a concentrated light. It looked like a flashlight, except it was far too bright. I watched the light, mesmerized. It began to slowly transform into a bigger light. I assumed that someone had probably already called the police and figured whatever strange show was going on, they would shut it down. I had been watching the light slowly grow for a few minutes, and every time I looked back, it was double the size it was before.
I went between staring dumbfounded at the clock, and looking mesmerized at the light growing outside my window. I noticed I could hear nothing now. And figured that the loud whistling had probably driven all the crickets and other noise-creating animals away. This was a good sound, and I still silently campaign for an insect-deterring whistle every night.
I look back up at the window, or maybe I was already looking at it. I see the light is at least ten times brighter than before. It is actually painful to look at, even through the blanket. It seems to encompass the entire room. I look over at my roommate’s room, to see if he noticed any of this too, but he appears to have slept through it.
—content from Stoner Culture
Hemp for Victory (1942) -
2 months ago