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Fly Boy

Texas, USA
March 1997

For a very short time several years ago, I dated a Russian pilot named Mikhail. Mikhail had moved here about six months before I met him; and, it turned out he had come here illegally and was looking for a green card.

I really enjoyed his company; he was fun, he was cute, he was intelligent. Often on weekends, we would go out to an airstrip where he knew several guys who had planes and he would ask if he could borrow one to take me up. I had (still have) a tremendous fear of flying, so I was always relieved because none of the guys would let us borrow a plane. I think Mikhail thought he could cure my fear if he could take me up, but it never worked out. He did, though, constantly assure me that statistically, flying was safer than driving, probably even safer than walking, and I would argue that he was nuts.

As much as I liked him, the green card thing and some other circumstances broke us up after just a couple months. I found out from a mutual friend that only four or five months later Mikhail had married and settled down. I truly was happy for him.

After another three or four months passed, I picked up the phone one Monday to hear our mutual friend say, "Did you hear what happened to Mikhail?" It turned out that he had died in a plane crash the previous Saturday. He and another pilot had taken up some old plane and crashed mere seconds later. Both died immediately.

I honestly don't remember how soon it started; if it was that same day or within the next couple of days, but when I would come home from work the lights in the apartment would flash wherever I was. Then the downstairs TV went on the fritz. Actually, it worked fine. It just kept turning itself off.

I asked the complex management to send someone out to look at my wiring. They said it was just "power surges" and not to worry about it. After another day or two, I asked my next door neighbor if she was experiencing any power surges and she said no. I told her about Mikhail and jokingly asked if she thought I had company. She said, "Well, he was 36, newlywed, had everything to live for and died completely unexpectedly. He wasn't ready to go."

Meanwhile the lights and TV kept up their antics. I complained again to the complex, but they still wouldn't send anybody. So, illogically, I called the cable company, thinking that if they hooked up cable the TV would be OK. The strangest thing occurred one night when I woke up in the middle of the night to see the upstairs TV turning itself OFF AND ONand an oscillating fan next to the bed doing the same. I got up, unplugged the fan and the TV and went right back to sleep. Oh, and I think I yelled into the air something like, "Knock it off, Misha!"

All of this continued until the following Monday when the illogically, miraculous cable guy came. He hooked up both TVs about 10 o'clock that Monday morning and I never had another electrical problem after that.

Was it just a coincidence that Mikhail was buried at 10:00 that Monday morning? (Why wait so long for a burial, you ask? His family had to make arrangements to come here from Russia.). Why in the hell didn't he haunt his wife? I don't know, maybe he did?

Texas, USA
00:00 / 01:04
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