Thursday, March 3, 2016

Intuition Is Real

I'm an intuitive kind of guy, it would seem. And, lately, this "skill" has been a little more active than in the past, as to warrant sharing.

First, a few months ago, I started seeing a pattern in my parking: wherever I would park, however randomly, I would find myself confronted with certain, repeating numbers on the license plates of neighboring cars (or, alternately, on a bumper sticker or other adornment). Now, my repeat-number drama is another phenomenon I've made some noise about, but the parking-space thing lent a new, intuitive dimension to it. The pattern goes like this: I'll be strongly and distinctly Compelled to park in a certain spot, and these Compellings will, almost without fail, land me squarely behind a license plate bearing one of "my" numbers (usually the number-repeat du jour). And that's how it goes as of late, again and again, such that, within the last few months alone, I've had it happen dozens of times, to the point of it becoming as common as the wind.

This particular flavor of the phenomenon is, admittedly, a tad murky, since you'd have to be me for such hard-to-convey subtleties like the Compellings and the conspicuous number-repeats to really have an impact (that is, seeing these numbers dozens of times over the course of a day, every day, for years on end, and always in nearly identical fashion). But, still, I found its mention appropriate to this post.

I dunno. Maybe someone will find this part notable (after all, I'm sure I'm not the only one experiencing this stuff).

* * *

Anyway. Moving along.

As for the second recent trend in my intuitive adventures, this one's a tad more somber: predicting the behavior of my fellow motorists. Or, rather, their rash, mortally dangerous behavior.

This hair-raising variant of my intuitive Compellings has popped up infrequently over the years, always in the gravely conspicuous fashion in this post's first link. However, unlike other kinds of synchronicistic phenomena I experience, these near-mishaps have, thankfully, been few and far between -- until last month, when I got two "near misses" within weeks of each other, both of them almost exactly alike.

The first was on 2/15, when I was stopped at a little four-way intersection within the parking lot of a large shopping center. I came to the intersection, stopped, waited ... but when my turn came up, something inside me said, "Stay" -- another Compelling, impossible to describe but no less striking. So I stayed. Then, a split-second later as I watched a truck approach the intersection, I had a second stirring, hot on the other's heels: that truck wasn't going to stop.

Well, the truck didn't stop. It sailed right through with barely a pump of the brakes, penetrating the exact space that my car's driver's side would've occupied had I gone through (as was logical and legal and totally "normal" to do). And need I mention that there was zero indication of the truck's murderous behavior beforehand (nor enough time for me to react even if there had been) ...?

And then, on the 29th, two weeks to the day, it happened again.

Another mini-intersection in a shopping center's maze-like parking lot. Another insistent Compelling to stay put when my time came to proceed. Another car barreling through the four-way stop, precisely as I somehow knew that it would (despite having no business of knowing such). And, of course, this all happened with no outward, logical indicators that would've allowed me to predict what was coming, even on a deeply subconscious level (or, again, to have time to react, with everything transpiring within a second or less).

This time, the only differences were that this car didn't even slow down, and that part of my Compelling was that it would not only blow through the stop sign but swerve through (which it did). Oh yeah, and this time, I wasn't in a car, but instead on my moped (which, for those unfamiliar with mopeds, are no match for any car, especially not a demonic minivan swerving by at speed).

* * *

My latest intuition was of a different, less-"Oh my God!" kind, and did not involve a motor vehicle in any capacity, parked or intersection-ignoring or otherwise.

This one involved food.

Umeboshi plums. The Japanese are fond of these, or so I've read. Ever heard of umeboshies? I hadn't, not until I happened across them at the health-food store.

Long story short: I saw this curious concoction, and was instantly seized by another Compelling: buy this stuff, and eat it. I read over the plums' Asian-character-marked packaging, looking for some possible reason why I should be interested in an odd ethnic food from an ethnicity that I cannot claim. And then, after I saw the plums' outlandishly high price ($35 and some change for a teeny little bottle), I reread the box, thinking I'd missed where the umeboshi will clean my house or cure cancer or do something to justify their cost. But, nothing other than nutrition facts and some optimistic marketing jargon.

My Compelling, however, remained unfazed: get the plums, ridiculous price or not.

I bought the plums.

Once again, I'll summarize: within a day after eating one of these zesty, salty little plums, I felt different. Better. My health is not what it could be; specifically, my digestion. And that's just what the plums seemed to address: my digestive issues, and the many systemic symptoms that result therefrom. I let myself get excited, but only a little; after all, my improvement could've been coincidence, if not outright placebo (despite my having no notion that the plums would improve my digestion, conscious or otherwise). So I experimented, noting the specific improvements that seemed to implicate the plums, and when/if they corresponded with my eating the stuff.

The improvements did correspond, without question. And the benefits continue to this day.

One thing bears mention here: my digestive woes were not a recent thing, nor something that I hadn't tried to address in the past. As it were, I've tried many, many, many remedies, from supplements to radical diets to yoga and special exercises to herbs and unguents and foul-tasting spices, all the way to fringe experimentation either too obscure or personal to expand upon -- without noticeable improvement. But then, from out of nowhere, I'd blindly bought this unfamiliar, expensive imported food, going on nothing but a classic "gut feeling" -- and it worked. (Though, as some after-the-fact research has pointed out, my results are not surprising, for umeboshi plums are traditionally known as a highly effective digestive remedy (known to the Japanese, at least -- and, it would seem, to whatever hidden force lay behind my intuitions).)

And, for what it's worth: umeboshi tastes damn good. I like to mix it with something sweet and savory, myself. Bonus.