I’ve seen some bizarre coincidences in my time, but I’ve only experienced one synchronicity I’d go so far as to call “paranormal.” The year was 2005, the place was my tiny studio apartment in Manhattan’s East Village. I started listening to Love’s magnificent 1967 album Forever Changes for like the 23rd time in my life when I decided that this time, I wanted to enjoy it in a warm bath with a stiff drink. So I twisted the bath faucets to the perfect temperature, plugged the drain, and went to mix a gin and tonic while the tub filled.
As I fixed my drink, the song “A House Is Not A Motel” began. Now, Forever Changes is an album that emits disquieting vibes even while it seems pretty and flower-childish on the surface. And “A House Is Not A Motel” is the album’s darkest song, pulsating with paranoia and apocalyptic urgency.
I was cutting a slice of lime, and I heard Arthur Lee sing:
…and the water’s turned to blood,
and if you don’t think so, go turn on your tub,
and if it’s mixed with mud,
you’ll see it turn to gray
Which reminded me I should check on the bath, make sure it wasn’t overflowing. And when I got to the bathroom, I saw that the water rushing from the faucet had turned a reddish-brownish-grayish color.
Sure, it was only rust, not blood and/or mud. But come on, the timing was beyond uncanny. I’m not ashamed to admit it spooked me. Could it be that curious and inscrutable forces trapped within Forever Changes were messing with me, snickering from behind the wall of reason? I turned off the album, drained the tub…and honestly, I don’t remember what after that. Probably gulped my drink and curled up in bed for a couple hours.
I won’t try to convince anyone that “A House Is Not A Motel” is anything more than a powerful psychedelic rock tune, or that Forever Changes is, in fact, a living, breathing, work of magick. All I’ll assure anyone is that The Bathtub Incident most definitely happened, and more than anything else, it’s led me to wonder: Am I just a thought that someone, somewhere, somehow feels I should be here?