Archive for March, 2009

My Landlord Died

Posted on March 30, 2009

Steve liked the Tall Ships. He told me so.

Steve liked the Tall Ships. He told me so.

My landlord died today.
That’s actually not true. He died last week, but I just learned of it today.
It’s funny how egotistical death can become when it has little to do with you.
As I relay the news to my mother, I’m surprised by my phrasing,“He died, and it’s so shocking because I just spoke to him last Thursday.”
Wow. That was self-absorbed, even for me.
Further, this is a complete and utter non sequitur. His death is not at all shocking because I spoke to him on Thursday, it’s just shocking whenever a 48 year old man suddenly dies.
Still, I rationalize that when dealing with something as mystifying as death, maybe the ego is all there is. After all, we cannot reflect on that which we do not understand, and we can’t cope with that which we cannot reflect upon, so instead of admitting defeat, we tether our thoughts and rationalizations to some form of reality, no matter how incongruous.

This is our simple, human way of making real that which we typically shun.
We eschew these thoughts, forcibly containing them while praying that they remain latent, because focusing on them strips us of the need to live at all.
Why bother? Why should I try, when the end might very well be at hand?
It could be now. Or Now. Or NOW.
Still here? How bout now?

This game could totally continue thus preventing any other games (like the game of life, for instance) from ever being played at all, so we implore upon the very soul of these thoughts that they stay hidden as long as possible.
They obey and sit quietly behind all the more developed thoughts.
Until they do not.
And suddenly, you’re living in a dead man’s condo considering everything that you know about him which isn’t much and realizing that you’re more affected than you should be, which is not exactly enough to make a difference anyway…

Steve. Soloman. Or SolomOn.
I still don’t know which is correct. I’ve effed that up every month.
I’m sure I’ll eff it up again this month.

Apparently, the check is still made out to him.

It’s totally sinking that I have to write a very large check to a man who I know is not able to cash it, place it in an envelope, put a stamp on it, drop it in the mail and send it to his grieving widow.That feels like something of a cruel joke.
Maybe I’ll tape two Xanax to the check to give her the strength to deposit it.
Yes, that seems like the humane thing to do.
Where was I?
Oh yes. Steve. What do I know about Steve?

Steve was a wise investor.
Steve bought this magnificent loft condo 14 years ago for $115,000 and it is now worth around $500,000. Hmph.
This is not making me feel better. What if Steve’s heirs would prefer cash over the headache of tenants? No, no, no…we are focusing on Steve…

OK, when Steve lived here, he built a platform in the loft and used that as his bedroom instead of sleeping in the actual bedroom. I’ve always thought that was strange.

Steve’s brother fixed the dishwasher when it broke.
Apparently, Steve’s brother is a professional dishwasher repairman.
They came over way too early one Saturday morning and Brother of Steve lectured me on the perils of using the liquid dish detergent. It clogs the sensitive drainage system.
The powder is better. Duly noted Brother of Steve. Powder, it is.
The Brother stepped outside to smoke and Steve and I made awkward conversation about The Weather Channel (yeah, not even the weather itself, but the channel dedicated to covering it.)
Then we spoke of the view.
I’d marveled about how fast the clouds seemed to move over the water and how each day the colors reflected upon the buildings seemed different.
He said he’d stopped noticing that sort of thing. He said he’d become used to it.
I remember that in that moment, this made me sad.
But somehow, by the time I recounted the story to the Spouse, there was more than a hint of ire in my voice.
And now I feel bad.
Sorry, Steve. I’m sorry for dogging your views on the view… I’m sure you had your reasons.

Steve liked IHOP. At least, Brother of Steve liked IHOP. I’m going to assume that Steve did too. IHOP is great. Apparently, Steve paid for his brother’s services in pancakes.
I’d like to pay for things in pancakes.

I’ve spoken to Steve only a few times since our introduction last summer.
We’ve had some memories…
Like the random Thursday last August when I illegally broke-in and began painting the walls and Steve came by…
That was fun.

The Spouse and I recently had a bit of a row over whether I should contact Steve regarding the ill-fitting window screens. I felt that he should fix them.
The Spouse suggested I may not want to specifically invite unnecessary inspection of the ‘art’ that I’d inflicted upon his hallway. And bedroom. And bathrooms.
It seems that landlords have been known to frown upon additions of ‘rock walls’ to their condos.
I didn’t call him.

And while I apparently needn’t have worried about the rock wall situation, I wonder if it’s insane to worry about a ghost situation. He lived here for 14 damn years.
He only moved out a year ago and it was only because he got married and thought buying a house would be the ‘grown-up’ thing to do.
I totally saw his wistful smile as he described his bachelor days in the loft.
I really liked Steve Soloman. or SolomOn.
But I’m having enough trouble dealing with the phantoms currently haunting about my world, so I hope Steve is satisfied with his journey and has no inclination to look back and re-write any pages. And mostly I hope that wherever he is, the view is mind-blowing. Because everything is better when the view blows your mind.

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The Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth…

Posted on March 28, 2009

One of 'those' girls...

One of 'those' girls...

“Since then it’s been a book you read in reverse so you understand less as the pages turn.
Or a movie so crass and awkwardly cast, that even I could be the star.”
The Shins

Tonight I turned 23. Was it my birthday?
Am I Benjamin Button?
But tonight, I remembered exactly how shitty it felt to be categorized as completely common and banal by someone who you would’ve categorized as just that.
And the worst of it comes when you must reckon with the fact that this person is somehow correct…that part really sucks.

I invited a friend to join me for dinner. She accepted and then invited me to join some friends at a bar on the Upper East Side for drinks. I accepted.
At some point, I stepped outside for a cigarette with a chap I’d been casually chatting with.

I’d kicked this habit, but during a recent bout with loathing and loneliness in Vegas, I’d turned back to it, though I swear its only brief interlude within this wholly clean life that I am 1000 percent dedicated to…
He lights mine and as we exhale he says, “I’m surprised you don’t smoke 100’s. You strike me as a 100’s girl.”
I give him a look that he certainly cannot read in the darkness.
“These are 100’s,” I reply, already not wholly comfortable with the direction in which this conversation is headed.
He: “You also seem like someone who would smoke out of one of those holders like Johnny Depp in that Vegas movie.”
Me: I used to. Before I quit.
He: You haven’t quit
Me: Not in this moment, no.
Then, unable to hide my disgust for his ignorant degradation of one of the all time great doctors of writing, I offhandedly state, “And I believe you are referring to the film based on the great Dr. Hunter S. Thompson’s work of the same name, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”
He: OK. Sorry about that (he’s not), I didn’t mean to insult you. You remind me of that uppity, over-thinking Caterpillar in ‘Alice in Wonderland.’
This guts me, in spite of myself.
Is he trying to be impressive? Is he just a dick?
I look around for someone I know, hoping for a constant…someone to justify this seriously bizarre scenario.
There is no one.
Me: Actually, I have more of an Alice thing. Though the Caterpillar represents some significantly heavy shit as well.
He: Well, that’s a bit narcissistic…do you have to be the lead character in the story?
Me: It is very narcissistic. I’m very narcissistic.
He mentally sizes me up, and then continues on about how he and his ‘boys’ saw ‘that movie’ (I assume that he’s back to the ‘Depp movie about Vegas’) and now they constantly IMDB quotes from it, and text them to one another.
And while I know I shouldn’t allow a 29 year old man-child I’ve briefly met in a dive bar on the Upper East Side, make me feel ‘average,’ he most definitely does.
Because this obtuse being who mistook Depp for Thompson, sort of figured me out.
Actually, he nailed me point for point. I’m not taking it well and I’m not taking it lightly.
I wonder how many other uppity, narcissistic, hypocritical girls are in this bar at this very moment.
I wonder if that group of girls in the corner wildly singing ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light’ also consider themselves ‘introspective and artistic.’
I want to be anywhere but here.

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Posted on March 26, 2009

I am an outrage...

I am an outrage...

I had the most vivid dreams of cocaine and sex last night. Though, I’ve found it all goes down more smoothly in the opposite order.
I am (obviously) depraved.

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A Tale of Gnawing Deception… part 2 “In the Cauldron”

Posted on March 25, 2009

Double, double, toil and trouble...

Double, double, toil and trouble...

“Slip inside the eye of your mind, don’t you know you might find a better place to play…” Oasis

When we left the Girl (who had, until recently, been drifting blithely down the River of Bliss,) she was attempting to steady herself after a most startling run-in with Realization. Gnawing (now existing only as an unwieldy phantom menace) was chaotically
stirring the forbidden mental Cauldron containing the Girl’s most unruly and noxious thoughts; a very bad idea, indeed.

We rejoin the Girl mid-revelation:

I don’t know how to do this. I just don’t.
It is not in my grain to sit mildly within this disdainful world and not fight.
I swore to defend to the death, my right to live to the left.
I have tried to follow their rules.
I’ve investigated life in their pen…

It began as an experiment.
I’d only wanted to see how long it would take them to reveal me as a fraud.
I skillfully pose and pseudo-assimilate in the name of amalgamation, but always instinctively hide my knuckles as the Nun passes by brandishing her ruler.

If I’m honest (a rarity whilst aggressively practicing to deceive,) the uprising has been mounting since I realized that I hated Sundays.
It was then that I knew I had become one of them: a disciple of the ‘life-map.’
I’d begun as a mole, burrowing deeply to sway my detractors, but within that process I’d been unwittingly converted.
I lived for Friday and Saturday and lolled in the depths of depression each Sunday, staid in trepidation surrounding the coming week.

Which leads me here…to this moment.

And my typically mild-mannered inner Wanderlust has had it.
“Fuck T.G.I.F!” she yells “How about T.G.I.S.M.T.W.T.F.S????”
Then she is suddenly soft: “I miss our world; where the clouds race across the sky as we watch in admiration, where the water dances it’s morning ritual to greet each new day… no matter which day of the week…”
And she is right. She is 1000 percent correct.

And I know I must get us out. But I’ve no idea how.
It seems that extrication is a wee bit trickier than infiltration.
The Elders had given their requisite warning on the matter, but were aware that we would likely not hear them. Still, they advise that the warren is deep and maze-like, and can quickly rob an interloper of their most vital nutrients: perspective, creativity, and awe.

I knew they were right (but hadn’t been ready to admit it,) after the incident in the labyrinth last spring.
That was the last I’d seen of Gnawing but his message, unlike its bearer, was wholly
un-ambivalent; which frightened the stuff out of me.

But why had the Elders sent Gnawing, in the first place?
Goading and Provocation had both nudged the Girl into action in the past and, it should be noted, they’ve done so in far less crude and depraved manners.
Yet it was that impish, maverick Gnawing who’d been commissioned…
I marinate on this for months (you see, no one is as perspicacious in the depths of the darkness as they are in the light,) but it is only now, upon hearing the news of his alliance with Escapism, that I fully grasp the enormity of what comes next.
We’ve moved to Second Protocol.
Without me even recognizing that we were in active battle.

Into The Cauldron

When left unprovoked, the Cauldron is not hazardous.
It is kept at a carefully controlled boil, and serves as an emergency generator
for its neighbor to the north, Inspiration.
To hear the citizens of Inspiration tell it, the Cauldron has never been drawn upon as a power source for it’s exports, but the legend persists …

The tale, recounted only in muted whispers, chronicles a time of darkness long ago when the Elders were forced into the shadowy night to reap a potentially lethal bounty from the illicit Cauldron.
The legend states that this Cauldron-pillaging was carried out as a last-ditch effort toward the salvation of Inspiration, following an interminable period of drought.

Only the top Elders were invited to the sit down.
To look about the room, an ignorant passerby might have thought they’d stumbled upon a top-secret gambling hall or meeting of an elite underground society.
The space was thickly shrouded in smoke and the air hung heavy under weight of their impending decision.
The power struggle was evident even before a word had been spoken.
Entitlement, an ex-robber baron who, though retired, had never entirely let go of his unscrupulous business practices, sat at the head of the table with his consiglieri Extremism and Justification to his left and right, respectively.
On the opposite end, sat Warning, once considered a most capable commander but was by now considered a harbinger of fear and something of an alarmist.
His counsel: Refusal and Suspicion flanked him.
They shunned their everyday vernacular and spoke in unintelligible syntax meant to discourage any lurking snoops or rabble-rousers.
After a heated debate where even Ennui, the lowly foot solider guarding the door had shown signs of irritation, the leaders selected the crew they felt were most capable of handling this gravest of missions.
The team of three left just before dusk the following day and Operation Inspiration had officially begun.
The Elders called for radio silence as a show of respect for the men who’d gone and the potential sacrifice they might make.
Inspiration was hauntingly quiet for nearly a week.

But on the seventh day, everything changed. A glorious light flooded the town and its people tumbled into the streets.
They brushed the cobwebs from their hair and the sleep from their eyes.
Their minds rumbled groggily at first, but soon churned more rapidly than ever before. The citizens experienced tidal waves of creative energy and Inspiration thrived for decades without incident.
Of the three men who’d left that dusk, only one returned. He rarely spoke to anyone outside of his closest associates and he spoke of the incident at the Cauldron but one time when he said, “I saw myself in that forbidden place. I saw my virtue and I saw my most objectionable bits with equal clarity. I saw the life that we, the Inspired’s must be allowed to lead. And I knew then that whatever might come of releasing that psychotic bounty, would be worth it for what we would create.”
When asked about the fate of his comrades, he simply stated, “They were frightened of the beast. Rather than come back as cowards they walked east, to live out their days in Fear.”

Out of the hOle

I was four, almost five, when my great-grandfather died.
My mother brought me to the hospital after the doctor called to say that the situation didn’t look promising…
When she stepped into the hallway to speak with the nurse, he beckoned me close.
He quickly outlines the story of the Coup d’Inspiration, and instructs me to seek further details from my mother, when time permits.

He then requests my undivided attention and his green eyes sparkled and danced with a passion that made him look almost child-like.

He hugged my neck while he whispered slow and measured, as if trying to seer each syllable in to my youthful brain: “I lied. One of the men did leave to live in Fear but the other, I fought for. I believed him to be worth it. While he refused the Cauldron, he agreed to move to Diversion as he deliberated betwixt Inspiration and Fear. I’ve kept tabs on him these years, and he has a great-grandson who you will come to know. Beware him, but be unafraid. He is your Cauldron. In him you will see your fiercest darkness and most vivid light. He will reflect all you are, in fair and equal measure.”
His voice trailed off then, and we soon bade our final good-bye.

But I never forgot his words.
And even when I had no proof that they were not mere ramblings of a fading old man, I believed them to be true.
I repeated them daily as a mantra, so that time would never steal their power.

The first time I felt Gnawing’s presence, my great grandfathers words began repeating loudly in my brain. And when first I laid eyes on him, I knew that he was my Cauldron.

I’d wander and he’d follow. Sometimes he’d match my vim and vigour; sometimes he’d heartlessly disregard it (and me) altogether.

I recall these moments in my life and am fortified by their lessons.
Emboldened and newly determined to free myself from the tunnel, I set about finding Gnawing in his corporeal version. I know I must reclaim my Inspiration somehow, and I’d wholly rather seek him, in spite of how he vexes me so, than approach the forbidden pot unprotected; for were something to go awry, I might never return.

I might be forced to do as that coward had and move to east to live out my days in Fear.

I leave in search of Gnawing, but decide that if I spy Escapism along the way, I might do well to follow him for a bit, as Gnawing seems always to seek Escapism when he overwhelms himself…

The journey is long and at times discomfiting, but after 21 nights and 22 days I know that I am near.
Near to what precisely, I’ve no idea, but the light floods my vision just as my great grandfather had described, and the title wave of creativity swelled and crashed upon my being in the most scintillating manner.

I drift towards the light source, sure that Inspiration is at hand…and I am confident that Gnawing is also close by.
I search behind trees and under rocks, but he does not appear.
I fear I may have made a wrong turn somewhere (I’ve never been much for following directions or taking orders,) but that makes no sense, as I am clearly where I am supposed to be.

In the light. Splashing in waves of creativity.

It is then that my perception turns my surroundings a surly shade of grey and I am frozen in terror. I had expected to see the tiny town of Inspiration just over this hill, but instead I stand alone amongst the rocks and trees, staring directly at the fabled Cauldron …

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A Tale of Gnawing Deception (in multiple parts)…

Posted on March 21, 2009

It's an art, you know...

It's an art, you know...

“Oh, wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, That has such people in ‘t!”
~The Tempest

I’m thinking on materialism.
I’m considering who I was just a year ago.
What were my schemes and plans and obsessions?
Who was I being? What did I want?
I strive to remember that which felt important.
I cannot.

I just re-read this and think that it might be logical to skip over ‘materialism’ and move directly to ‘egotism,’ considering how this evening (like most evenings,) I seem staid in my standard self-important rhetorical deliberations.
Still, I shall try to remain on topic…
What was I saying?

I’ve recently acknowledged that my mid-08’ fixation on ‘things’ and ‘objects’ was a vain attempt to ignore the gnawing dissatisfaction which threatened to impinge upon the existence that I’d believed I’d wanted, and was quietly being asked to re-examine.

So, I ‘bought’ and I ‘did’ and I ‘organized’ and I ‘planned’ on the outside, while simultaneously engaging in a ferocious and ultimately futile mental race to outrun that obnoxious, niggling disquietude.

Just when I thought I’d lost him in the tunnel and the adrenaline rush began to cede, it was then, ah then, that I spied him…

stood no more than seven feet from my very nose, leaning smugly against the warren wall. He smokes his hand-rolled cigarette and openly sneers at my insolence.

I want so badly to be incensed that he’s bested me as he always does, but I cannot stop staring at his rugged hands long enough to muster any authentic anger.

Though with me, he speaks only in metaphors, rarely crossing the line into emotion, his hands defy his reticent conventions.
His long, tentacle-like fingers speak of a man who has touched many, yet has somehow rendered his own soul untouchable.
They appear elegant yet not at all prissy. Prissy, under-utilized fingers are the worst.
But these are not those.
These enrapture me and I imagine him to be one of those rare men who might nimbly roll his tobacco with one hand as he concurrently arouses your most sinful thoughts and carnal desires, with the other.

To be sure, I am the problem.
It is precisely these types of fanciful thoughts and indiscriminate assignments of quixotic characteristics, which perpetuate this madness. My madness.

You see, Gnawing and I are the oldest of associates, but like a stubborn child, I refuse to give credence to his claims of ‘inevitable victory,’ thus prolonging our tireless tit for tat.
But he is, of course, correct.
I am forever aware that even when I think he is gone, I am bound to find him again…likely, just round the next bend.
And he knows that I know, but that I cannot admit defeat; a fact he in turn, preys upon assiduously.

Gnawing is by far the most adept taskmaster of all the mental charlatans, for even when you can investigate no further and seek no more, he will unashamedly propel you deeper still.
I have learned tactics that occasionally result in brief respites from his daunting omnipresence, but Gnawing is never really gone for long.
At least, I hope that this is truth.
The fact is I have a secret crush on Gnawing.
I find him intoxicating and necessary.
He keeps me on my toes.

But back to the tale at hand…
It was late spring of 2008, when I suddenly lost sight of Gnawing.
I was mostly unconcerned, as he is known to be quite capricious (which I furtively adore), and I assumed he was perhaps drinking coffee with Denial or taking a weekend trip with Defense.

But something deeper was amiss.

Apparently, Gnawing was digging in and hunkering down. It was time to get serious.
Sick of our juvenile games, he phoned my arch-est of arch nemeses… Escapism.
And Escapism, that dastardly beast, absolutely could not wait to meet up with Gnawing and drink Mojitos, whilst reciprocally renewing each other’s resolve to ruin my resplendent reality.
Foolish me…
By now, I should know the danger of the lull…
I should know that any sense of security found therein is utterly false…yet still I toil first in hope and then in the massive upheaval which predictably follows.
It continues…

I learn of their alliance late one otherwise-inconsequential afternoon.
I consider approaching Gnawing directly, regarding creating an anti-alliance alliance. A sort of subcommittee of subterfuge, but I think better of it (super atypical action on my part.)

I am just about halfway through my ponderence on brokering a similar deal with Escapism, when suddenly I know what must be done…

The realization crashes upon my being and I am instantly sure that there is no choice in the matter.

If only it weren’t impossible.
Then the ghost of Gnawing (he does tend to haunt about my soul…) pipes up and reminds me that the insurmountable obstacles are the only ones of any interest anyway, and I’m off…

As to where I went … next time…

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This Program Is Brought To You By Assholes…

Posted on March 9, 2009

I Survive Without It. You Should Too...

I Survive Without It. You Should Too...

So here’s the thing… I care not at all how Others spend their free time.

I am simply far too busy procrastinating, judging myself and then being “sooooo busy,” as I hurry to catch up on all that shit I put off, to be concerned with what the rest of the populace is up to.

I take exception with regard to Reality Television. I can’t rail hard enough against it.

Lemme get this straight…

Little brother of has-been R&B star gives golden shower to socialite and then dates ex-crackhead, and now has 14 hookers competing for his “love” on basic cable?

Mormon brother-lover and Nutri-System huckster, Marie Osmond learns to fox trot and we as a nation foam at the effing mouth?

Tyra Banks selects psycho girls to live in a rad loft and talk shit about one another’s eating disorders, in hopes of finding the next, um… Tyra.

We, as a nation, are pathetic.

And while I have never claimed to be the poster child for pious integrity, I cannot and will not feel OK about any of this.

I JUDGE YOU, American Viewing Public! I do. And no, you should not care at all what I think, because it doesn’t matter even a little…

And I’m sure you judge me because I refuse to watch the news.

But let me posit this: I neither allow the outside world and all of its ills to effect my soul, brain and innards nor do I experience the “benign” pleasure of watching a cad run a “Rose Ceremony,” so that I might bear witness to the systematic decimation of the hopes and dreams of women who have hitched their proverbial wagons to the next ‘fifteen minutes.’

Just observing…

We now return to your regularly scheduled neuron-ic atrophy, already in progress…

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Spotlights and the Presence of Phantom Spirits

Posted on March 5, 2009

What Mean You?

What Mean You?

I totally believe in ghosts.
For a Girl who doubts everything and everybody in real life, an unquestioning belief in that which cannot truly be proven is uncharacteristic, indeed.
Yet somehow fitting…

Post move to the Boat, I puttered around for days (read: months) fixing that which was broken or needed tuning. I made notes and bought appropriate bulbs and replacement fixtures and watched as darkness became light and my vision was realized. Except for that stupid spotlight. The one that has four bulbs that can be aimed in separate directions depending on what one chooses to highlight.

“To the right. A smidge more…NO! A smidge! I really meant a smidge… If I’d meant a ‘bit’, I would have said that!”

The Spouse is on top of a 14-foot ladder looking decidedly aggravated as I attempt to instruct the bulb to the perfect angle from the safety of the floor below. He twists it again and it goes out. I suggest that he might twist it back from whence it came and make it work again, but he tells me he is sick of “Effing with electrical currents” and climbs down the ladder.

Whatever. I have no desire to see the effects of electricity that has been “effed with,” so I ask my OCD to take the night off and attempt to forget about the errant bulb.

Two days pass and my wayward bulb shows no signs of light. It is 2am and I sit on the couch lost in a book. The Spouse has long gone to sleep, and I am completely alone. Then the hairs on my neck literally stand up. Just like ‘they’ say they do. Body reacts.Tears spring to my eyes and I feel true fear. I am paralyzed. I cannot move. At. All. Then the light flashes…exactly three times. I am sure that I hear shuffling behind me and I call out to the Spouse. He does like to scare me. Yet… he’s been asleep for hours. I instinctively know that it isn’t him. I dare not turn around, so I opt into a “head test” that I developed as a young child.

I often found myself home alone and understandably wary of a wide range of undefinable “house sounds.”

I decided that if I could mentally cue something to happen then it was real enough to be afraid of (look, I was six and I watched a lot of TV).

I’ll demonstrate:

(Creaking from the third floor of the house… no one is home…)

Six year old mini-Girl’s internal VO: “If I should run, please make the stairs creak in 3, 2…1″
I guess I felt like God would be kind enough to creak the stairs as an early warning system, if there were truly something to be afraid of.

So there I am… 23 years later and the internal VO has automatically gone to “OK, If you are a ghost, please flick the lights in 3, 2…. 1″

They totally flash. Dear. God. Paralysis is majickally lifted and I scream. I sprint through an interminable 1200 square feet, to the opposite end of the Boat, where the Spouse sleeps. Not knowing. Unaware. But somewhat startled (to put it nicely,) that I’ve torn into the room and woken him up like, well… someone who has seen a ghost. I attempt to explain my wild breathing and even wilder eyes, but cannot string the words together.

In the end, it matters not at all whether anyone else actually understood the magnitude of this experience.

I knew.

I’ve been down this road before. That first Christmas Eve after He died. The scenario was different but the feeling was not. He was there to wish me tidings of good cheer and peace. He was forgiving me.

But this was not that. This is decidedly different.
This message is not nearly as innocuous, and I am meant to feel threatened.
I am meant to feel helpless and lonely.
But not the brand of loneliness that I have, at times, been known to embrace.
The other kind.
The “no one can help you now” kind. The “you are on your own” kind.
I consider myself warned or forewarned or whatever.
Yet, my responsibility within this episode has only just begun.
I am now forced to determine which phantom from my past hath sent this specter.
Though the incident involving the spotlight did happen many months ago, I have had the distinct impression that he has been nearby, since.
He likes it here.
Or perhaps, he is simply not confident that I have properly observed his warning.
He could be right. For, I am not sure I precisely understand his intent was.
It is a well-known fact that messages from the Beyond are a smidge difficult to decode.
And, yes, I meant a “smidge.” Not a “bit.”

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