I’m scared of ghosts. Not a little ‘oh that terrible movie with Shannon Elizabeth was scary’, I get throw up, shaking and sitting in a ball in the corner crying kind of scared. I blame my mom mostly. She has a very sick sense of ‘other things’ let’s call it and feels the need to share them with me. My siblings love shows like Ghost Hunters and Paranormal State and discuss them in front of me. Often the family reminds me of the fact that when I was very young my parents would find me playing by myself and I would tell them I was playing with the angel. Dad mentioned it when I was home in August actually. The landlord’s wife of our apartment in Buffalo killed herself in our bathroom. She locked the door, sat down on the toilet, then stabbed herself in the chest repeatedly. I imagine that kind of desperation and violence led to some unresolved issues so maybe she hung around because she liked me and our family. The dog would walk by the bathroom and growl, but never go in there and Mom claimed you could still see blood between the tiles. Mom would smell strange perfume and one night felt someone sit down on the couch while she was sleeping. My dad was working nights on the ambulance. Just writing this is making me shaky and the back of my neck is very hot. But something happened tonight that makes me feel as though I am losing my mind. I worked on some accounting homework, watched TV and took the dog out at 11. While we were out a man around my age was walking a small dog that wasn’t on a leash and it ran right up to Shiner. Now, as a young woman I should have been scared that a strange person approached me late at night but I wasn’t. Maybe it was because I just assumed his doggie was being bad or I was distracted by something else. I was mostly concerned that it might try to bite my dog and then I would have a world of issues to deal with. Either way, he picked up his tiny dog and we went opposite ways. I came back in, locked the door, and went to take a shower. I was wetting my hair down when my pink poof fell off the window ledge. I hadn’t touched it, bumped anything on the ledge, or came anywhere near it. The ledge is higher than shoulder level and accidentally moving something is nearly impossible. Quite simply, it appeared to fall on it’s own. At first, I paused, frozen. The more I allowed myself to process the situation the more scared I became. My fear was so great that I couldn’t even close my eyes to rinse the soap out of my hair. I jumped out of the shower, dripping all over the rug. Rationalizing the poof’s fall was starting to calm me down. I probably closed the sliding door too hard and it was enough to shake the poof down. The window is probably drafty and a gust knocked it down. I was ok until I walked down the hall and noticed one of the bedroom doors was more open than how I left it. Without any rationalization this time I started whimpering, walked backwards down the hall and sat down in the living room near the corner in a ball. Big fat tears rolled down my face as the dog stared at me with utter confusion. Shaking and crying, I don’t know what I expected to happen next but I was paralyzed. There is a very good chance I actually did leave the door open that much when I was in there this afternoon. There is a good chance Shiner was nosing around in there. The issue that I might have a ghost is not the problem. I had no one to call when I was scared, the most terrified I have been in almost my whole life. No one can come over and eat Tuxedos with me until I felt better or stay the night. No one is here to give me a hug or to tell me to stop being a dumbass. For the very first time, I am very much alone here. When I lived in Memphis I had an internship that I loved, a good friend that hung out with me all the time, and money. This time friends are time zones away and like the rest of the country money is tight. I sit for hours in a lifeless cube doing a job I am entirely over qualified for and come home to a furniture-less apartment with a dog that badly needs a shave. I am pursuing a degree all for the sake of having a degree to be competitive in a field that doesn’t appear to even want me in it. The real ghosts that haunt me are the ones of the life I thought I would have by now, not some spirit whose sole trick is to knock poofs off ledges.
My great grandma once told me that it’s the live people you need to worry about, not the dead ones. Maybe it’s the live ones that aren’t here that scare us too.