Okay seriously, I would really like to know why half the apartments I’ve lived in have been haunted?
First in Oneonta, my apartment was haunted by a boy. The first night I spent there with The Ex, we noticed: a wistful calendar in the kitchen that was made by a child, left inexplicably on March 2002 (it was August 2003 at this point); and creepy pictures hanging around this empty bedroom. The room had no closet, and it locked from the outside. This was all very unsettling, and we made nervous jokes about our apartment being haunted by the spirit of a dead boy, whom we decided to name “Timmy.”
We continued with the gallows humor, because what else is one to do when one keeps finding evidence of no former life in the apartment except for unhappy child memorabilia? Things got creepier when we discovered a watergun on top of the refrigerator. But the real capper came the next morning. We’d gone to sleep in a completely empty room, besides the “artwork” on the walls. However. HOWEVER. When we woke up, there on the floor at eye level, was a single black crayon. No joke, it was NOT there the night before, it was just not. Never before had a crayon appeared so ominous.
In the end, Timmy did not bother us, although who knows if he was possibly responsible for the nonworking refrigerator and oven, or for the flood, or for the fact that our garbage was not picked up for two whole months? Wait, that was probably not so much Timmy as the “landlord.”
So anyway, once I left Oneonta, I thought my days of haunted apartments were over. Until Monday night. First, my cats have been doing that uber-creepy thing, where they just stare at seemingly nothing, and it’s really really unsettling, because like, WHAT are you looking at, cats? They will both stare in the exact same spot, looking completely bugged out. Never a good sign.
THEN…my fish went missing. Sunday night, I cooked up some tilapia, but due to my sudden lack of appetite lately — good because I lost seven pounds, bad because I have circles under my eyes darker than Timmy’s crayon — I couldn’t finish it. So I put it in a bowl in my refrigerator.
Monday night I decided that perhaps coffee was not quite *enough* as far as calories for the day go, and decided to reheat the leftover fish. I opened my refrigerator. Everything else was just as I’d left it. I have a cross between crazy old lady frig, due to the dry cat food and medicine from my cold 2 months ago that I never bothered finishing, and bachelor frig, as the rest of the space is taken up by beer and condiments. So that was all still there, but the fish was gone.
No. No? What? As anyone who’s ever had the pleasure of chilling with me at a bar, or work, or life in general can tell you, I have this tendency to lose everything I own at various points of the day and night. And I’m not the world’s most fastidiously organized person, so when I can’t find something, I just assume that I need to check again. My mother always tells me, “You look like a man,” and since I’m pretty sure I don’t have a single feature that’s even remotely masculine, she can only be referring to the fact that I tend to “look” for things by opening a cabinet, deciding that no, there’s no string beans, and carrying on with my day.
So I just assumed that was it, and I reopened my refrigerator, prepared to look like a woman.
Still no fish.
Then I wandered around my apartment, thinking that a) I am a scatterbrain, and was probably just pulling a Mrs. Schaefer and had accidentally put the fish in like, my dresser, b) maybe the lack of food for three days was making me hallucinate, or c) I’d in fact, already eaten the fish but didn’t remember.
Thinking that maybe I just needed sleep and possibly something to eat, I had a piece of bread and went to bed before the “Gaslight” experience was complete. As I slept, my subconscious overcompensated for the lack of fish by having me dream about huge humpback whales all night. Whales scare me. I think if I don’t die in a plane crash, I’m going to get killed by a whale. And yes, I know that whales are not fish, but it’s close enough.
The next day, I looked around for the fish. Still nothing. And despite the fact that my bedroom looks like I’m preparing for a massive rummage sale, the place is clean and Lysol wiped and smelling grand, so there is only one explanation left. My ex-boyfriend became a vampire and snuck into my apartment and soon I will find the fish in an envelope. Bad, because now I have to buy new tilapia. Good, because next he will draw a portrait of me while I sleep, and I can’t WAIT to see what kind of friend requests that attracts after I put it on Myspace!
© March 24, 2006