You son of a bitch. You moved the cemetery but you left the bodies, didn’t ya?
You son of a bitch. You left the bodies and you only moved the headstones.
You only moved the headstones.
~ The Awesome Craig T. Nelson
So remember how I told you my apartments tend to be haunted? Well, my latest one is no exception.
The ghosts lay low for quite a while, actually. I’ve been in my current apartment for 11 months now, going for a new record if I hit thirteen months! It figures that I, the person who freaks out when my seat is stolen at the dinner table because I have *territory issues,* would for one reason or another never hold an apartment for longer than a year.
But now I wonder if it’s been the ghosts all this time! Like, they maybe get bored staying in the same place for too long. Witness:
– Evil spirits kicking me out of my Plainview apartment. Okay, that was actually just the Plainview residents, because Plainview is NOT COOL. But they set a tone, you know? They were the gateway to the ghosts, maybe.
– Evil spirits convincing me to leave Merrick Apartment Number One, my best-ever apartment, overall. Okay, that was actually my ex, convincing me that we should move to Oneonta. But damned if I couldn’t have used some friendly ghosts to shake me about and say “NO.”
– Timmy, the dead boy from Oneonta.
– The Fish Bandit Ghost Gang from Merrick Apartment Number Two.
Now I am in Levittown. And I was totally prepared for The Levittown Experience, because it’s a lot like how Plainview would be if it lost the attitude and got a Tweety bird tattoo, I mean, my very first night here there was, no joke, a Biker Block Party. It may very well have been the loudest night of my life, between all the VROOM VROOM, and the fireworks, and the screaming.
And that is awesome to me, because ear plugs exist, and I’ll take the wanna-be Howard Beachness of Levittown any day over the awkward despair of Plainview. So things are fine, and recently enhanced by the fact that my new neighbors downstairs have a girl pit bull (pit cow?), a teeny-tiny yippy dog, and three baby boys.
Hilarious and fun to me, but maybe not so much for Chip and Doc, understandably, who have bonded together to form a grudging alliance since the arrival of the dogs. They’ve been looking a little frantic and worried lately, and I just attributed it to them having to get used to the new neighbors, both Man and Beast.
Even the other night I believed that, when they started flipping out, like having hardcore spaz attacks and tearing to and fro, frantic and seemingly afraid. Now as we all know, that’s how they roll, but this was different. Unsettling. And they weren’t running away from each other; they were running together.
But I was reminded that the cats can smell and sense things, like the dogs downstairs, even when we can’t. So I let myself believe that, even in the following days when Chip started sitting atop my computer with his eyes turning yellow and his pupils narrowing into slits, and I tried to joke around with him about it, but he and Doc have gotten increasingly “I am the gatekeeper, are you the keymaster?” about life, so that was worrisome.
I knew that the haunting was for real though the other night. I’m sitting at my computer, and in the little hall area next to me, I hear something being pushed off of my decoratey stand. Not something falling, something being pushed. Then it clattered to the ground, or well, whatever something does on a rug, when it would normally clatter.
It was the plaque my mom gave me for my thirtieth birthday that symbolized the fact that I may have been aging and alone in a basement apartment, but if all else failed, my mom and I could become one of those mother/daughter duos who go out to eat together and terrorize waiters across Long Island by creating their own menus.
So wait, what? Oh yes, so my mother gave me a plaque letting me know that she loved me even if no one else did, and it’s one of my favorite things, so it’s one of the items I’ve mustered up the enthusiasm to find a place for.
But now it had fallen over, and I stood, preparing to scold Chip, and I wasn’t picking on him, but if Doc had knocked it over, she would have fled in terror. She’s afraid of her own power and all, ’cause of society.
But Chip likes to stay put like an evil possum, all, “Bitch, whatcha gonna do!” So I knew it was him.
But Chip was nowhere to be seen.
And neither was Doc.
I wandered around my place, thinking maybe one of them had in fact vanished from the scene of the crime somehow, but no. They were both sleeping.
So that is that. My new(ish) place is haunted, ’cause that plaque was pushed, no joke. Which is fine, I guess. Being haunted is kind of interesting. Plus, it’s kind of cool that the latest ghosts most assuredly came from the animal corpses that had to be removed from the pool in the backyard. You don’t want to mess with a squirrel, that’s for sure. I had no knowledge of the drownings, and the company I run had nothing to do with it, so it should be okay. However, if I see Lara Flynn Boyle lurking around, I’m totally out, because you can haunt me, but there must be a certain level of sustained quality to it, is all I’m asking.
© June 5, 2007
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I read this a long time ago and loved it, the part about the plaque always touched me.\, but appreciate it even more now having spent more time around cats since being in Manitou.
I believe – this is simple and not original – the more you let the spirits in the more you can see and feel them…
🙂 Thanks Josh. I hope so. Life is much more interesting that way IMO.
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I loved the part about plaque that your Mom gave it to you and that you cherish it—maybe by it falling–she was trying to tell you something–maybe that was a sign but either way your thoughts were of her when it fell.