a ghost story : part i
With the family of a friend. A big family. Catholic. As in practising Catholic. Eight kids. Ranging from late teens to late twenties. One more kid was no big deal to Mrs. O. She took me in like I was hers. Mrs. O was phenomenol. She had read every great writer there ever was. She always overcooked meat. She had a whole collection of finches there must have been fifty finches in her collection and they had their very own special room. [It was a big house.] She never did housework. And I loved her.
My friend said once another friend came over and walking in the front door said, “Oh my God, you have been robbed!” And my friend, embarassed to say that is not what happened, that is how the house always looked, called the police and filed a report just to pretend that is really what happened.
It says something probably my friend invited me into her family home. It did not click then but it does now, she did not invite many people over, let alone say hey, move in, my mom will love you.
And I loved Mrs. O.
There were stories about a ghost in the house. But I did not pay them much mind. This was before I figured out I should not be where people talked about ghosts. There were so many people in and out all the time. I was never alone. And no one batted an eye the night police brought me home and said, “Does this belong to you?”
[And I am not telling that story so just do not even ask.]
It was Sunday. Another girlfriend and I were going to something early. I forget what. She was picking me up. And I was up early. Way early. Partly because I was getting ready. Partly because some yahoo was doing construction work early on Sunday that involved pounding with a hammer. That is what woke me up. So I got up. Stumbled around. Tried to ignore the hammering. Showered. Put on some make up.
The hammering kept going and was getting louder and more persistent and I was getting annoyed wondering who in hell got up that early [hey we are talking 7 a.m. Sunday moring] to do construction work. And it kept getting louder. So finally I looked out the window to see who was slinging a hammer around at 7 a.m. on a Sunday morning.
Nothing. No one. Outside it was a completely quiet neighborhood. But I could hear the freaking hammering. I thought, Well, maybe it is a house on the other side, behind me. And started trying on clothes because I was young enough then leaving the house did require you try on at least fifty combinations of clothing and test them all out in front of a mirror before you even thought about shoes before you walked out the door.
And I finally had sort of settled on an outfit. But that hammering? It had gotten louder. And closer. I looked out the window again. And still it was this clear, kind of cold morning, with a real light sky and just a few stretched too thin clouds in it and a sun weakly slamming through morning cold onto a whole lot of empty roofs I could clearly see and no one was hammering on any of those roofs or any of those houses with a hammer —
And that is when I started to get creeped out. Because the hammering was still getting louder. And there was, for the first time since I had been there, no one else in the house. And the hammering was starting to sound like it was coming not from outside, but from downstairs.
to be continued….
[that one is for anita marie]