Saturday night I walked with my neighbor and her daughter’s family the two blocks to the village Hallowe’en party. I hadn’t been to one of the events in at least twenty years. By the time my son was in middle school he was too old to go with his mother any more, so he said.
It was a nice evening although by 7:30 it was starting to get a little chilly. I owe my neighbor 50¢. I didn’t take any money with me so she bought a ticket for me to do the cake walk. I ended up in seat number 9. It had won two times before so I knew I was safe from winning a cake. What do you know, number 9 was called again. There were cupcakes on the table so I picked one of those plates. I took one cupcake and donated the remainder to my neighbor for her grandson’s school lunches. That was a pretty good return on her 50¢ investment. Two walks later her grandson’s friend won. He also chose cupcakes. Between the two of them, they will have sweet treats for weeks!
Lucas was happy. He dressed as a Jango Fett Star Wars character and was
chosen as having the best costume among the 6-8 year olds. He won a plastic gold star on a ribbon. He was thrilled. There was a female Elvis with the huge black pompadour and a young Tinkerbell with an even younger baby brother Peter Pan.
There was your usual assortment of clowns and witches, bobby soxers, and Cleopatras. They had even expanded the judging to include adults. I don’t know how long they have been doing that.
I was able to talk with a neighbor whom I seldom see. The last time was for the Fourth of July parade. I introduced my new neighbor to her and one of the council members who was sitting next to her. The council member had been friends with the couple who lived in the house my neighbor and her husband bought.
We started talking about the fact that she believes that Vic has not realized yet that he no longer lives in the house. She says she hears doors close and footsteps behind her or walking towards the bedroom occasionally. She hadn’t said anything to her daughter who was visiting her about a month ago. The guest bedroom is where Vic’s bedroom used to be. The daughter woke up in the middle of the night feeling someone hugging her. She claims she saw and felt a little old man with his dog. The daughter slept the rest of the night with the light on.
My neighbor doesn’t sense anything scary about Vic. When she hears him she just reminds him he doesn’t live there any more and tells him that she and her husband are taking good care of the house. That seems to satisfy him for a while.
That story reminded my other neighbor about the time she had a tonsillectomy when she was three. The doctor cut too deep and and she was slowly bleeding to death. They couldn’t get the bleeding stopped. Her mother was in the room with her the next morning when her aunt came to the hospital and related a very weird dream from the night before that really shook her. She reported that her mother, Lee Ann’s grandmother, had appeared to her and said that Lee Ann had better hurry because she (Grandmother) could not stay here very long. She would have to go. Obviously Lee Ann is still here today so they got the bleeding stopped. The aunt was telling this a short time after Lee Ann had told her mother that Grandma came to see her the night before.
That was the night to tell stories of ghosts. I am meeting more people who have stories to tell, like my church friend tells of the story of the house on his block. I never used to believe in ghosts but maybe there’s something to that after all. Perhaps “ghost” is no longer a politically correct term. What do you think would be a more PC label for them? I tried googling the lastest PC terms but “ghosts” was not among them. Bodily challenged? Alternate-planed? Do they, like Scrooge’s ghosts, know that they are no longer able to function on this planet, or do they tend to believe they are still here? Vic seems to be perfectly content to stay in his home where he resided almost sixty years. He was only in a care facility for a few weeks so he probably would not have preferred to hang around that place. He spent a lot of time working in the garage just like my neighbor’s husband does. I wonder if he feels he has something in common with him? He kept begging to be allowed to go home again.
I’m working on my thirty third year in this house. Will I know I have gone? It doesn’t look like I’m going to be selling my house any time soon. Maybe I’m destined to be carried out of this place feel first. Will I know my body has
left? Will I hang around in the hallway like a speck of light floating up and down the space?