Friday, April 5, 2019

Phantom Fantasies

Next year I turn 50. That means I spend nearly as much time at doctors' offices as I did when I had four toddlers. Today, when the Specialist du Jour asked me if I had any other questions, I announced, "Yes, actually! I'm hearing voices." 

Eyebrow raised. "Go on." 

"Sometimes I'll be in that half asleep-half-awake stage, and I will hear a voice right in my ear. Loud enough to wake me up. I know it's not real, but it is LOUD."

"Oh!" she said. "That's just called a hypnopompic hallucination. Some people have them. No biggie. "

Eva, next to me, was utterly convinced that it was indeed a biggie. Eyes wide, she said, "Mom!! What?? When?? How loud?? What does it say??"

"Well, yesterday it said," - I got right in her ear - "MOOOOOM!"

She gasped. "Mom! We have a ghost!"

Lucky me! 
Of all the ghosts who could have chosen to haunt us, I got one more demanding kid who yells in my face when I'm trying to sleep! 

Now, I don't know if I actually believe ghosts exist. But presuming they do, I just have one question. Why do they do such dumb things, like, throw books on the floor? Or flicker lights? That's just annoying. Why can't they make themselves useful? 

Where is the ghost who unloads the dishwasher?

From all the late night internetting and B movies I've seen, if they do exist, ghosts come back to earth because they have some "unfinished business" to tend to. Something important was left undone that haunts them after death and they just can't rest till they finish their work and get some closure to float on over to the Other Side. 

If I become a ghost, by this theory, I will be cursed to spend eternity doing laundry. 

Which totally stinks for me. But if your house exists in the celestial vortex in which Dead Missy finds herself trapped, then you just won the spectral lottery. 

Where is the ghost who does the laundry?

This is 2019. I have electricity. A fancy washing machine! A dryer with several settings I've never even used! Clorox! OxyClean! 
Despite all these luxuries, I am forever in the washing weeds. 

And our sisters in the millenia before us, banging stains and frustrations out on rocks in the river, with nary a Tide Pod in sight? Surely every one of them died with yellowed pits and grassy knees right at the top of their Hereafter To Do list. This world of ours should be populated by millions of diaphanous women from every tribe and nation and century earnestly wandering in search of their long lost dingy togas.

{Speaking of clothes. Have you noticed that the Victorian era seems to be the period of choice for ghostly fashion? Why no ghosts in blue jeans? How come no one is on ID Channel telling the story of an evil entity dressed in polyester bell bottoms and sporting a mullet? Perhaps the Spirit of Disco was so terrifying none of them lived to see their experience re-enacted?}

Not one of these female ghosts would bother with silly so-called ghostly behaviors like "rapping on a table" unless a kid were using his shirt for a napkin. And no woman, alive or dead, is going to knock a picture off a wall and just leave the broken glass there on the floor! If a broom and dustpan begin sweeping up that mess by an invisible hand, now you've got yourself some paranormal activity. Lay a rag on the counter, casually mention the dust on the ceiling fan, and hope that your yoga pants wearing ghost comes with OCD. 

Later tonight, if you are lying in bed in the dark and see a shadow of a figure standing at the foot of you bed, fear not! She's just wondering if the sheets need a change. If the closet door suddenly swings open on its own - no biggie!
Your ghost is just looking for that one missing sock.
Bless her heart, she's been looking for it for centuries. 



  1. Good morning! So glad you're blogging again! I love your writing!

  2. So what if it is someone you love that you hear yell? My mom and I both get those- whether they live with us or not. They yell out our name and we are both instantly out of bed trying to figure out what is wrong and who needs help. It's exhausting.



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