Meeting Ghosts

After watching Tim Burton’s “Beetlejuice” I got ready for bed. I’m not afraid of ghosts. I thought, in the dark of my bedroom as I prepared to change into my pajamas. I pulled my shirt off and felt the cold of the night air hit my naked chest. I shivered. My big comfy cotton shirt was on the bed and I leaned over to grab it. I felt vulnerable, like a hand was going to shoot out from under the bed and grab my ankle. I leapt up onto the comforter and threw my shirt on there, feeling slightly silly for my instinctual flight response to an imaginary fear. I would never look under the bed to make sure no ghost was there. I know there is no ghost there… it’s just better to be safe than sorry, is all. I thought, gathering the sheets up and sliding under them, feeling safer instantly. Ghosts can’t get me under a blanket.

What is it about pulling the blankets over my face that makes me feel like I’ll be safer from the murderous and vengeful demon-ghost of my imagination that could, at any moment, stare at me with red eyes and a drooling grin? The blankets are no real protection! I always imagined (in my deep, dark, 6-year-old brain) that the demon-ghost would suddenly be at the foot of my bed, his drooling grin a grotesque sight. He’d be floating there, watching me, and waiting for me to open my eyes. Feeling his cold presence in my half-awake state, I’d crack my eyes open and stare at him, not breathing. There’d be an agonizing few seconds, neither of us doing anything until he’d realize he was at the wrong house. He’d then pull out his note-pad and reread that it wasn’t 22-64 42nd street, it was 64-22 24th street. “Damn.” He’d mutter, scratching his nasty ghost head. “Sorry for that.” and, putting away his notepad, he’d fizzle into thin air. Oh, no worries, you creepy-ass ghost! This warm puddle of fear-urine I’m now soaked in actually feels good, I’d think sarcastically before passing out.

I’ve always been afraid of walking into a ghost in a room. I can’t really imagine what would happen after that event, though. Would I recognize the ghost? What would they say? Do? I’ve always been more afraid of the fear of just bumping in to them really… They’d be there, I dunno, reading some magazine I left out, like Hollywood Reporter, and I’d walk in after a shower (because I have to be semi-naked in order to feel the most scared and vulnerable) and I’d be rubbing a towel through my hair when I’d stop short at the sight of the glowing apparition. They’d look up at me, still holding the magazine and I’d start to shake with fear. “Oh, god, please. I don’t know what you want, but please don’t haunt where I live!” I’d tremble and sputter. The ghost, unimpressed, would then point to a glossy page and state something asinine, like “Tobey Maguire used to be cute and now he looks like a troll, eh?” and I’d be like: “What?” and then the ghost would shrug and, putting the magazine down somewhere I didn’t leave it in the first place, would fade away saying something boring like: “Just checking, our internet was dowwwwwnnnn…” And, I’d never be the same. Ever. Who could? That was some dumb, dumb ghost.

 

 

 

October 29, 2013 at 9:43 pm by Natalie Allen