Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Writes

(non-fiction)

We Have A Ghost

And right now it likes to play with my slippers during the night.

There can’t be any other explanation. I don’t sleep walk and my slippers aren’t in a spot where Hubby could accidentally kick them when he gets up in the middle of the night. They’re on my side of the bed. Where only I walk. (Or so I thought).

It’s happened quite often over time but I never paid more attention to it than to “Huh!” to myself, get my slippers on and get going.

Recently I’ve become more conscious of it though because it’s becoming a nuisance. I sit in bed and leave my slippers on the floor where I can just slip right into them when I have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom or “Shush!” a kitty crying at our bedroom door. Our floors are cold in the Winter thanks to the unfinished dirt basement we have below us (not a crawl space because I can stand up strait in it, Hubby though not so much but he’s 6’3”) and the bathroom tiles are just plain frigid so we both have slippers.

More and more often, at least once a night now, one of my slippers, usually the right one, will be no where near the other. It will be two feet to the right and under the bed or sitting under the window by the heat board three feet away.

Lately I’m frustrated with this game. When I can’t find a slipper, I have to fumble around for my book light and turn it on so I can search for the missing slipper before getting up and once I’m back to bed I’m so wide awake I have trouble falling asleep again.

I made sure when I came back to bed at 1:30am this morning that I left both slippers in their usual spot. Sure enough when I woke up at 4am and went to put them on, one was over by the heat board.

When I came back to bed, the idea for this piece came to me. (So that whole, ‘in the shower’ ‘in the middle of the night’ thing really does happen to writers huh?)

We’ve had other things happen over the years here.

My anniversary band disappeared from my dresser for two weeks. One Sunday a couple of years ago, I was getting ready to go out with Hubby who was killing time on the computer. I went to get my anniversary ring off the dresser but it wasn’t there. Thinking he took it to mess with me (the pc desk is right next to my dresser), I asked him where it was and he pointed to where it usually sat and said, without looking, “It’s right here.” I told him it wasn’t and he sighed (like I was an idiot) and said, “Joanne, it’s right…” and stopped when he saw it wasn’t there. “It was right here! I just look over at the tv and looked right at it!” I thought he was messing with me as he so often likes to do but finally became convinced he was telling me the truth. (If I get upset, especially as much as I was at that moment, he gives it up). We looked all over the bedroom for it (just to be on the safe side) but didn’t find it.

I was beside myself. I love that ring. He bought it for me for our one year wedding anniversary along with a matching plain wedding band. (I, um, grew out of my original one; it now fits again I might add). He told me at a traffic light to close my eyes for a few minutes, he had a surprise for me. Once parked he guided me into a building. (I knew that much because the door squeaked when he opened it). When I opened my eyes, I was standing in a jewelry store, at a counter. A salesman was standing in front of me on the other side of the counter, smiling. I laughed, feeling myself turn red and looked at hubby and he nodded towards the counter. I looked down to see a sliver diamond anniversary band and a silver wedding band sitting on a copper velvet cushion. “I wasn’t sure what size would fit and I didn’t want you to have to exchange them once they were yours.” I threw my arms around my husband and held on for dear life. I was “all choked up” as the saying goes. (And I am right now writing this! Not bad for an old, tough Marine, huh?!)

Two weeks after it disappeared, it reappeared on my dresser, in the same spot where I always left it, with both of us in the room but neither of us close enough to the dresser to play a trick on the other by slipping it there without the other seeing. It wasn’t there when I got up in the morning and Hubby had long been up and out of the bedroom. (I had yet to do the same; it was one of those lazy Sunday mornings for me). When I saw it I practically flew out of bed and put it on. I look at him and he was looking at my hand, shaking his head. I quietly thanked whomever or whatever had turned it and told it Not to take it again.

It’s happened with other things for longer periods of time. Hubby left his keys in the storage room, immediately went back down to get them and found the door locked. You need the keys to lock and unlock that door. He got his spares and searched the storage room but they weren’t in there. A few months later they turned up on a shelf in a little used spare room closet. My glasses disappeared off the coffee table. Several months later, I found them in the basement, on top of a storage box with Halloween decorations, which is in another building on the property.

My mother lives here in a town house and there are times when she goes down stairs to the den to find her latched closet doors open or the utility room light on and the door wide open.

So now it’s my slippers. Or rather, one of my slippers. 1/21/11


Prompt: "If you could bring one fictional character to life for a day, who would you choose? What would you do for the day?"

As soon as I saw this topic on http://plinky.com last week, I knew my choice: Novalee Nation from the novel Where The Heart Is by Billie Letts and not just because I was re-reading it at the time.

About half way through the book, the thought came to me that if Novalee were a real person, I'd like to meet her. It was reading about her learning photography that brought this to mind. I've always liked taking pictures but now it's one of my passions. I'm learning in a digital age. Novalee was learning photography in the 1990's in Oklahoma when it was still about rolls of film, shutter speeds, light exposures, dark rooms and negatives. (Back when I was learning the same here in NJ but wasn't interested in that aspect of it yet). You didn't instantly know what your photo's looked like nor could you immediately delete the ones you didn't want. You either developed them in a dark room yourself or sent them out to be developed. Either way, it was much like Christmas morning as you look at each one for the first time.

Novalee also loves gardening and reading, two of my other passions. We're alike in other ways; stronger and more brave than we ever give ourselves credit for, have a hard time believing we're worth as much as the good folks in our lives tell us and we worry incessantly about everything and anything. (Things we (think we) can control and things we know we can't).

More than anything I'd like to sit and talk with her for the day, about our life's pains and passions, about the good men we've been Blessed with and enjoy the comfort of knowing I'm talking with someone who not only sympathizes, but empathizes as well.

2 comments:

Faerie Moon Creations said...

That was really well-written and kind of spooky, too. I think I would have freaked out. I like to read ghost stories but I don't think I'd care to deal with an actual apparition! I actually switched a hotel accommodation once because I learned that nearly all the rooms were reputedly haunted! LOL Theresa

Jo said...

Thanks Theresa and lol!