My house – number 6 – is a house of ghosts.
I know because when I turn around the old lady is standing there, right behind me.
“This is my house now.” I tell her firmly. “It’s time for you to go.”
I don’t want to be unkind but it’s very disconcerting to have someone, however insubstantial, wafting around, appearing when you least expect or want it. In the kitchen, when I’m experimenting with a complicated new recipe. In the bathtub, soaking in the fragrant foam. Changing a light bulb, teetering at the top of the stepladder, the little screws between my teeth, about to drop the glass cover.
Sometimes her husband comes with her. I assume he’s her husband. He’s a little more wizened, a little more stooped than her. He stays behind her, his shadowy body averted as though he’s embarrassed to be inconveniencing me like this. He’s showing me by his stance that he’s apologizing for this intrusion. I feel he wants me to know that she’s doing this against his advice, that it’s not his idea.
At least he has boundaries. He never appears when I’m in the bath. That really would be the limit. And he never appears alone. I suspect he is Continue reading