Monday, May 11, 2009

A Ghost Story with a Disappointing Ending

My bathroom is haunted.

Fifty percent of the people who hear me say this sentence give me the old incredulous eyebrow. The other half hug themselves and ask me not to freak them out because they "totally believe that shit, seriously." But allow me to present the evidence.

The bathroom of my apartment is very small and located all the way in the back, right off the kitchen. It's the size of a closet. I can successfully close and lock the door, brush my teeth, rinse and replace the toothbrush, and turn on the shower from the toilet. There's one tiny window I believe is painted shut--even if it's not, we've never opened it.

Weirdly, the light switch is outside the bathroom on the wall in the kitchen. There were quite a few times when we first moved in that I'd find the light on despite being pretty positive I'd turned it off, but I chalked that up to absentmindedness and the flagrant lack of concern belonging to someone who hasn't yet put the Con Ed bill in her name.

One day a few months after we moved in, Jes was taking a shower. There's a framed photo of a rubber duck on a tub that hangs next to the mirror on the bathroom wall, just like it hung in both of my previous apartments. Seemingly without provocation, the glass in the picture shattered. The photo stayed on the wall. We embraced the rational possibility that perhaps the glass broke after years of subjecting the picture to shower-related temperature change, but still, flying glass can be unsettling. Then, a few days after the picture incident, I came home to find the soap dispenser smashed to shards in the bathtub. The door had been closed all day so I couldn't blame the dogs. I theorized about floor vibrations from the heavy-footed neighbors and cleaned up the bits.

I will freely admit that I look for every excuse to believe in the supernatural, the slightly spooky, the undead, the hexed, the telekinetic, the psychic, and anything with even the most vauge Craft-esque appeal. At this point, I was ever so slightly thrilled that signs were pointing toward poltergeist. This is why I didn't entirely pee my pants when, while home alone, I heard a weird sound coming out of the bathroom. I opened the door to find both faucets running. I hadn't turned them on. Jes came home and, upon hearing the news, ran to her room declaring she would never pee here again.

Taking this as a challenge, about a week later the ghost did the same faucet trick. This time while Jes was in the bathroom. Watching the knobs turn of their own accord.

Provided our ghost is something more sentient than air in the pipes and a creaky foundation, I'm not afraid of him. Or her. I was convinced there was something demonic in as benign a place as the Woolworths in my hometown when I was a kid; that store felt infinitely more menacing than my bathroom does.

Besides, there's something sort of comfortingly adolescent about a poltergeist. If my ghost is the kind that wants to spook me with some running water, it's probably the kind of guy who would've tried to impress me by pulling my hair or mooning me. There are ghosts everywhere; in the peanut butter still smeared on my walls, in my look-at-me glasses, in the ever-present Brooklyn handlebar moustache, in bright red lipstick, in short shorts, and in every stupid notice me gesture by which we're all completely haunted.


Blogger CIBU International Haircare said...

I am concerned that the ghost is breaking things. Not cool. BTW, you're a very good writer.

10:35 PM  
Blogger leo hollen says said...

well that is just amazing. you should bring in a ghost hunter to do that crazy heat tracking stuff. you might get your own episode. now how amazing would that be.

12:57 PM  

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