a ghost story (of infinite flatness)

do you want to believe in ghosts?

it’s never been the fear of the unknown (or the undead) that has frightened me the most.  no, not at all.  it is the fear of what i know, tangible things (snakes, for instance) that strike deep and make my knees wobble and my heart race (accompanied by the occasional skip-a-beat). at one time walking through a cobweb at night would make me shudder with creepy distaste, but now they’re just irritating and sticky and hard to wipe away, their lingering gossamer threads trailing behind me, an ethereal, other-worldly scarf flapping in the thrumming darkness.

deep fog gives me pause, a time to consider my mortality as i cross a street with the dogs (what wild thing will be standing unexpectedly in front of us) or in the car turning a corner into what i imagine is the unlighted mega-tonnage of a silver (the color of fog) s.u.v. barreling forward without a care (as they do.)

a long flight of stairs now gives me pause–actually any set of stairs composed of more than a riser or two i consider a long flight–due in part to my bifocal lenses, and the fear of falling down stairs, which i know from experience hurts like hell (btw, eternal damnation and the ‘fear of god’ are laughable scare tactics, even when i was enthrall to the lord jesus, those threats always seemed impossibly arcane–not in the mysterious way, just old and stale, day-old bread.  a side note: when i was growing up we used to have on our kitchen table a little plastic holder shaped like a loaf of bread, maybe 6″ long by 2″ wide and inside it lined up were a multitude of colored stiff paper sheets, about the size of a stick of gum and on each one was printed a biblical homily, a psalm, a beatitude, a verse of scripture meant to be uplifting and enlightening and every morning my mother and i would pull one out at random and read it out loud while we ate our oatmeal, cream-of-wheat or later when i was older, a pop-tart–which were the ne plus ultra of breakfast foods when they first made their appearance on the market’s shelves. )

sometimes i confuse worry with fear.  they commingle so seamlessly that to separate one from the other would be an impossible task, so dependent on each other are they (the co-joined twins of nightmares).  and often, as it happens, i use the word worry when i mean fear;  i worry that i won’t be able to go on should m. die before me, when in fact, that is a fear and one that i find impossible to tamp down to worry level in spite of trying to gloss over it as nothing more than just that, a worry.

ghosts haunt me, but i do not fear them–they do not give me a fright, nor am i surprised when they drop by for a chinwag or a cup of tea (although i haven’t had a cup of tea in eons it seems, but when i was a more regular tea drinker it seemed a thing a ghost might indulge in as well.   perhaps in today’s market, ghosts, when they visit you, are sipping from their pomegranate juice or mineral water bottles instead. idk.)  many posts of mine are ghosts stories, as, over the last few years, i’ve dug around in the graveyard of my past (and a fertile ground it’s been.)

i cannot call up ghosts, nor demand their presence or even bid them adieu.  they come and go as they please and i must just accept the fact that they are here to stay.  it seems to me that they enjoy what little notoriety i might be able to afford them, and what better thing can one do than that?


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© Robert Patrick, and Cultivar, 2008-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photographs and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert Patrick and Cultivar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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