20080130

ghost stories

When I was a kid, my sister said she'd seen our mother's ghost, and I believed her. I'm not so sure anymore, but I believe she meant it, anyway. I don't know if there's ghosts anymore. There's lots of things I'm not sure of.

I thought, do I want to believe her? Or maybe I didn't. Think that, I mean. I'm thinking that now. About believing her. About, well, wanting to believe.

I've got this photograph sitting on my computer, or above my desk, or something. It's her when she was young--my mother, I mean--like about twenty something, maybe. She was beautiful. I think of that picture now when I think of the funeral. I wonder if that's what she'd look like, as a ghost, I mean. If there are ghosts. She would be a good ghost, I think. If there even are good ghosts.

Ghost stories never frightened me. I always thought they were sad. People who died before their time, wandering around, doing whatever it is ghosts do. What do they do, anyway? It seems they would just appear in the likeness of a sigh, some sad story that doesn't have an ending. You know how when you're really upset you can never sleep? Or at least I can't. Like that. Delirious, never quite aware of what's going on, and when you pass out from exhaustion your dreams are haunted by it, and you don't understand but you have to keep going, keep walking, keep repeating it, some Sisyphean task only you're dreaming and don't know who that is.

He was Greek. The gods punished him. Sisyphus, I mean. Nobody's sure why. He tried to cheat death. I wonder if he was a ghost. I wonder if he's the template for ghosts. He had to push a stone uphill forever. It kept rolling back down.

But I was talking about ghosts. Creatures of twilight and darkness, right? The hours I can't sleep anymore. I listen to them, sighing past, creaking. I want to tell them it will be all right.

2 comments:

Vid said...

>If there even good ghosts.

There should be a verb in there somewhere.

Rob said...

fixed, thanks