Ghosts, Real & Imagined

Ghosts, Real & Imagined

I have the luxury of working from home. It has its positives and negatives. I work from my office, a small section of the basement, segmented behind French doors.

I hear everything from my little nook. That has lead to a surprising observation:

There is a ghost in my home.

No, seriously, don’t leave.

I can tell you the sound of the different showers running. I can ID the washer, the dryer, and the dishwasher. I know the sound of my children’s feet, and my wife’s march. I mostly know the dog’s cadence up and down the stairs, and everything in between.

But…this has been different.

It started subtly, with a sound, shuffling, distant, from the floor above me. I thought nothing of it; just the house creaking in the cold. I’d hear it regularly, disregarding the sound, but…curious what was afoot. My dog was usually asleep beside me, or otherwise near, and yet, this creaking, with steps and, almost, the sound of a fall, continued.

One day, the wife home, I joked “I hear the ghost; it’s making me lunch, and seems to have washed the dishes!” She was amused in the same way a squirrel is amused the first day of winter and the inevitable is happening. She has kindly disregarded this story.

The only credence of credibility I can lend to this story is my dog, Charlie. She never gets mad. She never gets bothered. She doesn’t bark at people at the door. She doesn’t do the mailman dirty. Her even temper and general stoicism is something to be revered.

So when she began barking with an anxious tone, hackles raised, as we both heard banging either up, or down, the stairs took me by surprise. This was particularly pronounced, and quite disconcerting; I can joke all I want about an ethereal guest among us, but Charlie’s concern took this to a new level of disturbing for me.

She looked scared.

This isn’t a dog that gets scared.

This was maybe a month or so ago. I’ve not heard much of our guest since. Her movements, if she’s still here, are far more muted. I’ve been busier with work, and on far more calls, so maybe I’ve just not noticed. Maybe she’s not there. Maybe Charlie scared her. Regardless, she’s quieted down for the moment, and I find that a relief, and a little sad.

I miss my haunting. We got each other. I mean, hey! I like this house too. If we’re sharing, let’s share. I’ll keep my ears open and see what brings her back. I’d like that, strange as that may sound.

Or maybe it’s just the Air Force base, fracking, the heater expanding on a cold day, or good old fashion mental illness coupled with superstition and ignorance. Who knows?