I have trouble with ghosts. Well, one ghost in particular.
It's not the late night caterwauling from within the walls of
my apartment that troubles me -- my broker made me aware of the
potential for ghostly death cries inside my walls and, as a bargaining
chip, offered to cut her usual fee of 38% of my first year's rent
to a more charitable 32%. (so, in a sense, the wailing is a blessing
rather than a curse). What troubles me is how passive-aggressive
my ghost is. That's the worst kind of rommmate possible.
It started out with little things. The ghost tried
to get on my sweet side by leaving difficult-to-bake pastries
and cookies out for me each night. At first I was frightened,
then flattered. But let it be said that nothing comes without
We had agreed to split the rent and utilities. I
thought this was fair and even though the ghost completed the
bulk of the household chores, the trade-off was that he had all
of that extra square footage inside the walls and ceiling and
in this part of town space is a pretty valuable commodity. I could
see the potential for this rent issue causing a bit of friction
between myself and the ghost but I had no idea exactly how awkward
it would become.
After about the third month of cohabitation, the
notes started. Little post-its would appear around the apartment
with notes on them like, "Hey, todd. Are those your dishes
in the sink? Because I don't think they're mine. If you could
take care of them, that would be great. I'm afraid of roaches."
Really annoying stuff. And always notes; never a real confrontation.
Soon, the ghost would start to leave a little less for utilities
and always with a little note that would say something like, "I
just figured, since I don't have a corporeal body, I really shouldn't
be paying quite as much for heat and hot water. I hope you'll
understand. By the way, I made profiterole -- help yourself!"
And it didn't end there. Here's one I received about
a month ago: "Hope your day went well. And, oh, by the way...todd,
I'm glad you are exploring your sexuality -- I think that should
be a magical experience for the Living -- but I was wondering
if you could refrain from bringing women back to the apartment
after, say, 10pm. It's just that, well, as you know I took my
own life out of loneliness and as a result am damned for eternity
to have my soul pace these floors, while my physical form decays
in a modest grave near the Brooklyn Aquarium. It makes it a bit
difficult for me, hearing you in the throes of clumsy passion,
knowing I will never know the warm flesh of another again. Let
me know if it's a problem. Thanks!"
I rue the day I moved out of my cozy studio apartment,
built right over an ancient Indian burial ground. I was two blocks
from the train, 1 block from a laundromat. A bit expensive but
very quiet, if you didn't mind the ominous lamentations of 200
Iroquois souls every night at the 12th stroke of midnight. I guess
I just got greedy.