Don’t Look Now!
Talking to ghosts has always been a favourite hobby. It’s probably tied up with the Jesus complex. Ever since I was very young, I always prided myself on my ability to converse with members of the other world. Later in life, I developed a similar ability to speak with people who voted Conservative.
I can’t truthfully remember when I first began conversing. There wasn’t a seminal moment when I moved from being a cute little lad to being a conduit of other worldly mutterings, but as a kid, I was certainly not the norm.
“Our Matt has been talking again in his sleep,” my sister would report.
“Our Matt has been walking around in his sleep,” she’d tell our neighbourhood friends.
“Our Matt cried at The Song of Bernadette!”
Yes, fully-fledged member of the La La Club.
My big sister had a profound belief in my madness. She said I had mad eyes and kept shouting out in my dreams. She knew all about the Devil who came looking for me at night and she told as many people as she could about my nocturnal visitations.
“He says his prayers every night and then sings Walt Disney classics and Cliff Richard songs!”
The ghost thing is real. The house that we live in now has a ghost that haunts the new extension. My eldest daughter finds it almost impossible to sleep there after being visited on a number of occasions by footsteps on the other side of bedroom door, deep breathing inside of it and an inexplicable weight that pushed upon her during one unforgettable night-fest of happenings. On occasions such as this, my wife sends me into rooms to sense things out. Seeing myself as a fully-fledged phantom buster, I often try to reach out and communicate, but with no success. Is it the case that one loses ones powers the older one becomes, or is it that the faculties begin to fray a little at the edges?
My eldest daughter is not taken to fancy. She is a paragon of pragmatism. There is more of her mother in her than her father and I believe that they both view me with more than a little amused sympathy. “That’s your father,” my wife tells my daughters. “That’s Dad,” my daughters tell my wife. Dad is some type of benign presence these days. In the past he would wish to have been an Atticus Finch, but when the world closed in on him he would frequently become an Attila. Now, with the aid of medication and a fresh understanding of the edge of the precipice on which he walks, he has become a space cadet whose journey through the cosmos of family affairs allows him to drift for long periods of time, weightless, aimless and carefree.
He does, however, have moments when all the systems decide to close down. Take the party he was at the other week and the moment when the switches were flicked by his need to consider the existential nature of mankind at merriment. One man stopped to ask the forward-staring loon if he was alright and the loon’s wife placed a consoling hand around him to suggest that,
“Yes, he was alright…sort of.” His loon poses are becoming more of the norm, especially in company.
And the third person I (he) is using here?
It’s just another viewpoint.