DREAMS AND MELANCHOLY
I have to admit to being a tad weird when I was a teen. I grew up in a pre-Civil War era house with no insulation and lots of cracks and crevices where mice, rats, squirrels, and spiders roamed. I’d often hear scurrying in the walls and the creaky groans of a cold and tired old house. Once or twice, I recall even stranger sounds, perhaps cats that got stuck in the wall joists and died there. Something sounded like human babies moaning and crying in the dark. There were enough strange sounds emanating from my old home’s walls and attic eaves over the years to permanently scar my psyche.
And then one night when I was 13 or 14, the Gray Lady appeared. I’ll let my character Glory in PERSEPHONE IN HELL describe the experience.
“Gloria woke up with a panic. She tried to calm herself. Just then, the closet door next to her bed opened, and a ghost, all in grey, appeared from the dark.
She is floating into my bedroom. No, walking – well something in between. The ghost has a sternness on her face and a pointer in her hand. But she isn’t menacing; she doesn’t seem to mean any harm.
The Gray Lady didn’t stop or look around. She didn’t appear to notice the girls in the bedroom. She walked right past Gloria, took a turn at the bedpost, and passed by Penny sleeping in the next bed. Then she floated out of the room with a whispered wind-like tune. “Sur le pont d’Avignon, l’on y danse, l’on y danse…”
In the course of a few seconds, the ghost was on her way to someplace else. Glory was in shock. Her forehead burned. Her cuts felt razor sharp. I don’t believe it. I must be going off my rocker. In la-la land, for sure.”
I took to keeping a baseball bat next to my bed just in case I had to defend myself. And I was visited by the Gray Lady for many years, though no one else ever saw her. Was I insane? Psychotic or schizoid? Simply bursting with an imagination that couldn’t be controlled? Or, perhaps, I was in tune with an underworld I couldn’t begin to understand. Hades, messing with Persephone yet again. That old goat just can’t leave her alone.
Have you ever seen a ghost?