That’s what it means when I make the lights dim or I roll an orange across the floor. I don’t mean anything by it. I wish I could do more, but I’m caught somewhere between the walls of this house and the tunnel of light above. Oh, I know what you’re thinking, “Just go to the light.” Everyone says that. Like it’s so easy. If it were that easy, why don’t you go?
By the way, I wanted to tell you something. The sage you’re burning only works on evil spirits. I’m not evil, just a little daft. I didn’t even know where I’ve been for the past…ten years, maybe? But now I know. I’m in my house and you’re in it. I see you didn’t like the color of the paint on the walls, but really—did you have to put up such awful wallpaper? Pink is for little girls’ rooms—not a fully-grown woman who is raising three boys. Does your husband really put up with such frilly, girly, “cutesy cues?” And the curtains! Laura Ashley called. She wants her prairie skirts back.
Ha! I make myself laugh. That’s why the room is so cold. But I’m just being mean now. It’s only natural that new owners would want to re-paint the walls and cover up the original bamboo-wood flooring with wall-to-wall green carpeting. Sigh. If I had tears, I’d cry. Did you have to take out the lavender bushes too? Was it because they attract bees? You can avoid the bees. Now there’s no landscaping! Except for the thick, green forest of a rug you used to cover my beautiful bamboo floors.
Anyway, the priest you brought over to bless the house was a nice touch. His prayers moved me—but not enough to make it to the light. I kind of like it here. People watching is so interesting. So is your cat, by the way. You know when he just suddenly sprints across the room for no apparent reason? Well, I know the reason. Boo! Made you look.
Now, why are you shaking palm leaves and talking to the ceiling? I’m not up there. I’m right here—right beside you. I can see you plain as day. You’d crawl out of your skin if you knew that. While I can roll an object, spook a cat, or dim the lights, I haven’t learned to pinch anyone yet. I guess I’ll work on that next. Imagine how much fun that would be—for me anyway. There you’d be, standing there with your palm leaves, and I’d just pinch your arm. That might just send you packing.
I don’t want you to go, though. I’d miss the baby. Yes, I’ve woken him up at night just to play. He’s so precious. I think he’s the only one in this house who can see me, but he’d never tell a soul. Not until he can speak anyway. I guess I want you to stay because of the baby. Because I lost mine. Or maybe he lost me. It’s unclear. Sometimes I just forget things. I stay near the living so I can try to remember. There’s something about your baby’s eyes that make me remember something I lost. I’m pretty sure it was my own child. I look for him in the house, but he’s not here. Yours is the closest I can find. When you see him, tell him I love him.
Tell him the creak of the stairs at night means, “I love you.”
Cecilia Kennedy studied literature from Spain at The Ohio State University, where she earned her doctorate degree in 2000. She was an associate professor of English and Spanish at a community college in Ohio for the past ten years before moving to the Greater Seattle area. These days, she is busy “hammering and sifting” her way through DIY projects that may include any of the following: light home repair, crafts, cooking, exercise, travel, and photography. (She details her DIY journey on her blog site: “Fixin’ Leaks and Leeks” (https://fixinleaksnleeksdiy.blog/) Cecilia, her husband Nathan, son Alexander, and SeaTac the cat all live outside of Seattle.
Image by Paul Walker