The ghost and the werewolf
Call me a romantic, or a European (for you, I can be both), but if I cannot find myself the oldest, dustiest and creakiest crib the housing market has to offer, I am out of here. I love my apartments with that spooky vibe and that, when you lay in bed alone in pitch darkness, pop and crack to the point you wonder whether you got yourself a ghost, and if he is going through your vintage porcelain collection.
My latest haunting is one of the classics: it’s upstairs, right above my bedroom, manifesting itself at bedtime sharp. As I lay on top of yellow sheets, trying to focus on paying last week’s bills, he announces his presence with an abrupt thud. Upstairs Ghost is awake. Upstairs Ghost is ready to haunt.
Being the modern eerie apparition he is, Ghost is into Feng Shui. He moves furniture around like it was his unresolved corporeal matter keeping him grounded in the apartment above mine. He likes to put the drawer where the bed was and the bed where the desk was. It’s so refreshing to see your apartment under a new light at 3 AM!, I imagine him utter as he rests his hands on his ghostly hips with satisfaction.
Most of all, he is attached to his ball and chain. He loves to wear it around the house to do chores in the dead of night. He will put it on with a loud crack, and then proceed to complete not one, not two, but ten rounds around the house, as my doors shake and rattle and my candelabra swings like it’s Friday night at the jazz bar.
In a bout of artistic sentimentality, Upstairs Ghost will hang up paintings as early as 1 AM. It’s in his interest to keep the apartment compelling, for not all tenants are excited at the idea of having incorporeal beings jazzing up the rooms while the city is asleep. The washing machine is also busy the whole night around, to keep those sheets extra pearl-white. You never know who’s popping by.
Myself, I am not bothered by Upstairs Ghost. I like to think that he is friends with my downstairs neighbor, who is clearly a werewolf, because he leaves his apartment every night at 3:30 AM, gnarling and grunting, and exits the building in a rush to attend to his werewolf stuff. I like to think he is happy, as well. I like to think he goes on dates with Upstairs Ghost, and that they’ll go make those pearly sheets rustle, in the still of the night, eerie and noisy as ever.