Friday night, I saw a ghost, a real ghost, not one of those Hollywood vapory things that everyone thinks of as a ghost. This guy had presence, body and substance.
At two thirty in the morning, I awoke with a parched palate. I intended to tough it out, count myself back to sleep and ignore the urge to slake my thirst. I reasoned that if I got a drink now, in an hour I'd be awake to go wee-wee. I have a hard time sleeping through the night as it is, so annoyance at needing a drink had me even more awake. Dammit, I thought, I'll just get up, have a few sips of lemonade, pee now to make more room and maybe I'd be able to sleep the last two hours until the alarm would go off.
I flung the covers back and smacked my husband just out of principle (he snored away, so I took a cheap shot, ok.) I shuffled my way to the kitchen, guiding myself like a blind man, touching and feeling the walls on each side of me in the hall, cringing at the cold on my feet once I hit first the hardwood floor of the livingroom and then the ceramic tiles of the kitchen floor. I snapped my eyes shut when the glare of the refrigerator light blinded me. Peeking out of the corner of my right eye, I found the juice bottle, unscrewed the cap and started to drink directly from the bottle. Half way through my swallow, I stopped and not because I remember my mother's chastisements about drinking right from the jug. Someone was in the room with me.
At first, I just sensed the empty area around me not be empty anymore. It felt the way it feels when someone gets in your space. It seemed as if someone stepped into my comfort zone, that personal 12 inches around your body that houses your aura. Then, the quality of the air changed. In stories, they tell you the air becomes colder but in reality the opposite happens. The molecules bounced against one another and a warm mass took shape.
I said a silent, “Hello,” and high-tailed it back to bed, hiding my head under the blankies. For the rest of the night, I lay fitful, thinking about the seventy year old man who owned this house six years ago and died in my kitchen.