The Ghost I Live With

I have a ghost roommate. A roommate who kind of exists, but also kind of doesn’t, and leaves me strange hints of her comings and goings. A water bottle I didn’t leave in the fridge. Tissue boxes moved and hand towels left a little damp.

I’ve got a real roommate too, sometimes. When he’s in New York that is. He empties the dishwasher when I forget to and leaves bottles of seltzer everywhere.

My ghost roommate is almost never here when I am. She’ll text me her hours. Four to six on Tuesday and five to seven on Wednesday, maybe. If I’m at work I never see her.

My ghost roommate grew up in this apartment. It was her parent’s place, and my room was her childhood bedroom. The walls are decorated with art her parents bought. Family photos of her family—a family I don’t know.

My father—who is my other, realer roommate, rented this apartment from her about a year ago. He’s back and forth from New York. Here a few days, gone a few more. He needed somewhere to sleep, mostly. He works long days while he’s up here.

So when he rented an apartment with a ghost roommate, it wasn’t a big deal. The ghost roommate-our land lady—would be here running SAT tutoring sessions during the day and he would be gone, and not have to think about it. The rent would be cheaper, and it wouldn’t even have to interact with our resident ghost.

The strange painting/ light switch
in the kitchen. Hit it and the lights
come on. 
But then I moved in. My hours are stranger, and I’m a little more present. I want to cook in the kitchen. Make things. Take up space.

My ghost roommate and I get along alright. We’re pleasant, usually. She doesn’t think I keep the shower clean, and I think she leaves rotten food in the fridge, but our interactions, always over text, are polite.

It’s strange living with a ghost. I don’t leave things around the apartment, and none of the decorations are mine. The whole apartment feels a little like it was lifted out of a late 70’s daydream—white couches and strange art and lamps that shine in a strange almost brassy kind of way.

I’m trying my hardest to settle in to my life in New York, but I still haven’t settled down in my apartment.
Haunted houses don’t make for restful nights, and the ghost I’m living with, even though she’s friendly, is still a ghost. Is still a whisper and a glimpse and a ring from a water glass left on the table.

It’s strange. But it’s life so I’m living it.

After all, you only get to live once. Unless, of course, you come back as a ghost. 

Share this:


    Blogger Comment


Post a Comment