My home is filled with poltergeists and thieves attempt to break in constantly. This kind of living situation would cramp my style but it is limited to when Roscoe is not home. I live in an 85 year old house in the student ghetto, this fact rarely bothers me. But the moment that Roscoe leaves something changes, shadows grow to enormous sizes, the hallways become endless and the ghosts emerge from the woodwork. Suddenly every passerby on the street below is a convicted felon, hell bent on stealing my toaster oven and collection of jigsaw puzzles.
I do my best to deal with the unwelcome spirits and burglars on my own. And by on my own, what I mean is I call my parents, grandparents, friends, sister, the Coca Cola 1-800 number, anyone who will pick up their phone. “The house is haunted ! And there are armed bandits outside the door.! ” I’ll wail into the phone. My parents, having lived with me for twenty some odd years are rarely fazed. They will say “The strange thing is, our house stopped being haunted the day you moved out. Just lock the door- you’ll be fine”. Not a helpful observation when one hears a ninja with a baseball bat lurking near the kitchen window.
My best friend Chastity, who is a PhD candidate and a first rate problem solver immediately starts looking up natural remedies “A ghost? Did you try burning sweet grass? You’ll need a match, and some sage too.”
My sister, after seeing I’ve posted strange things on her Facebook twice that evening; “Diana, my house tripled in size, I got lost walking to the pantry, please call me” and “Diana, I’m becoming strange because Roscoe isn’t home, please call me” won’t even pick up her phone.
The people at the 1-800 Coca Cola number quickly tire of talking with me. “My house is filled with ghosts! Cannibalistic ghosts! And robbers!” I say in a high pitched voice that my parents endearingly named my “hysterical chipmunk” tone. “Thank you for calling ma’am but what does this have to do with your Sprite beverage?” the kindly operator will say. “Oh, I don’t consume soft drinks but I thought a multimillion dollar corporation might have some suggestions for how to deal with a paranormal infestation and burglary” I’ll reply. Funny enough my calls to 1-800 numbers seem to disconnect a lot.
After exhausting my conversational skills, I’ll retire to bed. This is a whole process in and of itself. In order for me to sleep when I’m home alone, the chest of drawers must be pushed up against the bedroom door. However last night this was impossible because Roscoe had moved the chest of drawers upstairs. Lacking any other option, I began to move the giant, dirty laundry mountain in front of the door. It is widely known that ghosts hate the scent of old socks. Also any potential intruders would be caught in the many arms of the clothes-spider I created using Roscoe’s dress shirts.
With all of my ghost busting and crime protection measures in place I am able to climb into bed. Just before I nod off to sleep, many hours past my standard eight thirty pm bedtime I send off a text to Roscoe. “Stop treating all the car accident victims and come home. House has become a den of thieves and Mecca for the afterlife.”
*Names have been changed to protect the identities of the brilliant. However for once I actually let the person in question choose their written name. When she was three, after emigrating to Canada from China, not only did Chastity get to choose her English name but she also chose her little brother’s English name when he was born. I don’t even know if I could have shouldered that level of responsibility now as a fully functional adult let alone as a toddler. If given the choice, three year old me probably would have called Diana “Dry Goods”. She would have been easier to sell that way.
My brilliant and somewhat conservative friend chose the name “Chastity”, because she wanted to keep with the stripper nom de plume theme The Great Unwashed has going.