When I’m struggling a bit with my writing, I listen to IN A TIME LAPSE and ELEMENTS from Italian pianist and composer, Ludovico Einaudi. This song, Sarabande is from his album, IN A TIME LAPSE. It’s one of my favorites. The music reminds me of a conversation. It’s such a beautifully sad yet hopeful song.
It’s always about Jack.
When will you move on?
Let him go.
Forget about him.
He is not real.
The last one stops me. Makes me remember. Jack is not real. Jack is not real. Jack is not real.
This is the lie I tell myself.
Or is it the other one? The one where I tell myself Jack is real.
Sometimes I don’t even know the truth.
If I’m the only one who sees him does it make him any less real?
I know he’s there. He’s always there. He sits on the edge of my bed, his back towards me, his face stuck in a book, always reading, always focused on something else, someone else. Never me.
I’ve tried to make him turn around. It’s not a pretty thing to do. And mostly I’m ashamed of my efforts whether its because they failed or because I attempted them in the first place purely to make him turn around.
Jack mutters some random words about it not being my time, tells me to stop trying, but he won’t turn around.
Jack is the reason my parents sent me to Dr. Reynolds. Jack is the reason why Scott said this wasn’t working for him, that we wanted different things. He said he wanted a girlfriend who was present and alive and wanted to experience life, and I wanted Jack.
I could disagree. I could say it wasn’t the truth, that I wanted Scott and not Jack. In some ways I did want Scott. I wanted those things he wanted too. But when you grow up with Death sitting on the edge of your bed, it makes wanting those things a little confusing. I didn’t want to put Scott through it, through my death. It wasn’t fair to him to let him fall in love with me, make a life with me and then have Jack snatch it away when he felt like it. I kept people at arms length. It was safer that way.
Jack is the reason I don’t sleep. Jack is the reason I don’t dream. Jack is the reason I don’t live.
But Jack is not real. Jack is not real. Jack is not real.
©Danielle Tauscher, 2017
Miles works the graveyard shift. He enjoys the solitude, the quiet. What he doesn’t enjoy are the ghosts. Those things are chatty. Always trying to get him to sort things out for them. Some nights no one shows up. Miles sips his coffee, reads a book and makes notes in his journal about all the things he’d like to accomplish by the time he’s 25, 35, 45, 55 and so on.
On the nights the ghosts show up, it’s noisy and chaotic. Sometimes only two or three ghosts show up. Miles can handle two or three ghosts. He listens to their stories, their demands. He writes it down in his book. He makes no promises, but he says he’ll try.
Sometimes all a ghost wants is to say good-bye. Miles has delivered many letters from ghosts. He leaves them on doorsteps. He never hand delivers them because that raises too many questions.
On the nights when a bunch of ghosts show up, it’s not as easy. Ghosts aren’t good at waiting. Some of them have been waiting years for someone like Miles. They become impatient, demanding. He remains calm in these situations. Miles tries to get to every one who wants to talk to him. Some nights he can’t, but he knows the ghosts will return.
Miles doesn’t know what happens after he delivers the messages, but those ghost never return to him. He likes to think they’ve moved on to wherever we go when we die.
Some ghosts want revenge. Miles doesn’t like these ghosts. He tries to be understanding, but revenge won’t bring the ghosts back to life. In theory, it’ll just create more ghosts for Miles. Revenge ghosts aren’t evil. They’re confused and bitter, but mostly lost. The best thing for them is to simply listen. It could take Miles a whole night just for one revenge ghost to settle down long enough to tell him their story. Once the ghost does, it begins to change. Sometimes all one needs is for someone else to listen without judgement or fear.
Some nights the only ghost to show up is the one who works the graveyard shift. He waits for someone to listen to his story. He makes notes in his journal about all the things he’d like to accomplish in his life. Miles doesn’t like to admit it, but he has more in common with the ghosts who haunt him than the people who don’t see him.
©Danielle Tauscher, 2017
The children were not afraid
Though they should have been
But children were not burdened by the same fears as adults
Children embraced the shadows
Children made friends with the unseen
Children learned the names of ghosts
Ghosts who giggled when they played
Ghosts who lived inside the dollhouse
Now collecting dust in the attic
Inside the memories
Of adults too afraid to remember.
©Danielle Tauscher 2017