I once knew a girl who believed in ghosts. she still does, we just don’t talk about it anymore. She would tell me how she was visited by spirits and ghosts. Spirits, these were the vague apparitions that gave off a ‘feeling.’ The ghosts were what you would expect — more physical and tangible beings. She never knew them, as in, they weren’t recognizable as deceased family or historical figures. These were the ghosts of strangers. Nameless forms. Faceless globs.
They came to her at night when she was in bed, alone, doused in mild sleep. She was also a frequent afternoon napper; snoring away on the couch or in the backyard hammock, but there in the open daylight, she was alone. No spirits. No ghosts. When the ghosts did visit at night, curiously enough, they were never clear as to why they came to her. If they spoke, she only heard murmurs. A syllable. A tone. They would sound scared or sad or tired or angry. When I would stay the night the ghosts never came and no spirits were felt, but when we would argue in her apartment she would say it was because her place was haunted. She said she had always argued with boyfriends in that apartment because the ghosts that haunted her apartment were angry and inspired senseless aggression.
The ghost sightings were common, and then there were the dreams. She would dream of someone and need to call them first thing in the morning. She would get a ‘feeling’ — someone’s in danger or something just happened right now to a friend. The worst moment, for me at least, was when she had a feeling that a friend of hers, Johnny*, was being cheated on. She felt that Johnny’s girlfriend had cheated on him, gotten pregnant, and had an abortion without him knowing about it, but because of her closeness with the spiritual world she knew it had happened. She had to tell Johnny about it. He took it in. He knew our friend’s penchant for spiritual feelings and asked her how she knew. Did she see his girlfriend cheat? Was she spotted coming out of an abortion clinic? ‘No,’ she said. ‘I just have a feeling.’
These feelings were always wrong. Her dreams never foresaw anything. Every once in awhile she would get a feeling that was vague enough to match up, and a friend would get a unexpected phone call. These moments kept her beliefs afloat.
Not to discount anyone’s belief in ghosts, or faith in the afterlife. I would love it if ghosts were real. That would be incredible. How interesting would that make life? If we knew ghosts were real and they hung out with us? Everyone who sees ghosts, they only arrive at night or in the darkness. Never tangible, never provable. Just vague feelings that require you to believe them. I wish I could, but I can’t. What I would thoroughly enjoy is to be sitting here at my desk typing away, and there, poof – a ghost. Physical. Speaking real words I could understand. We could talk and trade stories. My life, the ghost’s life. How we wound up where we are. Good stuff.
This girl truly believed in her visiting ghosts and it was fun playing along for awhile. I will give anything a chance. I’m a sucker and will believe most anything. We would have these long interesting discussions about what each occurrence could possibly mean (because it had to mean something) and why the spirits chose her but after months of this, it just got boring. It was all speculation. It could only go nowhere.
Belief is difficult, especially if all you ask for is proof. I don’t want to have to blindly trust a feeling. Just give me the goods. The real stuff. But then that isn’t what faith is about. There are some questions you will only know the answer to once you die and make that journey. When it’s my time to go and I end up a ghost I’ll do my best to find her, and apologize. I hope that’s the case. That could make for one crazy afterlife.
*”Johnny,” the name given to silly robots and sitcom boyfriends, always works in a pinch.