The Ghosts That Don’t Live Here Anymore
I want this to be the year I permanently stop letting dead dreams and expired expectations take up space in my life
When I was a teenager, I used to have this really unsettling, disturbingly realistic recurring dream about living in a huge house that was not only falling apart but full of malicious ghosts. However, the ghosts were very selective about the parts of the house they haunted.
The bottom floor was mercifully ghost-free. But it was also the least functional part of the house. Everything was broken and dirty, and it was just a really depressing place to be overall. The garden was spacious and accessible but just as unpleasant — full of dead plants, broken pottery, and the kind of bugs that bite you to death the minute they see you coming.
But the top floor was another story entirely.
Up there, it was wholly inviting and pristinely kept, filled from end to end with gorgeous Baroque-style furniture and beautiful, expensive things. The windows were tall and spotless, covered by impossibly soft velvet curtains that let in an abundance of perfect light when opened.
But that also happened to be the portion of the house that was heavily, impossibly haunted. Every time I’d try to access any of the rooms or spend any time there, it was just a matter of time — usually mere seconds — before some awful, malicious presence began to manifest and do everything in its power to drive me back downstairs where it thought I belonged.
So I stayed away from there. And I made do with all the dust, dirt, and brokenness on the bottom floor. Sometimes my dream found me making plans to take back that top floor someday before becoming afraid again and deciding against it.
And I’d tell myself that someday things would be different — someday when I’d finally learned how to get rid of ghosts and keep them out of spaces meant for the living and not the dead.
All that said, I’ve never been what you’d call a New Year’s resolution person. Because when it comes to positive change I’m actually serious about, I generally want the rest of my life to start as soon as possible. I don’t want to wait for some magical date to arrive…