Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday The Good

"I like things to be story-shaped.

Reality, however, is not story-shaped, and the eruptions of the odd into our lives are not story-shaped, either. They do not end in entirely satisfactory ways. Recounting the strange is like telling one's dreams; one can communicate the events of a dream but not the emotional content, the way that a dream can color one's entire day."

- Neil Gaiman, The Flints of Memory Lane, from Fragile Things

As I spend what's left of Good Friday - a hellish day fraught with sundry miseries, personal fears, and feelings of anger and abandonment - the door to my bedroom has creaked and slowly swung open once again. And yet again, despite my anticipations, there is no head peeking from behind it. No one behind the door in the darkness.


No one human, anyway.

It doesn't help that I've been re-reading Gaiman of late, and am clutching his book Fragile Things to my chest astride the laptop I'm now writing this entry on. Not that Gaiman spooks me. I find his stories entertaining and intriguing, more than macabre, although they are most certainly that, as well.

Which is why I wonder why I was just a wee bit...perturbed at this latest trick of the door. There is no draft in the anteroom leading to my bedroom - especially not on this still, sultry night. All the windows are shuttered, and the door to the balcony there is always kept closed. My bedroom door itself tends to get stubbornly stuck when shut, which makes its regular surprise openings even more...quizzical.

And the creaking footsteps I hear upstairs while I am working downstairs in the study have fairly recently evolved into heavy, pounding footsteps just outside my bedroom door. I can actually feel my bed and my floor vibrating to these steps. 

And still, when I look - nothing but darkness.

Oh, yeah. And if my religious aunts are to be believed, God is dead and demons walk the earth freely tonight till He wakes up on Sunday.

Or was that Halloween?

At any rate...just thought it was a curious coincidence to have been reading the following passages from a Gaiman poem, from the same collection of short fictions, shortly before the portal to my personal chambers gingerly opened once again. 

Verses which eerily echo the goings-on in this big empty place, and my usual reactions to them.

The poem's title, fittingly enough, is The Hidden Chambers :

Do not fear the ghosts in this house; they are the least of your worries.
Personally I find the noises they make reassuring,
The creaks and footsteps in the night,
their little tricks of hiding things,
or moving them, I find
endearing, not upsettling.*

It makes the place
feel so much more like home.

While you are here, of course,
you will hear the ghosts, always a room away,
and you may wake beside me in the night,
knowing that there's a space without a door
knowing that there's a place that's locked
but isn't there.

Hearing them scuffle, echo, thump, and pound.



*As per Gaiman, in his introduction:"Upsettling is what Humpty Dumpty called "a portmanteau word," occupying the territory between upsetting and unsettling."


  1. It makes the place
    feel so much more like home.

    I like these passages. :)

    Happy Easter, Ruddie.

    1. I suppose living with ghosts can be preferable to living alone.