She stood in the corner. She was gray and she looked nothing like the last time I saw her. Somehow, she’d put her head back together. Her eyes were back in their sockets. There was no blood, no brains leaking from her busted skill.
She stood in the corner and stared at me until I woke. I woke and saw her there an rolled away. I tried to pretend that she wasn’t there. I lay in my bed and tried to drift back to sleep, but sleep was gone and the day was starting.
“I’m not going anywhere,” she said.
I got up and went to the bathroom. She followed me to the door. Even when she was alive, she wouldn’t come into the bathroom when I was pissing.
“Some things,” she said. “Needed to be done alone.”
So she stood in the bedroom waiting for me. I pissed and I thought about staying here all day, but standing in the bathroom waiting for my ghosts to go away never worked. Dead people had all kinds of patience. They had nowhere else to be.
I came back out to the bedroom and dressed and she followed me around. When I went out to the patio for a cigarette, she stood with me.
“I miss that,” she said.
She died nearly thirty years ago and here she was, bugging me, trying to get me to kill myself. I thought hard about it, but I also thought about my sons and my grandson and I knew that I would never do it.
“They’d be better off,” she said.
“You can’t be here,” I said.
“You know better than that,” she said.
My neighbor’s dog howled and barked and I shivered and she touched my neck.
“I miss you,” she said. “It won’t hurt.”
I thought about our daughter, the little baby that died days after she was born. I thought of the heroin highs we shared and I thought that maybe someday, I’d forget all of this and turn into a normal human being. It was never going to happen, but I thought about it.
The sun burned through the naked trees and she started to fade.
“Come on,” she said. “I’ll be here.”
My cigarette burned down and my room mate came out.
“Morning,” my room mate said.
I turned and looked at my room mate. My ghost was gone. That’s the thing about the dead, they aren’t very social. I stood there and pretended that everything was fine. My ghost was gone and I wondered if I’d haunt people when I died. It seemed a little rude. I hoped I’d be more considerate.