What an unexpected question! And yet - I feel I can address it.
I was brought up to believe in ghosts. Every night, when I was put to bed as a boy, there were old stories, legends, rumours - suspicions mixed with superstitions to become terrible. While they were designed to scare a small child into going to bed and staying there quiet with his eyes closed, they were believed to some extent by their teller. The conviction in her eyes imparted itself, and I surely did believe in ghosts. I believed more immediately and more relentlessly than I think would be likely in these later times. Spirits and ha'nts, she said. And there were worse and more archetypal characters and horrors waiting in the dark. I was taught to fear and to keep my eyes closed tight all the night. Evil eyes and wards, and to never ever speak of it. It was not my gentle and loving Methodist mama who told me these tales and put this wild horror to my dreams and baby worries. She would have spoken of God's love and how He had not created such nightmares to torment us. It was my Mammy, who cared for me and watched me, who bathed me and darned my clothes. In these days, and since the war, one may not speak of it - of that lost time of my childhood. But it was so, and it was my reality. And she instilled fear into me, though she too loved and cared for me.
I did believe in ghosts. But later?
I thought perhaps I was one myself. I was doomed to roam the world like the Wandering Jew, or like Cain. Untouched and untouching. Dead, and yet animate. Already passed beyond mortal ken and kin, and yet remaining and haunting without end. And sometimes, in the depths of fever, I sometimes truly believed it was so. That it was so and would never end.
Now, all I can say is that I do not know. Touching and touched. I am no ghost. And yet, time has moved impossibly. Did I die in that distant room in Colorado? I did. Then how came I here? I do not know. How is it that I did not see Wyatt again, yet? What will I find at his grave? But I know
I am now no ghost. And that I am not haunted. And there are no horrors in the simple dark.Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Word Count: 398
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Nulli Virtute Secundus