I like to walk around in other people’s houses when they are not there. It thrills me.
I like to open kitchen cabinets and refrigerator doors and I like to peer under beds and parse paint choices and peruse bookshelves.
I like to straighten pictures and nudge knick-knacks just a touch to the left, just a touch to the right.
I walk, I look, and I wonder about the people.
Would they notice the planter askew, where I had moved it with my finger? Would they mind that I used to bathroom? I startled the cat on my way to the bedroom, poor thing. I creaked the floorboards going up and down the hallway.
Tee-hee! Ha, ha, ha!!
I think about how fun it is to haunt people, and then how ultimately pointless.
And then we gave notice on our apartment, and for a while I wondered about my own paint choices, the books lining the shelves in my living room, the contents of my refrigerator. My plants, my furniture, the crusty dishes I left in the sink.
And I thought about being haunted.
Do I want to live somewhere where the people before had painted the walls a deep, insistent mauve? Where the kitty litter had been kept, of all places, in the kitchen? Where Anne Rice enjoyed such an undeniable presence?
And which Anne Rice? Anne Rice, Queen of the Damned? Anne Rice, The Pious? The Once and Future Anne Rice?
Does it matter?
There were hand smudges on the walls of my new place. I painted over them but sometimes when I pass along the hallway, I can almost just see them.
And I admit that for now I will avoid looking directly into the dirty mirrors strewn around this place, I will throw away the greasy microwave that was left here, I will sprinkle “Nature’s Miracle Just for Cats Urine Destroyer Intense Urine Stain & Odor Remover” around this godforsaken place like freakin’ holy water.
I think that would be best, don’t you?
Ha, ha, ha.