Elena said she’s got a ghost
in her apartment.
She doesn’t seem very concerned about it.
Her exact words were,
“It’s like, whatever,” said with a shrug
as she took a sip of beer.
“What do you mean, ‘whatever’?”
I asked incredulously.
“Is it a friendly ghost, a poltergeist?
Do you need a priest?”
“Nah,” she replied.
“It’s fine. It’s not really a big deal.”
“Look,” I told her,
“Either you have proof of life after death
or a rat’s nest in your walls. It is a big deal.
What does the ghost do anyway?”
“I’ll hear some banging sounds at night,
coming from the kitchen
when I’m all alone.”
“You have mice or a squirrel,” I told her.
“Not a ghost.”
“Normally, I’d agree with you,” she replied.
“But he moans sometimes.”
“It’s a he? And he moans?”
“It’s not just your upstairs neighbor jacking off?”
“No!” she laughed.
“It’s like a faint, sad, mopey moan.”
“And the banging around.
“Not every night.
I’d say, like four or five nights a week.”
“And you’re okay with this?”
“It’s not really that big of a deal.
If I’m trying to sleep, I’ll shout
‘Oh my God, Shut up!’,
and it all stops.
It’s just kind of like
having a depressed nocturnal roommate.”
I paused for a moment.
Our food had arrived.
I swallowed a bit of my burger and said,
“Maybe you’re supposed to do something
to free his spirit.”
Elena shrugged, looked for the waitress,
so she could get another beer.
“He hasn’t asked me
to do anything like that,
so I wouldn’t want to be rude.
He doesn’t mess with me
or my stuff.
I’ve decided to call him ‘Elmer,’”
she added brightly.
“Well, maybe that’s why he’s moaning,”
The waitress put our check down
as she brushed past us.
“No rush,” she said absentmindedly.