Memory Motel: Part 47: Ghost Classifieds
At least it answers the question as to which…” Keisha stopped mid-sentence, pointing with her thumb to the side… “Who the hell is that?” She was looking at a man, definitely a ghost, young, mid-20s, maybe late 20s, his skin pale, like ash that was pale, thin, glazed. “Has he just died…”
“I don’t think so, he doesn’t have that freshly dead smell about him. He should be panicked or in shock…”
“He is in shock…”
“I don’t believe he is, I think he is just very upset about ev…”
“I can hear you.” The man replied.
“Are you okay, dude?” Billy asked.
“I am not. I killed myself ten years ago. Standing at the Union Square Subway station, I jumped right in front of that train. Ping, pang, I was gone. For good reason, some of us have lives like that, lives that seem to exist to pile it on. I thought OK, that is it. And here I am….”
“ You could go to the Aftermath you know…”
“I have a question,” Keisha said. “Who the fuck cares… Guy, get your cracker suicide ass out of here, we have work to do…”
“Please, honor among ghosts.”
“Are you kidding me? He has been dead ten years, the loser needs to get lost so we can figure out what we want to do, we only have one more day left…”
“My name is Jeff Bender, my story is full of woe…”
“I don’t care…”
“What happened to you, dude?”
“I never knew who my dad was… well, I do know now but I didn’t when I was alive and my Mom was a junkie, who worked as mule, hustled a little on the side, and four herself on the wrong side of a deal going down and was shot to death before she was 21. I was two years old, no family, no relations. I found myself going from an orphanage to foster care, nothing is worse than foster care…”
“Orphanages, I thought they didn’t exist anymore…”
“They exist… Foster care was worse, those people who ran them were terrible people. At least in the four I went to, moving around like a pawn on a chess board. I can’t tell you what was worse, going unnoticed or going unnoticed. And then, at the age of eighteen, I was done, out on the streets.
“Three of us kids left foster care at the same time, and we joined together, and rented a two room apartment and I guess from then till I was around 21 was the happiest days of my life. We all felt like we might make it through alive. But by the time I was 21, one of them was dead -he isn’t here, I’ve looked and the other was in prison… and I couldn’t afford it so I lived in a room in a house in Queens. That’s an odd half life, living in a room in a home: it’s like there are all these people who belong to each other and there is you who belongs to no one at all.
“I was working in an accounting firm but not getting anywhere at all: just doing time, and, you know, there was a girl at work and I fell in love with her. I don’t know how it happened, it was like I had gone for a walk and tripped over my own feet. Her name was Florence. She was pretty, a little short even for a woman, maybe four nine, and she chewed bubblegum all the time. From Long Island. She took advantage of me I guess. I’d walk her to Penn Station every night, and she’d tell me about her Mom, who she was always fighting with, and her dad who divorced her Mom when she discovered she was sleeping with his best friend, and he lived in Fresno, and she went to visit him every year but it never ended well. He had his other family now.
“Florence knew nothing about me, never asked me anything and I never offered. I’m not talkative…”
“If you are not talkative why don’t you shut the fuck up and go away. Go haunt Florence or spy on her in the shower or something…”