I have been having an on-off debate with my son Tom on the existence of ghosts.
He insists “there’s no such thing” and I do have some sympathy with that argument if we are referring to apparitions, I am sceptical of alledged sightings and would prefer to attribute such phenomena to some individual or collective hysteria.
No, I believe that ghosts are a personal matter, ghosts are the things haunt or spook us, that keep us up at night or wake us with a start in the morning.
But there are other times when we can be affected. I have just been to Glastonbury where I had the most spectacular time. I laughed a lot, I chatted to people, I drank, I ate and I generally made merry. So why, in the midst of all this fun and enjoyment, did a thought strike me, a thought I have not had for many years.Why did that particular ghost choose to haunt me at that particular moment.
This ghost has been around for a long time. Usually, like ghosts do, it lurks in the shadows, hides in the nooks and crannies of my mind. Usually it waits until I am feeling a bit down and it chooses that moment to strike, to nag away at me and bring me further down. That’s how ghosts work, they unsettle you when you are feeling vulnerable, when you are in a dark and scary place they use this in their favour to rattle you and upset you further.
But this time I was in a bright place, I was in a happy state of mind. I wasn’t the happiest I have ever been but I was feeling good and then… What’s this? Where did you come from? You’re not going to spoil this, you’re not…Bugger, your starting to spoil this now, I’m going to ignore you, I know I can’t, I know that now you are out of hiding you are going to play your games and have your fun with me. I know there is nothing I can do until you get bored. I can’t reason with you, ghosts don’t care for arguments, they will make themselves known and they will have their say and they will disappear again, until the next time.
I know I should share this ghost with someone, I know when you try to get another person to see the ghost it goes away, maybe not forever but it goes because it cannot be seen by others. It can be described and the more you describe it, the more you give shape to this vague visitor the less threatening it becomes and when it cannot fuck with you it fucks off.
So be warned, your days are numbered.