Every now and then I’m reminded that I’m haunted.
I’ve said this fact out loud. Several times. I’ve used it to kill time at work, drunkenly declared it at parties, and admitted it to concerned friends during an odd happening or two.
This is the first time I’ve written it. I’m nervous about that. There’s humoring your coworkers, and then there’s detailing your insanity on the internet. For that reason I won’t name my ghosts (I’m fairly certain I know the identity of at least one of them). The internet lasts forever.
The interactions with my spirits feel, generally, harmless. They’re never brutal, they never persist for too long. It’s radios flipping on at the highest volume, and ornaments toppling to the ground. It’s the discovery of poignant notes from decades prior, marked X’s on my bed, and the chill feeling of someone watching you from above.
I try not to think about the latter as it happens; that one spooks me most. When things fall, I can pick them up. When someone hangs above, I can’t do much other than get stoned and go to sleep.
I am prone to sleep paralysis. These two features of my life have always felt conjoined. It was after an especially stressful evening of being pinned to my bed, hands gripped around my shoulder, a mouth nuzzled and whispering nonsense into my hair, that the X’s arrived. Since then, I’ve run into the odd happening on a fairly consistent basis.
I tried tracing the sleep paralysis back, connecting it to past traumas, explaining the invisible forces away. No cigar.
But I’ve learned to live with occasional reminders. Sometimes ornaments just fall. Sometimes I’m pinned down. And, sometimes, chill air just lingers above.