I have not always been a ghost. Once I was Real. But somehow, over the years I lost the knack of holding myself together.

Each demurral and self-effacement caused the molecules of my being to loosen and dissolve, until the day I disappeared altogether.

In the early days of my un-being I haunted the rooms of my childhood home in a bewildered fog of disbelief. I desperately held onto the hope that it was just a miserable dream, that I would awaken from it relieved and that I would resolve to do more than merely exist.

But I never woke.

Now l wander, only casting the faintest of shadows, living off fragments of discarded dreams.

I finally abandoned the building I  called home when it was demolished. It was there that I stumbled upon the castoffs that became my only sustenance.

They had collected, a bit like drifts of translucent leaves, in the corners of my rooms. Not knowing what they were, one day, I picked one up. It was a palm sized sheaf that had the consistency of candyfloss. I remember smelling it, it reminded me of stale bread. What possessed me to taste and eat it, I do not know. Before I realised what I was doing I ate three shreds. Appalled at my incomprehensible appetite I fled the room, intending never to return. But as time passed, the hunger that grew in me was impossible to dismiss.

Emptiness gnawed at me. It became an obsession that I tried to ignore. It pounded through me, like my heart once had. Until, in shameful desperation, I returned.

It was only after consuming the fifth consecutive piece that knew what it was that I devoured.

Once, as a child, I fancied that dancing was the most joyful thing to do. I spun and leaped through my days, feeling light and beautiful. Until the dancing lessons. There I was bullied and cajoled by my Teacher and my Mother, respectively, until a dark shadow invaded my soul. I had to do it this way, not that way. My steps had to be smaller, more controlled and in time with everyone else. I had to look like the other dancers, and move like them. One morning, at breakfast, warm toast on my plate, I tremulously begged my Mother not to make me go to lessons. Resistant at first, she finally conceded.

At first, I only consumed my own sloughed off hopes and wishes. Each one had a powerful poignancy and I wept for my young self. So many doors closed and forever locked. So much life denied.



4 thoughts on “Ghost

  1. Gorgeous imagery, profound story. I’m happy to live in my life…more fully with each year. I love meeting others who do the same.

    And the dancing, and the lessons that killed the spark? A huge part of the reason that we unschool.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This evoked great imagery for me. I can also relate to it in the sense that we can all be like ghosts when we are absorbed in our daily routines. For me it was the two weeks I took off from the daily grind when my daughter was born that I felt awakened. That is when I started writing and have not only discovered a new sense of purpose, but also a great joy. Thank you for this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, indeed, we often haunt rather than live our lives. Some of us are lucky enough to be awakened to fully appreciate the beauty and joy around us. Thank you for sharing, and keep up the writing!


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