Years ago, right after I moved into my last apartment in Chicago, the one I expected to die alone in to the soundtrack of an NCIS marathon, I thought I had a ghost. Several nights a week, I would be awakened from a dead sleep by this—I don’t know how to describe it without sounding like a fucking moron, but I’ll try—vibrational energy? I’d be knocked out atop a pile of pizza boxes and magazines, then be jolted fully awake by a humming and swaying feeling in the air.
I am a dumb person who doesn’t understand building structure or architecture, but it didn’t seem like the kind of thing a fucking midrise apartment building should be doing. It was like my room was droning at me. Every morning while getting ready for work in those days, I would listen to this ridiculous show on Kiss FM hosted by a dude I’m pretty sure called himself Drex. You know what makes me wistful for a happier, simpler time? Thinking about when I could actually crack a fucking smile at prank mother-in-law calls on drive-time radio shows before living turned to hell and I had to be mad about everything all the goddamned time. You know what I listen to now? Pod Save America, on a phone I come perilously close to dropping in a toilet full of feces every single morning. Because we live in a fiery hellscape, and I don’t know what the three branches of government do exactly, I need three IPA bros to explain our crumbling democracy to me between ads for sheets and Bluetooth speakers while I wonder which of the six washcloths scattered around the shower is mine.
So early one morning Drex on Kiss FM tells this riveting story to the other hosts (you know how those shows are: pop hits interspersed with prank calls and ticket giveaways, and they feature a woman of color who is funnier than the host is, but who is forced to play sidekick, and featuring “my old pal Clown Car with the traffic and weather on the twos!”) about how he had a ghost in his place. And he knew it was a ghost because he’d come home after work and cabinets would be hanging open and shit would be rearranged, and no one else had a key to his apartment. I immediately glanced around my clothing-strewn apartment and wondered, Was that novelty Taco Bell bag filled with Corn Chex cereal on my nightstand when I left yesterday? Drex had consulted with a paranormal expert who told him that the best way to deal with a ghost is to firmly yet politely demand that they leave, because apparently ghosts have some strict moral code that they are required to adhere to. And so, the day before, when he’d gotten home from work to find yet another rearranging of his belongings, he yelled at the ghost to leave him alone, and lo and behold, IT DID. I was gobsmacked. Read More