As I mentioned before I work with the elderly. It’s hard not to get close to them no matter how thick of a wall you’ve built. You get close enough you can tell who they are just by their sounds and odors. I can tell who’s close by without ever seeing them. That’s until they yell my name. This never stops, it’s like the “All-Mike Choir” and it’s nonstop. By the time I’m ready to go home I hate my name. Depending on their healthcare coverage some get aides and assistants to help them with their daily needs. Some get or want very little so they come to me.
The manager says I’ll get use to them passing away, but I haven’t yet. Since the first of the year two of my friends are gone. One day they’re perfectly healthy and happy then they’re gone. I’m cold to it but I’ll never get use to it. I’m typically alone through out the day taking care of running the building and making 50 people happy. Happy as in being quiet for a few days so I can get other things done. Early morning and mid-afternoon are the times when the building comes alive. While the living residents are still asleep, or resting or what ever they do, my friends come out. The building gets so quiet you hear yourself breathing, but that’s when Mr. Brown will clear his throat. Or Ms. Piper comes down the hall pushing her walker with the worn out skids on the carpet. Nellie will sing off in the distance. Then there’s the smell of incense Nicki used to cover the odor of the cigarettes they’re not allowed to be smoking. These are just a few of my friends who’ve died several years ago but never really left.
Twice in the last 24 hours my mom has communicated to me to visit my dad for Christmas this year. There’s two things stopping that; I don’t celebrate Christmas and he made it clear for me not to contact him.
Just as I sat down to write this there was movement across the upstairs hall and stopped at the top of the steps. The air is heavy in here now and I’m unsure who’s visiting. Sometimes you can feel when something’s about to happen.
I took a few pictures the other day. It was a sunny day that reminded me of 9/11. A deep blue sky with no clouds, no sound, just stillness. I have an iPhone for work and I keep my personal phone hidden in the electronics room. This evening I wanted to download the pictures and I found this. I don’t know who this is or why it’s on my phone. I text my brother the other day and heard a woman’s voice say “Mike, I’ll see you.” while I sat alone on the couch in the common area. I looked around and there wasn’t anyone but I’m use to that in the building. This could be who I heard?
Second hour recording empty bedroom. Edited to 6:00 minutes. A lot of activity and you can hear feet running down a long hallway around 4:30.
This is the first of a 7 1/2 hour recording of the wall inside the bedroom. The sounds started 1/2 hour after I left for work on Friday July 15th, 2016. It’s been edited down to 2 minutes. What I thought was inside the wall may be movement inside the room.
When I first looked at this place the owner looked back into the woods as he unlocked the door. It wasn’t a glance to look at the scenery, more of a “should I hurry and unlock this door” kind of look. You can tell when someone knows something. The place gave off a hollow silence waiting to be awaken. It felt like someone was there or had just been there. Two and a half years later and everything I’ve encountered here tells me I was correct remembering the look he gave into the woods.
My bedroom sits next to the bathroom. The rooms share the wall where my headboard was situated. The first few weeks the new sounds took a while to get use to. Watching TV one night, my head was against the headboard. The first few thumps I blew off as the TV. After a while it sounded like a hallway inside the wall. I pressed my ear up to it. That’s exactly what I was hearing. A busy hallway inside the wall. Echo’s of walking and doors shutting. I examined the wall between the rooms. In the bathroom is a wall heater, in the bedroom is an outlet. No plumbing or air ducts or anything that would give off obvious sounds. The tub is metal, it shouldn’t be flexing like fiberglass or plastic surrounds. At times it would sound like there’s someone right up against the wall with me. I would knock and all the sounds would come to a halt. Slowly they would pick back up to the steady pace they normally are.
A few months ago I moved my bed to the opposite wall just so I could face the doorway out into the hall. Occasionally I could hear sounds in the wall if I laid still enough. Friday morning I was slowly getting up. Work doesn’t start until 10:30 or 11:00 am. When ever I get there. I sat in the bathroom getting ready for my shower. Just sitting there half awake I heard a scuff inside the wall. I looked at the wall heater directly in front of me and felt the sensation I was being watched. Right above the towel bar was the nail that held the picture I had knocked off the wall Monday when I pulled my towel off the bar too fast. The nail slowly moved up and down as it pushed it’s way out from the wall and stopped. That was the fastest shower I ever took. Before I left for work I sat the Digital Voice Recorder on the dresser and taped it to the wall. This ran for seven and a half hours. When I got home the first thing I did was listen to it. Within the first half hour the sounds started. These will take a while to listen too and I have to get the file off the recorder and onto my computer. There’s more coming…
A few years ago a lady passed away where I work. She put her piano in the community room for everyone. Occasionally someone would play it, most people thought it was an eyesore. Also, when someone cleaned out a closet they would set things on a table in the community room for anyone to take. When I came in the other morning there was a pile. Not paying any attention to it, I went about my usual routine. Getting off the elevator back on the first floor I could hear the faint sound of the piano playing. It was Music Box Dancer. I headed towards the community room as the music faded the closer I got. The lights were off, only the gloomy rays from the rainy early morning came in. There was silence by the time I turned into the doorway. After the lady died her family took the piano, it’s been gone for over a year but that’s not what caught my attention in there. Sitting in front of the pile of belongings on the table was this wood carved statue looking at me.