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.
Five degrees, several inches of dry snow, wind, and sun. That’s today. I like cold winter days. Sunny ones especially. I didn’t dress warm to go to work today, but while I stared out the windows all I wanted to do was be outside. To me the building is warm but to the elderly its never hot enough. This keeps them in their rooms and keeps my sanity in check. The quiet afternoon in the building was a perfect time to watch outside. Maybe catch the deer or a coyote while I spent a moment staring out the long row of paneled glass. While checking my email a few swirls of dry snow caught my attention long enough to lose my place I had read. I check Facebook then over to Reddit. Once again a larger swirl of snow caught my attention. It seemed it was whirling around a figure. I pulled my glasses up to see farther and to focus. It was a figure. It resembled an inverted shadow person. The glistening outline was obviously facing me. It was a female shape but no real detail. I went back and got my coat. Now I have to go out. The back door was closer so I exited through the back making my way around to the front to greet my new visitor. This is a long cold walk. The sun was in front of the building and the sharp wind was coming at me quick through the forest. Still struggling to get both my coats on and the hoodies pocketed inside each other, there walking beside me was the iridescent figure. Seemingly cold herself, she wouldn’t look up while I tried to grasp who or what I was looking at walking beside me. I got my hoodie’s situated, my gloves on and coats zipped. The apparition wasn’t talkative but seemed to just enjoy the company as I did. My little slip on the ice jolted my body. The words, spoken as soft as the sharp cold breeze filling the air, “be careful”, came from beside me. My first thought was to wonder what would happen if I had slipped and fell. Would she help me up? Laugh? Even though the swirling figure was beside me I kept walking towards the front of the building where I first saw the her. The closer we got to the spot she originated the quieter it got. The wind slowed to a few dying gusts. The 3:45 pm winter sun shining hard into my eyes, there is where she said “good-bye”…
My manager has taken a leave of absence from work, FMLA. It’s been a few weeks and I thought I would text her to see how she was doing. It’s normal for her to not answer me, most of my texts are just statements that don’t need answered or just an emoji. This was about 3:00pm Friday afternoon. At 5:30pm her ringtone I have set just for her on my phone goes off. When I answered it was silent. A strange silence like the phone was being covered but I heard a faint undecipherable whisper. I hung up and called her right back but I got the recording saying “the number you have dialed is either turned off or out of the service area”.
Just a few minutes ago her husband called me. He told me she had been in surgery and is in ICU this morning for blood clots in her lungs. He was able to get her belongings out the hospital lock up where they had been stored since Thursday evening and saw I had called her number. We talked for a few minutes to get caught up. But who called my number?
A vivid dream last night woke me up. I was talking to a female, there were a lot of animals running in the back ground. The conversation was incoherent except she did say, “We’ve never met”. What woke me up was the feeling of her hand on my arm as she got up from the side of my bed. No one was there, the TV was going with the sound off. Thinking I heard the TV, I turned it off. A few hours later I finally get up for the day. Making coffee I noticed a small piece of paper on the drawing table.
(Just now while I’m writing this my alarm clock went off. It’s 8:39 am and not set to go off on Friday. The clock only sets to 15 minute increments, too)
The paper is a piece I use to put my hand on so I don’t smudge drawings with the side of my hand. It’s filled with mostly pink scribbles. The only thing I do know is this isn’t something I’ve done. At least consciously. It is unique, it kind of looks like a child’s scribbling.
I never initiate a conversation about the subject of this blog to anyone. If they start talking about events that’s happened to them, I’m glad to jump in.
Days are long where I work at. There’s one building with fifty people. Not a lot goes on. The property is clean and kept up. Social workers and health-care aides feel safe compared to other places they visit through out the day so they tend to wait for their next appointments in our community room or library. One health-care aide shared her story with me. She knew how to make a short story long and went off in all directions, so I’ll turn a two hour story down to a paragraph.
Sheri’s mother passed away several years ago. On mothers day this year, she sat some flowers at her headstone and took a picture with her phone. A few days afterwards, her phone would vibrate for no reason, although it was set to vibrate and ring when receiving a call. There was no record of any calls coming in. Thursday evening she settled in to veg on the couch. She read a few chapters of a book and grew tired. Sheri set the book on the coffee table, laid the phone face down on top of the book and fell asleep. She was woke up by the phone vibrating. Only this time a glowing light came from under the it. She picked it up and the photo of her mothers headstone quickly flashed from the screen. It was late so she went to bed. As she fell asleep the phone vibrated and lit up again. This time she could hear a faint conversation. As she picked up the phone there was the picture she took of her mothers headstone. The phone conversation became more clear. It was her mothers voice. Sheri couldn’t make out who she was talking to, the other end was static, but she sounded cheerful and happy. What Sheri remembers of the conversation was her mother saying, “Tell him I said hello and I’ll see you soon.” Sheri yelled “MOM” into the phone. Her mother answered, “Sheri, I’ll see you too.” There was silence. The photo slowly faded out…
I’ve sat here for the last three hours drawing the letter “L”. Classic rock coming from what was 181.FM The Eagle on the internet. I think that’s what it was, it might still be. Led Zeppelin was playing Kashmir. Every time I hear Kashmir I think of the 5 Point Plan. Once again the cup full of brushes in front of me click. This happened the last time my visitors stopped by. I stopped for a moment, listening, waiting. Precisely at the same time a cool swirl of air circles across my face I hear what sounded like an 8-bit female voice say what sounded like “davit ignorients unce”. I could feel the sound directly in front of me, loud and clear this time. Slowly I grabbed my phone and stepped back snapping two photo’s at my drawing table. As usual nothing appears
Although I’m alone right now, I can very much feel others here with me. I haven’t paid much attention to my spirit visitors for a while. Maybe they have something to tell me tonight.
I’m not a social person by any means. I’ve gotten so use to my solitude; the peace, quiet and tranquility. This makes the loud outgoing people angry and they morph into doctors and psychologists. They know what’s good for me, being like them. They’ll even call me names just to make me want to be like them even more. They’re fuckin insane! When I settle into the seasons, there are times when I sink deep into my shell of comfort. I don’t want to do anything. I don’t have to do anything. And I don’t.
I don’t watch T.V. My computer is connected to it and I can go anywhere I want at any time for as long as I want to. Something I like to do is get on google maps and pick a city in any country. Then click on street view and drive around. I do that for hours, along with reading tech sites and watching documentaries and youtube video’s. I live on the edge, you’ll have to buckle-up for an evening at my house. But doing this comes at a price, I don’t get anything done. My T.V. / computer sits right in front of me and to my left is my drawing table. For almost a year I sat at that table trying to do what use to come naturally a long time ago. I’ve been ignoring it and all the spirit chatter. The last few evenings as I start to doze off in my recliner I’ll catch a faint whisper over by the desk. I’m not phased by it but I’ll glance over. This evening, it’s really quiet in here. I like quiet, it’s awesome. Staring at nothing in particular on the screen all I hear is the silent “sssssssss” in my ears being broken up, once again, by background whispering. There are two this time and I’m not sure who they are. The whispering conversation was lively enough to make me look over just as one of the brushes on the cup rolled off the other. The air thickened, it was like they made a mistake and were caught. I snapped a quick picture at the desk from where I’m sitting. Of course nothing shows up as usual. When I’m at the desk drawing or painting I know they’re around me. You can feel it, sometimes even smell it. I might start something new tomorrow. I’ll see if I can get into my zone and find out who this is this time.