It was only nine o’clock in the morning and it was already forty degrees, and my wife had an urge to visit the cemetery. I guess it was more of a pull than an urge. Sometimes she felt like she was supposed to be there, although neither one of us could understand why. Sometimes she was sure that someone wanted her to go, and when we got there she would always find the right headstone. Man, it freaked me out.
“You know its forty degrees out there.” I said. ” Aren’t there any spirits you can visit that have air conditioning?”
“You don’t have to come if you don’t want to.” she said. I had been on this ride once before. Only once. She said it was okay for me to go fishing with some friends and not attend my daughter’s recital. She said it, and I don’t know how she did it, but her eyes said something completely different than her mouth. It would have been nice if that was really an option, but it wasn’t, I mean I was always a little apprehensive around all of the ghosts and ghouls that he become a part of my rather terrestrial existence, but she didn’t really mean it. And despite my reluctance to participate in the her otherworldly social circle, I always accompanied her to the local cemetery. It was really the only thing I could do.
Her cemetery of choice is The Necropolis and it happens to be the oldest burial grounds in the city. Its a little worrisome though that are many residents there that had been relocated to their current graves in 1850 when ‘Potter’s Field’ was redeveloped to accommodate the ever expanding city, I mean I had seen enough horror movies to know that no good can ever come out of doing something like that. There was a slight breeze that barely rustled the leaves of the maple trees that dotted the grounds as we entered. We wandered along until my wife arrived at a particular grave. She looked intently at the headstone while I moved on slightly ahead, posting myself as a sentry in order to protect and defend her. “I wish you wouldn’t walk away like that.” she shouted. “Something really weird just happened.”
“Doesn’t it always?”
“Not like this.” she said. “I was standing there reading the inscription and I felt this wave of overwhelming sadness. Then I felt someone or something caress my face.”
“It was probably just the leaves from the tree.” I said.
“It didn’t feel like leaves. It felt like a hand.”
“Well that’s creepy.”
“Not at all. It was actually warm and tender.” she said. “Like someone was trying to comfort me and let me know that everything would be alright.” It didn’t matter what she thought, it was still creepy. She wanted to talk about it when we stopped for raspberry ice at the cafe across from the park, and she wanted to talk about it as we walked through the tree lined streets of Old Cabbagetown. And despite my uneasiness we carefully considered the possibility that she had she had made contact with the other side.
It was hotter that night than it had been earlier in the day and I felt completely burnt out, I mean I had spent every ounce of strength I could gather pretending that the whole thing hadn’t given me the willies. “I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep.” she said as we stood on the terrace smoking. “There’s so much going on in my head right now.”
“Don’t you two ever wear pants?” my daughter asked coming out to join us.
“Its too hot for pants.” my wife said.
“The two of you are so strange” my daughter added. “You’re like a couple of weirded out old hippies.”
“You don’t know the half of it.” I said. “But if I had my way, the old lady wouldn’t wearing a thing.”
“That’s true.” my wife said. “He’s always trying to get my clothes off.”
“I can’t talk to you when you’re like this.” my daughter said as she went back inside. “You’re both crazy.”
“Well” I said, “we’ve finally achieved crazy.. And I think we’ve traumatized our kid enough for one day.”
“I think so.” my wife said. “We’re such good parents.”
As we settled into bed for the night, the heat was becoming unbearable, I mean I swear I could feel my eyeballs sweating.
“Did you open the window?” I asked.
“Ya.” she said.
“It just lets the hot air in. I’m going to have to close it.”
“Don’t close it.”
“Its like Death Valley in here. Nobody can sleep like this.”
“It has to stay open.” she said. “I’m supposed to leave it open.”
“So the spirits can come in.”
“There’s nothing to worry about.” she said. “They wouldn’t hurt anyone.”
“Then why are they coming here?”
“I’m not sure, but I just feel like I’m supposed to leave the window open.”
“Well, I’m not putting pants on.”
“That’s okay” she said. “I don’t think they care.”