by Fielding Goodfellow
My wife says that everything has gotten a lot weirder since we were kids, but I thought that it had always been like this. She says its not the usual kind of weird, but some other worldly kind of weird that seems to be following us around like Sam Spade chasing after the Maltese Falcon. She may be right, I mean its pretty fucking weird, but back then I was so busy trying to stop the flying lizards from singing ‘Waterloo’ on the living room ceiling that I just can’t be sure. According to her though, there was an eerie feeling on the streets that she just couldn’t put into words, and for the past few days it had been making her uneasy and I suppose, a little more Spanish-Moroccan than usual. “What happened this morning?” she asked.
“Well, you yelled at me in your sleep.” I said.
“Really?” she asked. ” What did I say?”
“You told me to stop going through your grandfather’s pockets.”
“Well, that’s weird.” she said.
“I know.” I said. “He’s been dead for over twenty years, and when he was alive he didn’t have a nickel to his name.”
“Ya, but he always had butter rum lifesavers in his pocket. Well, I’m sorry for yelling at you.”
“Its okay,” I said. “It happens so often, I just think of it as foreplay.”
“Do you feel that?” she asked as we walked past the panhandlers in front of The Holiday Inn as they tried to shakedown the tourists for spare change and cigarettes. “Someone’s here.” she continued. “I just got a cold chill. Someone is definitely here with us.”
“Well, if its any of your relatives let them know we’re not buying them lunch.” I said
“Do you have to make a joke out of everything?”
“I think I do.” I said.
“Not everything is funny.” she said.
“It is if you look close enough.”
“I don’t think its funny at all.”
“Ya, but you’ve got your faith in post humanity and your cheery disposition to keep you amused.”
“That’s true.” she said.
I suppose I joke a lot about her involvement with the other side because it freaks me out, but I know that if she feels that someone is with us, then someone is with us. Its her gift. She can feel when the spirits are around. I’m more like a proctologist, I mean I see assholes everywhere.
She was certain that her grandfather was with us as we wandered through the city streets. She was sure that she could smell butter rum lifesavers. She said that if a spirit wants her to know that its there, it will arrive with the aroma most associated with it. She said that he was with us while we ate lunch.
“I don’t know the protocols, but are we supposed to order him something?” I asked.
“I don’t know if he’s hungry.” she said. “But he always did love fish and chips.”
“Do spirits eat?”
“I’m not sure.” she said. “But we should at least offer. It would be the right thing to do, and besides, we could really freak the server out.” She knew exactly how to get me interested, and right then, man was I interested. We sat on the patio at Fran’s on Front Street, just the two of us, with a table set for three. There was Philly Cheese Steak for my wife, steak and eggs for me, and an order of fish and chips for the spirit who liked to keep butter rum lifesavers in his pocket. Over the course of our meal, she kept removing little bits of fish and the occasional French fry from the plate and it looked as if someone had been eating from it. I’m not sure if the server was freaked out or not, but he was certainly questioning if not his, then our sanity. When we were done eating, she asked for the fish and chips to go, claiming that the invisible diner had eaten enough for now.
As we made our way home, my wife could feel her grandfather continue to follow us, It was probably the aroma of the fish and chips, I mean by the time we arrived there were about a dozen feral cats behind us as well. She put the container of fish and chips in the fridge, and we went to bed. When I woke in the morning, the container was in the garbage with the remnants of what I can only surmise was some pretty decent fish and chips. I had assumed that sometime during the night either my wife or one of my daughters woke and ate Grandpa Morris’ fish and chips. It was the only logical explanation I could think of, but everyone of them denied touching the container. “I knew he was here.” my wife exclaimed.
“If it wasn’t one of you, it was probably one of the mice.” I said. “The spirit of your grandfather did not eat the fish and chips.”
“I thought we solved the mouse problem?”
“We did.” I said, “But its the only other explanation I can live with. Either that or the alley cats who followed us home broke in, ate the fish, and cleaned up before they left.”
“Now that’s a little far fetched, don’t you think? What is it going to take for you to believe that anything is possible in the spirit world?” I knew it was far fetched, but no more so than a spirit heating up dinner and cleaning up his mess afterward, and I had no idea what would make me believe that her grandfather had been in our kitchen last night. It didn’t really matter though, I mean this kind of shit had been going on for years. “Do you smell that?” she asked. “It’s a stale, sweet aroma that wasn’t there five minutes earlier.”
“I’m not sure,” I said. “but suddenly I feel like eating butterscotch.”