I first moved into my apartment, a charming two-bedroom flat on the ground floor of a red brick triplex on the southeastern edge of Magnolia, roughly 16 months ago. I moved into this spot on the heels of one of the worst and most earth-shattering struggles of my life, desperate for a fresh start and a space that could be all my own, a place where I would be beholden to no one.
And in that time since setting out on my own with these intentions, I have faced some of the darkest and yet most precious experiences of my life. In this mental and physical space, I have rediscovered and reestablished everything that I ever loved about myself and my life with great resolve, hope, and resilience. I have written like a motherfucker in this house, have built many a roaring fire. I cook well and with great frequency, have both slept well and not slept well in my house. I have painted the walls according to my fancy, have spent countless hours decorating and redecorating my space until everything found its rightful place. This house is my house. My home through and through.
Except for one thing: the bananageist is trying to take over.
He’s back, my friends—it is true. The phantom roommate with whom I have shared my home these past 16 months has decided to act out in obnoxious and unpredictable ways of late, and I am incredibly displeased. Many of you will remember that, initially at least, the ghost/energetic entity/spirit/soul/presence or what-have-you limited his interactions with me to the occasional, playful movement of my bananas (See earlier post on said incident here). On more than one occasion, the “bananageist,” as I affectionately dubbed him, saw fit to moving my bunches of bananas from their home in a wire fruit rack on the counter, up to the cabinet directly above it where I keep my glasses. From there, the paranormal activity increased and morphed, slowly, often including but not limited to instances of the sound of footsteps walking on my carpet, the knocking over of books and other heavy objects in my office (where he most often likes to hang out), the mumbled sound of a man’s voice, whistling, and the occasional, bothersome whine or bark from Mona while she looked, inquisitively or suspiciously at one particular corner of my bedroom.
Eventually, I felt the need to give my resident spook a more proper name, and landed on Dennis. Mind you, as much as other people and animals have felt uncomfortable or nervous in my home, I have never experienced any malicious or threatening vibes from Dennis; rather, I have always felt that he is—as much as I can tell—protective and fond of me. I have asked him to respect that the house is mine and to please not scare or bother my dog or my guests, and he usually responds positively to such boundaries. However, this has not been the case in recent weeks.
Lately, Dennis has taken it upon himself to harass and intimidate some new friends of mine in ways that are far from friendly. I have asked him to stop, and he has not complied. Still, I felt some compassion for Dennis. Perhaps he is just some wayward, lonely soul who needs to take refuge in a kind and loving space or with a person who exudes a warm energy. Until now I’d taken his attachment to me as a sort of a compliment and I have to admit that I’ve always been intrigued by Dennis’ presence. Certainly, I am not opposed to the idea of providing a safe haven for ghosties of a friendly disposition, but only if my home remains a comfortable and pleasant place.
After a particularly tumultuous and disturbing night of spirit mischief, I started the day today feeling a need to take control of the situation and establish some firmer boundaries once and for all. While I was getting dressed, listening to music and mentally preparing for my day, I decided to make a few notes in my plot outline document for my current writing project, and sat down at my desk to type out a few paragraphs of an idea I’m toying with. Letting my hair air-dry as I typed, I noticed the lights in my office dipping down, and back up every 10 seconds or so. True—I live in an older building and my unit shares electrical wiring and plumbing systems with two other units. However, along with the dip in the lights came that familiar feeling that I was not alone in the room, and then—in a flash and flicker of black, white, and the dreaded blue safety screen, my computer inexplicably winced, shimmied, and shut off. As much as I wanted to believe otherwise, I knew without a single doubt that it was Dennis, and that Dennis was overstepping his bounds on purpose.
Again, some could easily say that this was simply a matter of technological malfunction or coincidence, but the feeling I had in my gut—the feeling of being fucked with—told me otherwise. Now, messing with my dog or my friends and houseguests is bad enough, but messing with my computer and compromising my writing is too much to be ignored a moment longer. It’s time to kick some slimy ghost ass right on out of my house.
So tonight begins Phase One of my four-phase process to tell Dennis, once and for all, that it is time for him to move on. Tbone, Ghostbuster-in-training, is ready to show the spirit world who’s boss.