YES, I CAN TALK TO GHOSTS

The rumours, though sometimes wildly overstated, are true: I can communicate with ghosts. No, they don’t want to hurt you. They don’t want to contact you. They don’t really care what the living do at all. Mostly, they just want to see you naked. They will not shut up about it.
“Look’it the cans on her!”
“What a bulge!”
“I’d like to take a bite out of that white meat!”

Really crude stuff. I have to hear about it all day long. I try to tell them, “You cannot talk about people like that. You must have some consideration for their humanity. You have the freedom to be anywhere and do anything now that you’ve exited the earthly plane but that doesn’t mean you can be shitty to everyone!”

They beg to differ. They say no, compassion and sympathy matter less than ever. Humanity is a topic of great irrelevance.

At least, I assume they would. Inquiries into their pasts or attempts to parse their reasoning are uniformly met with replies like, “Asses sure are rounder nowadays.”

What can I say to that? Is it my responsibility to respond? Such questions haunt me as thoroughly as the ghosts themselves.

Turns out death is not simply the end of your life and the release of your soul into the ether. It’s also an opportunity to loose an eternity of consequence-free rudeness on the world, which can be really stressful on my end. I’d say it’s “old-fashioned” of me to expect at least a little respect from those lacking corporeality, but the oldest ghosts are the worst. They’re positively obsessed with shorts. Something about exposed legs really brings out the lewdness in spectres of a certain vintage.
Many walk around nude, fully exposed to the elements they can no longer feel (I understand the reasoning, though I wish I didn’t have to contend with the reality). Public masturbation is rampant among the deceased population. It’s harshly surreal to stumble upon some ancient Puritan grandma jacking it in a snowstorm. Surreal, and unfortunate.

“That your sister? Do us a favour and get her out of that blouse?”

I shout NO! and suddenly I’m that madman talking to the cutlery during a party.

I can hardly stand it; be thankful you’re not afflicted by this “gift.” Those in the community who wish to make contact…invariably I will disappoint them. And it’s crushing me to have to tell people that their beloved grandparent or sibling or friend is strutting around the afterlife pointing at any and all genitalia crossing his or her path.

“I’d kill to get ahol’ of that dick!”

There is no pleasure here.

When I awoke after my accident at the Bells County Community Centre Theatre, I spoke to these apparitions as if they were real. I soon realized, however, the truth about the nude muttering figure hovering around my hospital bed. While the months of rehabilitation dragged on, I thought I could squeeze some information from them. Why were they so sexually unhinged? Were they in heaven? Hell? Was there anything else beyond this perverse stage? I also wondered, selfishly, if I could ever see my parents again. This question was eventually answered, the illusion of the friendly ghost finally shattered by its weight.

The days and weeks drag on. In one ear I hear pleas from fools who think their departed prison buddies or favourite teachers had final bits of wisdom to impart before they passed. In the other, Depression-era housewives and Civil War generals whisper “erect” this and “exposed” that, respectively (for example).

My days gel together, blurry and washed out. By the time I get home from my day job and switch into my soft corduroy housepants, I’m entirely drained, no energy left for my own work. I was a promising young playwright before all this. My thrilling dark comic fable about de Sade’s scurrilous, disgusting final days, nearly ready for rehearsals at the time of my misfortune, remains unproduced.

I’d be glad to swap stories and discuss this ability with another paranormal interloper, if any are out there. Have you found it to be a gift or a curse? About what percentage of the time do you encounter pantsless ghosts? Do you feel inspired by it, or has it forced the discovery and exploration of a dark, maddening maze at the core of your being? Do you suspect that this maze has an exit? I’ve never been especially good at mazes. Could it be that I’m alone at this new frontier of human evolution? Alone, yet so very surrounded…

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