06 January 2010

Trivial Pursuits

It's about 8:00 in the evening as I write this, sitting on the couch in my living room. Quiet here, except for the drunk monkey stompings of the neighbor kids upstairs. At least, I think it is the kids. It may actually be drunk monkeys. Stranger things, my friends...

It is quieter than usual, though. The radio is silent because the streaming audio kept cutting out, I finally closed the window on my laptop screen. Maybe I should by an actual radio receiver, instead of relying so heavily on the internet. Fookin' internet, Thief of Time and Purpose...

Does it depress you to eat food prepared almost entirely in the microwave? It does me, sometimes. Not tonight, though. I'm a little proud of myself. Tonight, I heated everything up in the microwave, but aside from the can of corn I had, the rest of my homey little meal was fixed from scratch by lil' ol' me. I had some leftover rice (with herbs and garlic) and a container of homemade bolognese sauce from the freezer. This weekend I planned ahead, and made extra of most things. Something immensely satisfying about having really good food ready in a few moments, and know that it wasn't ultra-processed glop-in-a-box...

Did I mention that it's quiet, tonight? That makes me tired, and sleepy...

The refrigerator is humming again, I know I've written about that before. This time? It doesn't sound so lonely. I think I know why. I saw a ghost today, and he followed me home...

It was music that did it. I was trolling through my iTunes today for aural relief of work-induced monotony, and in the middle of  "Fire" by Jimi Hendrix I looked over and my brother was there, smiling at me and playing some bad-ass air guitar with that ridiculous musical grimace on his face. He grimaced a lot when he played, he knew it, but couldn't help himself. We made fun of it, but somehow I knew he wouldn't have been the same player if he hadn't, and anyway I couldn't play guitar worth a good goddamn. I can grimace musically with the best of 'em, anyway, so that's what I did sitting there with the ghost of my brother...

Later, when I left work, he was in the car when I got in, and I wasn't surprised. I reckoned he was going to come back for an encore. I looked over at him as I started the car, he grinned and we took off into traffic. On the ride home, we made up lyrics to the songs on the radio, shared some inside jokes and made fun of the other drivers. Arriving home, we reminisced and laughed like bastards when "Anarchy In The U.K." by the Sex Pistols came on the radio. We played that cassette so much when we were teenagers that the metal film flaked away and the labels rubbed away to nothing. The ghost watched quietly as I finished making dinner, and I sat down to eat, catching up on e-mails...

I only teared up once, when I stood up to put the dishes in the machine. My brother's ghost put his hand on my shoulder as if to say goodbye, and when I turned to say it he was already gone. Across the room, his picture looked over at me, the little silver urn that holds a fraction of what he was, gleaming in front of the photo. I'm not sure, but I think I saw something wispy, like a bit of fog or smoke, swirl around the top. My brother, he just looked on and grinned...

Ghosts. The fodder of a million nightmares, or welcome salve for a broken heart? I know what I think, how about you?

19 comments:

  1. I'm thinking, yeah, the salve for the broken heart. Cause that's the kind of brother you had (and still have)...he loves you! Be well, Irish.

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  2. Move over Rover, let Jimmy take over. Hope those drunken monkeys have quietened down.

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  3. That's the only real guarantee, I guess - the people who have gone live on through us...

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  4. You know how I feel about ghosts. Even though you talk about living alone... you know that you aren't.

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  5. Ghosts of people we loved are welcome friends in the silence of life. He knew you needed him and he was there.

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  6. If visits from your brother is comforting to you, I think it's really nice.

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  7. Salve for the broken heart sounds a lot better than creepy and scary.

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  8. I don't believe in ghosts. Which is a shame, because I could use a visit from my mom.

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  9. Isn't that just the power of music to some Irish? Like me, it connects you across any distance and it feeds you good memories.
    I've no doubt that music will always connect me to my loved ones.
    For you Irish, I know its always going to be the same with you and your brother.
    That's magic...and its rock'n'roll.....

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  10. I do everything I can with the internet, considering I already pay for it, why not use it to the fullest extent possible?

    I do believe in ghosts, and other spirits, but I don't know if they are always a good thing to experience. Sometimes I think it just makes us sadder.

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  11. I never use the term "ghost." At different moments of the day, particularly moments of calm and comfort, we allow ourselves a wider perception.

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  12. i think it depends on the refrigerator

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  13. When I first started reading this post, I somehow knew it would be about your brother. I have this strange intuitive thing that is sometimes quite scary. I understand what you are writing here. I too have felt the visitations of the spirit of my parents. They mainly come to me in dreams now. Although right after their death, they were much closer. Beautiful that you felt that connection to your brother.

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  14. he will be back, G-maw called him for supper.oldman irish

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  15. I love it when my mother and brother visit me in dreams. It doesn't happen that often, but it's good to see them, when they do. Great post, Irish!

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  16. New Visitor here- and I hope and pray such sightings are indeed, "welcome salve for a broken heart". Beautifully written- and deeply appreciated.

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  17. A wonderful post IG. What a blessing for you, to have him share your afternoon! I laughed out loud about the grimace!

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  18. Love. I really like reading about him, you and your youth.

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"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."


-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...