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Wednesday, April 08, 2009


Sigh. Creak. Silence. Held breath. Silence. Swoosh. Passing shadows. Thumping heart. Silence. Contemplation.

It’s past the middle of the night. My eyes are open but I can’t see anything. Possibly because the quilt is drawn over my head. I have just been woken up by one or more of the several rhythmic but disturbing noises previously mentioned. I am engulfed by the serious possibility that my nightmare might have spilled out of my brains and waiting to pounce upon me as soon as I sneak a peek out of the quilt. I delay the inevitable. I test the waters first by twisting my big left toe. It yields. So far so good. I become a little more adventurous and pose a brave front by taking my arms out from under the quilt. Then I cross my legs. I am keeping up the pretense of a decent man on the quest of finding his elusive but right sleeping posture while secretly getting ready to catch the noisy intruder unawares. But just as I am about to do so, the cupboard goes...


I freeze. I am exposed. It is a reasonably awkward position. I didn’t bargain for it. The image of the curious cat with the dead mouse in his mouth flashes through my mind and is quickly replaced by the image of a bank robber trying to pick the locks even as he is surrounded by multiple police vehicles. I play a corpse by taking short silent gulps of air through my open mouth with almost imperceptible inflating of my chest and/or stomach. Several hours pass.

Every time I think I have gathered enough courage to throw the quilt off, the house offers me unexpected counsel in the form of a grunt or a sigh or a hum to do otherwise. I have reached the point where the oxygen under the quilt has been exhausted. It is a Do-or-die or Do-and-die situation. I choose the latter.

The quilt is lying on the floor. I still can’t see anything. Possibly because my eyes are tight shut. I wonder if it is still possible to feign deep sleep to whoever ghost might be watching over me. I argue that the quilt might have fallen off on its own. Besides, I debate, a lot of people do sleep-walk and the ghost in question must have seen a lot of weirdos in his lifespan. A tangential thought streaks off in my muddled mind leaving a blaze of dazed confusion. A ghost’s lifespan? What am I talking about? I shake my head and smile. My eyes are open. The room has now taken a dull, grey but welcoming form. The moment of grave danger has passed.

New House. New Noises. New Adjustments. I welcome myself in. My invisible housemate will too. Eventually.