The people upstairs are noisy.
They clump and thud their way over my head when all I want to do is sleep. They jabber and chuckle at the tops of their lungs when they have nothing to say and they strangle their conversations without a touch of mercy when it sounds like they have something worth waking up and listening too.
I am all alone and maybe that loneliness has made me bitter and maybe that’s why the thought of having someone walking so close to me that all I have to do is stand up, reach out and lay my hands than on them makes my blood churn and boil in my spidery old lady veins.
Having those people upstairs, moving over my head reminds me of the first time I experienced a storm in the Midwest.
I was visiting my Granddaughter- and at the time none of us knew I was visiting my Great Grandson too. We were sitting in the living room when my phone and then my son’s and granddaughter’s phone all started to chirp.
I had never heard it make that sound before because I’m from a little toilet of a town called Meekersville just south of Seattle and we don’t get severe weather storm alerts.
We don’t get much of anything in Meekerville. It’s ghost of a town that doesn’t know it’s dead.
Not even an hour passed before the storm hit and we spent a good part of the evening in my son’s basement, dressed in two layers of clothing and wearing our boots in case the world was not the one we left when we went downstairs to escape the falling sky.
It’s reflex now , when I hear those people talking and whispering and walking around above my head, I.want to dive into the basement, dig my way down with my bare hands when I hit the dirt floor and not to stop until I can get away from that dark sky above my head and the air buzzing around my face like a swarm of wasps just waiting to find that perfect spot on my face and hands, maybe my ears and when they find that spot they’ll stab me and stab me until they fill me with their poison and I die.
I don’t want the people up there, it isn’t natural. But what I think doesn’t matter and if I really wanted them to go away all I have to do is speak up and say so. Maybe they’d go away.
The true horror of it all, is knowing that they will always be up there clomping around and chattering. They will tell bits of stories without real beginnings or endings at the top of their voices about nicknames and stories about the first time she got a speeding ticket, or what really happened to him during the war or that time she dropped her daughter off at dance class and she sat in the parking lot and them later that hoped her child would be a star or at the very least not trip over her feet the way she always did.
It’s the good stories, the ones I could relate too, enjoy that they whisper to each other.
When it gets chilly, just before twilight sometimes they talk about what is going on right under their feet in all of those over priced coffins, the lesser priced coffins-
the rotting bodies, the clothes full of brittle chalky bones, the little white caps that they put over the corpse’s eyes under their super glued shut eyelids staring up at them from six feet below.
That’ what separates them from the dead they say just before they start to whisper -six feet- sometimes seven and those little white caps over the corpse’s eyes.
I suppose I could shout that not all of us have caps over our eyes and even the ones who do can see just fine- and we hear every word they say.
Even when they whisper.