Let me just start by saying, this isn’t a metaphor. The ghost I live with isn’t the regrets I have or the things I never accomplished or the fears I’ll never face. It is an angry, door slamming, tapping on the table and calling my name from the kitchen. WHAT IS IT GARY! WHAT DO YOU WANT! I named the ghost Gary.
Rule 1: Don’t name your ghost.
No one wants to be named Gary. Not even people who are actually named Gary want to be named Gary. It may have become easier to reference him in real time, but it wasn’t worth the doors slamming at two in the morning, or the airconditioner breaking in the midst of the hottest week of the summer.
Rule 2: Don’t smoke it out.
I tried a few things to smoke him out and on to the afterlife. Incense, Glen 20, burning chicken chippies so badly they reverted back to their original carbon based form. To be honest, most of those things were to get the smell of no-longer-chicken-chippies out of my house. You could live with the ghost of Jack the Ripper but it really wouldn’t be as bad as having your house smell like wet cigarettes.
Rule 3: Remember that it is human
I made him a Netflix account. Netflix came to Australia last week. It was extremely convenient because the next week the Australian government passed the data retention law. In an effort to ‘catch the terrorists’ they can now track all the things we do online faster than you can say “double plus good”. But obviously I have NOTHING TO FEAR BECAUSE I HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE.
Side note: how super hard is it to be sarcastic in 2D?
But I digress. I found myself with the OPPORTUNITY to download the Australian version (read: subpar) of Netflix. You come to this little section after they lure you in with the free for month trial where you can make four different accounts. “Who will be watching” they ask. And you are encouraged to make four accounts for the four people who live in your house.
“Drat” say I, out loud because no one was home and I was starting to hear the blood rushing in and out of my head in the immense silence.
“What can I call the third account! Guest? Other?”
Then came the breeze on the back of my neck. In a house that was the air version of a swamp. Seriously nothing in and nothing out. There may have only been three people living in the house, but there were four people in the house.
Shani (housemate/sister) didn’t approve. Her coping method for living with a malevolent spirit is to pretend it doesn’t exist. You can imagine how well it went down when she discovered that Gary had become so fully fledged as to have a Netflix account. She’s going to faaaareak when she discovers he has been watching David Attenborough, Clueless, and That 70’s Show for the last week.