Thursday, April 8, 2010

Incandescent Ghosts

Our building was rewired almost ten years ago. The cloth-wrapped wires from the dawn of electricity were replaced with modern ones; the crew had to drill channels through the interior brick walls, pull the lines through, and hook them up to new switch plates and a breaker box. They sure didn't have this in 1911.

It took weeks to clean up the brick dust -- vacuum, wash, vacuum, check all the picture rails, dust, check again, vacuum some more. Finally, everything was clean and the new wiring was humming.

Until recently. One night, the lamps began to flicker --not just a bulb here and there, but a persistent, almost audible humming sort of flickering. Up and down, whoa, back to normal, dimming again. I checked the breaker box -- cool. Checked the switch plates -- also cool. Unscrewed a bulb or two -- perfectly fine.

I called my friend on the 9th floor, but her lights were absolutely fine. She said it was a ghost. Ha-ha! The only ghosts in this apartment are bottle caps that are petrifying behind the refrigerator and perhaps an old slipper or two. I always wondered why, with so many generations of tenants going through this apartment, there were no ghosts until now.

I finally caught this one, late at night, boning up on the 21st century ...

Photo by Ghostina