Sunday, July 1, 2012

Summer Ghosts

Whenever the weather gets warm, I think about ghosts in my neighborhood.  Most of the buildings on my block in Manhattan are old, dating back to the 1880s and early 20th century.  These buildings must have ghosts, but I have never seen them or sensed them.  Do they even exist?  Are they here in this neighborhood?

There have been tragedies on West 74th Street.  A teenager jumped to his death from a high rise building in the 1930s.  Fortunes came and went and those who were defeated ended their lives here.  In my own building, some sad characters started on their final decades in the 1970s and one of those last unfortunates died earlier this year.  And yet there are no spirits walking the hall, nothing vaporous, no sounds, nothing at night.  Where are they?

It would be worth it to take the elevator up to the 9th floor late at night to see if the ghost of the woman who died recently is screaming (silently) down the hall in her sad state.  But do I really want to see her?  And what about that hapless sad man who is still staying in her apartment, squatting there and being abused by another man with a spray-on toupee?  Can the hapless man be helped?  And how long will it take to rid that apartment of the filth, detritus, and broken tiny pieces of these sad lives?

I expect that any ghost would be happier than the people still alive in that apartment on the 9th floor.