Saturday, November 24, 2012

NaNoWriMo Day 24


Even though being healed from the psoriasis restored some of his confidence and he was cutting back on his drinking, his life didn't change that much. His job, building wooden pallets, which he'd held for almost eight years, didn't pay enough to support much beyond a subsistence lifestyle. He didn't have a car. He didn't travel. Didn't read much beyond the occasional heavy metal fanzine or newspapers. Didn't aspire to learn any new career skills. His family was so fucked up, hurtful and dramatic, that he avoided all contact. And he was hard to reach. He didn't have a cell phone or land line. And he didn't have an e-mail. Literally, the only ways to get ahold of Mackey was via US mail or by walking up the two flights of stairs and banging on the door for the stairway leading to the attic. He worked, drank, smoked, played video games, watched the occasional horror movie, and jammed out power chord riffs on his electric guitar. He didn't eat out, and his only excursions away from home besides work and the liquor store, were the trips to the big box store for groceries every couple of weeks. His friends were fellow rooming house residents and Crow, of course.

 

Until the appearance of the ghost, Mackey never thought much about what was missing in his life. All he knew was that it was a welcome respite, peaceful and predictable, after a life of pain, neglect, and abuse at the hands of his father, mother, and cousins. He'd escaped the white trash soap opera by the time he was 20, even though they lived less than an hour away in a smaller town, Dwight. Love? Mackey never knew it and scoffed at any glimmering perception he got of it in pop culture. Typical of anyone who'd grown inured to an unhappy childhood of neglect and abuse, he craved and found stability in routine and predictability. Nothing in his life to this point had prepared him for the social skills, commitment, and sacrifice it took to build and maintain an intimate relationship.

 

Which is why the appearance of the woman above his bed each night, ghost, spectral, glowing and otherworldly, apparently, according to the ghost hunter lady, from another time, was as intimate relationship he'd ever had with a women. And it was perfect for someone of Mackey's background and emotional capabilities. She appeared for only two minutes, made no demands, made no contact or conversation. She was an object, a fetish, a personal mirage because only Mackey could see her.

 

But she'd opened up so many other possibilities. As Mackey lay there each night, eagerly anticipating her arrival, he imagined the anguish on the woman's face, which, to Mackey's imagination, seemed to grow more anxious and pained with each passing evening, was longing for some lost loved one. Which, in its nightly viewing, gave Mackey a glimpse into what love must be like, and in turn gave Mackey a longing for a love which, though painful, would at least make him feel this deeply. 

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