September 16, 2011

Still in effect

I have been having lots of random memories lately, and this morning is this one:

When we were still teenagers, Chris and I made a pact about haunting. I had always believed in ghosts and was terrified of them, and he did not believe but really wanted to. There were several stories in my own family (and a couple in his) about deceased relatives coming back to visit the living.

I suggested that if I died before he did, I would do everything in my spiritual power to come back and appear before him, rattle some chains, give him a ghostly message, etc. On the other hand if he died before I did, he was under firm instruction not to haunt me in any way. (I didn't buy all the bullshit my family said about not feeling afraid but rather comforted. Screw that. I would drop dead on the spot. And then where would we be?) I did make one concession that he could, like, let me know in a dream or something that he was okay if he could manage that. He agreed to this proposal.

One night years later--in 2005, to be exact--we were living in San Francisco and had gone to see "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" at the Metreon earlier in the evening. It wasn't that great, but parts of it had stayed with me enough to make me a little nervous in the dark for a couple of days. We lay in bed later that night listening to the foghorns and talking about the movie, evil, and demonic possession. When he had to get up in the dark to go down the hall to the bathroom, I didn't like it one bit. "Hurry up!" I called, nervously eyeing the darkness around me and making sure none of my limbs were hanging over the bed for demons to grab. When he returned, I mentioned "the pact."

"What are you talking about?" he asked.

Aghast that he could forget such an important and long-term agreement, I reminded him about who should haunt who upon one of our deaths. I'm sure he rolled his eyes in the darkness when he scoffed, "But we said that like a decade ago!"

"It's still binding!" I cried, "Until death!"

I wonder if he knows I consider this verbal contract still valid.

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