So Mau’s been acting weird lately. Sorta clingy and stressed. He doesn’t like to let me leave the room without him. I live in a studio, it’s not as if I could get far away, but still he seems to prefer to keep me in his line of sight. Every time I go to the bathroom he jumps up with at little chirp-mew and follows me.
At first I thought maybe it was the move, although in eight years of owning him, and roughly a dozen moves, including one cross country, he’s never acted stressed out about a move for more than a day. Clearly something else was up. I checked his food, scrubbed his dishes, fluffed his blankie, rubbed him down from stem to stern to see if he was hurt in some way. Still he’d look at me earnestly and meow as if he really needed me to understand something.
And yes, Dulce’s been neurotic and clingy, but (and I say this with love) Dulce is often neurotic, and clingy is putting it mildly.
One night about a week ago I was coming home from an evening out with friends. When I entered the lobby I looked down the hallways on either side. First left then right. I was just being alert, as I always try to be when out at night.
While I was looking down the straight hallway, I heard the sound of keys being jangled. All three doors were closed, neither opening nor closing. I thought that was odd, but proceeded up the stairs. I could hear footsteps coming up the stairs behind me, so I paused and looked back down the skylight. As I could hear steps that seemed be coming around the corner, I could see that there was no one there.
I decided my best bet, regardless of what was causing this, was to continue quickly to my apartment, so I did. I felt a little silly as I threw the lock and deadbolt shut behind me. I set down my purse and walked into my closet, happy to be home and safe. Within a moment or two that feeling faded as I caught sight of Dulce in the mirror. She was sitting on my bed, staring intently at my front door. I glanced toward the door. Mau was pacing, agitated.
My apartment is at the end of the hallway. The only person who would come down this far is the man who lives directly across from me, and I can always hear his door open and close. It was quiet, but the cats were obviously paying close attention to something.
It’s hard to describe how you know when you’re not alone. I’m not sure anyone can explain how they can “feel eyes on them.” I just suddenly felt that way. Am I crazy? It’s certainly possible. I’ve just always made it a point to listen to my instincts. And Mau.
An image popped into my head. I don’t claim to have seen him. But quick as a wink, I seemed to feel that he was a very young sailor, brow furrowed. Every had an under socialized guy attach himself to you simply because you noticed him, who didn’t know how to process the frustration of wanting more from you? That emotion just seemed to linger thick in the air.
Great, I thought. I’ve attracted all the LIVE crazies, now the dead ones are following me home. AWESOME. And no, I wasn’t afraid.
I said aloud, “don’t bother my cats.”
And I went to bed.
That night was when it started, my cats waking me in the night, crying. And that’s when I got annoyed. I don’t mind ghosts per se, any more than I mind people. Which is to say, I don’t mind the nice ones.
Mau has started spending his nights on the floor between my bed and the door, up against the bed frame. In the mornings he gets up looking very stiff and unrested, like he hasn’t slept.
I don’t let anybody harass my cats, I don’t care how much of a novelty you are. So last night I told “Eddy” as I call him, to get out. Didn’t seem to help. Last night, the second time I was rudely pulled out of a deep sleep, I figured I might as well pee while I was awake. I sat down on the toilet and noticed a piece of cat litter on the floor. I use a pine litter, it’s much larger pellets than standard litter. I thought to myself, better sweep up in here next chance I get. While I was looking at it, it started to roll. First to the left, then to the right. You fucker, I thought. That’s why I can hear Mau crash into that wall sometimes while he’s playing. You’re taunting him.
I told him aloud, as loud as I dared in a thin walled apartment (I don’t want to be THAT Girl) that he could get out now, in no uncertain tone.
This morning while I was putting my makeup on, I was admittedly a little jumpy, but I swear as I was looking in the mirror, I saw a hand reach from behind to wave right next to my left ear. A BLACK hand, as if it was burned or something. And again, perhaps just my brain trying to fill in information, but I had a picture in my head of a little boy playing with his mother while she put her makeup on. A tinge of disfunction colored what felt like one of his memories I was seeing.
While I was getting dressed, I pulled my shirt over my head and it got a little stuck on the towel I still had over my hair. While tugging it down, I could hear and feel the vibration in the floor of footsteps behind me. I tugged my shirt down just in time to feel the air move next to me, the way it does when someone moves quickly past you.
It seems Eddy likes that I am aware of him. But frankly, I’m done with this. I’m exhausted from not sleeping well, and I can’t let something stress Mau out this way. I tried to craigslist him in the free section today “free to good home, you haul) but it got flagged.
I spend the better part of the day wondering how I could convince him to leave. If not towards the light, then why not some place like Florida? I figured if I could figure who he is, I might have a better chance. So I took what I know (and obviously I use that term “know” really really loosely). Sailor, young, burned. A google search turned up this, the USS Bennington, naval ship who’s boiler exploded while it was in San Diego harbor in 1905. The list of those killed includes an Edward and an Edwin. I think I know what happened now.
Just a hunch, but maybe if I confront him with knowing who he is, it will help him pass. That said, I’m also picking up some holy water and mirrors on the way home. Who wants to help/sleep over?
Eddy’s got to go.