Remoy Philip

writer. creator. producer.

If the Wrong Ghosts Lingered

It is cold but there is no snow. The ground is hard, and I feel its every crack under each of my steps. The slip and run of every loose stone as a dry wind whips on by. A car is parked a hundred feet back and it was my grandfather's. It is mine now and I haven't used it in years. When I first sat back in it, after all this time, it smelled off as if the wrong ghosts lingered.

The car usually sits in front of my mother's house. I was just there. I used the same keys at the front door from when she first had it built. My key, her house, and all of it was once new and beautiful and I was then young. But when I stood there, at that front door, with this now old key, waiting for what I am not sure, I saw something. The house. With every brick and stone, none of it, the same. With everything that once was, now changed, but still, every bit there. Every bit here. I turned the key. The door opened. Nothing ever was supposed to change.

My old room. Bright colors now muted. Paint peeling. An old bed with a sallow shape moulded into its springs. Medals hung. Pictures of me once smiling.

That is all I can stand to say about that.

And I drove. I drove because it felt honest. True. The old radio that held onto old songs and my fingerprints, still worked and I was grateful. Outside was cold and I kept the windows down so the bitterness could feel me. That something in me had changed and that I could now stand it all. A burnt crimson orange hung onto the edge of the horizon as the rest of the sky was blue turning black. Distant lights of all the same small glow dotted the landscape. I drove nowhere because it's what I wanted as I enjoyed every last passing second.

The ground is cracked and dry like it always has been, but still, I bend down to touch it. To feel its certainness. To let it run over my skin and let it feel me.  There are stars above and so is the moon. Thin wisps of clouds add something extra. The highway buzzes behind me. Cars pass fast as quick bursts of light break through the black. Those cars and nothing has changed. Those lives needing to be wanted. Those lives behind me, like mine, keep on going, desperately trying to outlast and outrun this something called time.

The dirt is rough and warm. The wind is cold. And it is night as all the stars hang a wide and distant net to catch time and all our muted ghosts.