Lunch with an old friend

On March 10, 2011 by Eden M. Kennedy

Note: If you are someone who has ever appeared to be the slightest bit open to paranormal explanations for everyday occurrences, I will happily infuse whatever subsequent conversations we have with that topic so that you don’t have to look like the crazy one.

Friend: So we have this bookcase, and recently it started groaning.

Me: Groaning.

Friend: Yes. Creaking and making all these weird noises. And the cats hate it, and it really freaks out [spouse who works at home all day]. At one point we tried to put some books on top of the bookcase? And a few minutes later they just flew off the bookcase.

Me: Flew off the bookcase?

Friend: Yes, flew off the bookcase.

Me: Well, you do buy a lot of antique stuff off of eBay, maybe some of it was cursed!

Friend: I mean, yes, it’s tilting away from the wall a little bit, but not so much that books would FLY off it.

Me: Did you get the bookcase off of eBay?

Friend: It’s a built-in.

Me: Well, then, a ghost is pushing your bookshelf away from the wall. Clearly.

Friend: There’s probably not a level surface in the entire apartment, actually. And I can’t imagine a ghost actually wanting to move in with us . . .

Me: These Manhattan apartment buildings are full of ghosts. Bursting with ghosts. Generations of angry tenants fill the air around us.

Friend: We were thinking of getting some shims.

Me: Maybe the ghost is actually pushing the bookcase away from the wall . . . with its ghostly . . . feet? Trying to flee your apartment?

Friend: . . .

Me: So, yeah.

Friend: Anyway.

Me: (big sigh)

Friend: (sip of water)

Me: Have you figured out who your cats used to be in their past lives?!

Postscript: I might have made up some of this conversation. We’ve been traveling and speaking a lot to promote the book and when I’m tired there’s no telling how the truth is going to unravel.

Post Postscript: After lunch we walked over to the mall in Columbus Circle, in which the dying chain bookstore did not have a copy of Let’s Panic. But the view was terrific.



15 Responses to “Lunch with an old friend”

  • I lived in NYC when Columbus Circle was truly a hole. A place to avoid unless you had taken the subway to 59th Street and now had to surface and run like the wind to find a prettier place to be.

    I was there recently, when it had been redone and all I could think was, “It used to be better as a hole.”

    p.s. your picture is the way I like to see NYC these days. Only in photos.

  • So the big photograph over our piano emits a scrrtttch, scrrtttch noise when we’re just sitting there doing nothing. Am I in terrible danger?
    Because I thought maybe tiny disgusting bugs might be living in it. Or our house is about to fall over.
    Also? When I told my child (who was hiding under the covers reading your dirty book with great pleasure) that one of the people who wrote it also wrote Yogabeans, she said with this very matter-of-fact air, “Oh, well then that explains why it’s funny.”

  • Suzy, I remember when the — was it the Coliseum? was there, and it was like a ghost town, just weird and desolate, so I know what you mean. It’s kind of nice there’s more foot traffic there now, but I hear the mall is widely reviled. You can’t win.

    Diamond, argh! Ask your daughter who she wants me to put in the next yogabeans installment and I’ll do it.

  • OK, she just screamed.
    And then she said “I think you should put in Ash Ketchum and then kill him.” (Are you a pokemon follower? If not, that will make no sense to you.)
    I will walk this house like a goddamned Goddess if you make good on this.

  • I haven’t been to that shmancy mall thing with which they replaced the Coliseum (“former Manhattan landmarks that hosted the auto show for 200, Alex”), but I used to walk past it (as did Diamond, I reckon) on the way to work. The coliseum was a pit, but the lollipop building was by far the greater eyesore. Now I’m kind of nostalgic for them both, having been kicked out of Manhattan years ago for saying “reckon.”

  • The lollipop building, yes!

    Diamond, the Ash action figure has been purchased from Amazon. There’s no telling what will happen next!

    • holycrapholycrapholycrap!!!!!!

      And in other more-directly-related-to-this post news, I do have an actual ghost sighting to regale you with one of these days. It seems you must return to NYC.

  • My printer is haunted. It enjoys scaring the bejeezus out of me around 11:30 at night by turning itself on and moving its ink cartridges to and fro. Your friend’s bookshelf ghost may be a discriminating reader who violently rejects her literary choices. Just my two cents.

  • Dude! You are awesome! Taking a yogabeans request from a reader! How cool is that?! Now I must go buy the book! :-)

  • When my uncle was sick I gave him a little charm that had an angel on it so he would never feel like he was alone. After he passed I got it back. He was a big believer in the afterlife and so it is no surprise to me that it shows up around my house every once in a while. His birthday was February 16th and wouldn’t you know it my 5 year old came out of his room and wanted me to look at the funny quarter with an angel on it. I cried.

  • I have a photo from my (one) visit to Manhattan that’s almost that exact same view. Living in Mayberry, I and my traveling companions thought the mall was pretty cool.

    I also said reckon to someone during that visit, and am not welcome back.

  • Interesting blog post. ._.

  • Boo to dying bookstores!!

  • I lived in a haunted apartment for 7 years. I learned to deal with the water in the tub turning itself on full force at random times, but had to give a good scolding when a friend and I were standing in the kitchen and one of the gas burners suddenly fired up. Water, noise, weird lights and a dog freaked out by certain doorways, crazy dreams about a young man being stabbed in the kitchen- these I could deal with. But fire – I wasn’t going to put up with that, told “it/them” so, and never had another stove incident again.

    The tub though, that’s probably driving the new tenants crazy.

  • Have they considered there might be a “Holmes Inspection” reason for their groaning bookcase? I’m thinking beam support ….. yipes…..

    But hey, on the other hand, I owned an iPod that was clearly haunted, for a couple weeks. It came on for no apparent reason at any old time of the night, and the song it tended toward most was “Ruby My Dear”. I figured somehow some poor grandpa got tangled up in the silicon somewhere….

    Woke me up a bunch of times, but was worth it just to return it to the Apple Genius Dude with “It’s possessed.”