If I wasn’t who I am today, I know who I would be. Do we all live life like a house full of ghosts?
Late nights walking through the dark.
Bumping into the people I almost was. Sometimes almost am.
There, in that cold spot on the stairs that plucks at my skin and makes it prickle. That soft tap at the window. A steady scraping from below the floor.
One step in this direction instead of that and I am me but I am someone else.
I see a life shot through the barrel of a different gun, glass cracked and spiderwebbing into countless translucent lifelines. Just a faint vein that disappears beneath the skin. An echo, running parallel to what I am running toward now.
They are playing cards to pass the time in the eaves of this old house. These other selves. Lighting candles and watching as each new year brings more of them to stay. Falling away from but following close to.
The fortune teller wasn’t right. There were not two threads to choose from. No two lives to live, two choices to make. I can see the faces of the things I could have loved, the losses and adventures. Whole stories I cannot claim that still belong to me like chains or whispers only I can see.
I know what I choose instead of what I don’t. Isn't that how you build a haunted house? Isn't that how you make a life?
We are like stones rolling down a hill. We are like prayers on the lips of men who do not pray.
© Elizabeth McLaughlin | October 13, 2020