I'm James Maxey, the author of numerous novels of fantasy and science fiction. I use this site to discuss a wide range of topics, with a heavy emphasis on cranky, uninformed rants about politics and religion and other topics that polite people attempt to avoid. For anyone just wanting to read about my books, I maintain a second blog, The Prophet and the Dragon, where I keep the focus solely on my fiction. I also have a webpage where both blogs stream, with more information about all my books, at jamesmaxey.net.


Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Origins of Ghosts

The yard sale went off today, moving a tremendous amount of Laura's stuff. I had held yard sales here in the past that always had poor attendance, and since it was overcast and rainy today, I expected the sale to be a bust. But, I didn't know the power of Craig's List, where Laura's brother Mike posted the sale. We had people showing up at 7 am, and a steady stream thereafter. Every time I blinked, something I identified with Laura's living space vanished. The jogging trampoline I bought for Veronica... gone. The push mower (the type that works simply by pushing, no motor), gone. The little windup pony that sat in the window above her kitchen sink. The little peg frame thingy that was covered by a thousand tiny metal pins that would hold the shape of your hand or face if you pushed against it. The canopy she erected in her backyard. Her blue dishes. Even a few things I owned before I met Laura... the little red wagon, the big push broom, got pulled up from the back yard by Mike and sold. I could have said something... I suppose, but, really, I was in the mood just to let things go. I gave away my old grill to a Mexican family who asked what I wanted for it. I didn't want money... I just wanted to not have to look at the grill rusting away in the backyard any more.

I want to move. It's just rough living here in Laura's basement without Laura upstairs anymore. I'm not, at heart, a terribly materialistic person. I don't feel like things define a person. Yet, watching these things I associated with Laura hauled off by strangers was very sad. My instincts were to grab each and every item and hold on to it... but, the colder, more rational part of me didn't see the point.

My real memories of Laura will always be just that, memories. If my memory ever fails, I'm not sure what good having a little wind up pony would do me. Still, the window above her sink looks naked without it. Now her paintings are gone as well, and all the little knick nacks, the little personal touches that defined Laura's living space. A few big things remain, but these will be gone in a month.

Suddenly I feel as if I understand the origins of ghosts.

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