the 'ghost poem.'

“this ghost of ours”

it lives in the walls. it sits quiet, which makes it the loudest ghost of them all. it sees all. hears more. soaks it all in like a sponge. the happiness that once filled the hollow walls has evaporated and left them as that: hollow. thats why there now lives this ghost of ours.

this ghost of ours dances down the hallway. it fills the air with your perfume. makes it heavy. heavy with the breath of whiskey.

this ghost of ours is your bedroom. its your headboard. this ghost of ours is your nightmares. this ghost of ours is a big empty house. left like a skeleton on dry ground to rot.

its: youve already worn all my clothes. the perfume stuck to it.

its: his breath as he climbs on top of you. the whiskey stuck to it.

in the record player. plays back every song, story, conversation or mumble youve heard before. the record player yells. its not even on. this ghost of ours is the laughter echoing back at us, when we havent so much as even whispered. this ghost of ours lives in your eyes.

this ghost of ours wont let her touch me. the ghost of ours wont let me touch anything.

this ghost of ours is your letter in the bedroom.

this ghost of ours is asking something of me. its the loudest ghost of them all.

its super crazy how some experience which involves one or more of the senses can cause a person to recall a memory they would have considered “forgotten.” most commonly for myself, this phenomenon happens with music. in particular, song recall. just the other day a particular slow song came on my shuffle radio and allowed me to relive getting turned down by a girl for a slow dance at a birthday party in sixth grade. i remember whose birthday it was. i remember the girls name. that moment was lost to history. till that song made me feel like i just got turned down all over again. incredible. i wonder how shes doing these days.

sometimes little moments, like getting flowers, or things like an old coffee cup, bring back moments in your life aside from the “staples.” first kiss, the day you have a new sibling, sixteenth birthday party, twenty-first birthday party, first day of college, graduation. there’s so much time lost to the day-to-day monotony we get caught in. don’t forget what happens in between. of course there’s stories and experiences you’ll remember for the rest of your life, but sometimes you’ll surprise yourself. little experiences that get stored away, waiting to be pulled back to the forefront of your brain one more time.

it happens all the time with smell as well. another little trigger. i can’t tell you the name of girl who sat next to my 14 year old self on the rollercoaster that one summer in Knoebels, but i can tell you that she smelled like cotton candy. where did that memory come from? no idea. i smelled something like cotton candy walking through East Village the other day. boom. my mind was blown. funny thing is, i’ve smelled cotton candy a thousand times since that day. why it chose to come to me this time? couldn’t tell you.

“whats the point, nolan, you’re ranting again…” these little ques and triggers come out of the woodwork when you least expect them. i don’t know much about functionality of the brain, but what i do know is that i appreciate experience recall, both positive and negative. if it wasn’t for those little subconscious memories i wouldn’t be the person i am today. those things happened. this is my life. i want to remember them.

because the senses reveal your past to yourself when you least expect it, take the time to really observe what’s going on around you. don’t just cruise through the day numb. numb about your job, your bills, your commute. allow your senses to work together. you’ll be surprised. the more you look around and appreciate the life that’s going on around you, you may not only start remembering things from your past, but really reflect on where you’re going to.