chocolate is a verb

colors, flavors, whims and other growing things


HalloweenHe was two, his ghost head twisted round as he tried to peer through one ragged eye hole. I was three, my plaid skirt and saddle shoes too stiff, my black cloak too small, my witch’s mask designed for someone else’s face.

The little ghost lived down the street in a house full of kids and toys, open doors, loud voices and laughter. I was dazzled by this permeable place that seemed to have no rules, where I, and everyone, was welcome.

And while she didn’t stop me from going there, and she couldn’t stop my father from welcoming the children into his workshop, as he did all the neighborhood kids, my mother quickly found reason to criticize. These people were “unsophisticated,” “bawdy,” “loud.”

The little ghost, who was kind and shy and eventually grew taller than his tall father, was “dumb,” by Dorothy’s assessment. She was wrong. He became a physicist.

And I, confused by the twin realities of my mother’s voice and our neighbors’ house, tilted my head back to peer at the world through her eyes until I discovered that it was just a mask, and it wasn’t mine, and I could take it off.

7 responses to “ghosts…

  1. Eric Solstein October 31, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Fascinating. Left me wishing for a larger, higher-def picture. (Judged as a photo) it’s an innocent Arbus combined with the accidental magic of a Ted Serios thoughtography image, the unintended capture of real faeries against the sweet and famous Victorian fabrications… with the added delight of a story surrounding it.

    Thanks again.

  2. jik October 31, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    And thanks to you, too…for witnessing.

  3. marsha addis October 31, 2012 at 2:18 pm


  4. Kevin October 31, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    This vignette is haunted… by the ghost of a daughter’s inarticulate critique of and distance from her mother. Chilly perfection for this final day of the month =)

  5. jik October 31, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Thank you! and Boo!

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