A Ghost Story

Azz is in the shower and I’m lying on her bed before we go out.
Despite the lack of air-conditioning, the house is surprisingly cool. The light breeze of the ceiling fan is enough for me in this heat.  
The others are in the living room working away but I came in here to just lie down and take a moment. The energy of the house is peaceful, there are spirits around but they’re completely harmless.

Something about Brisbane heat makes me sleepy all the time. In a rare moment, I put my phone away from me and face it down.
Dark wood, off white walls and a pressed ceiling. The detail is a wonder to look at. Are they leaves and plants with the odd flower?
Or is it something else?
Maybe it depends on who is looking.
A metal bird circling rhythmically with the fan. I focus on it. The t-shirts and clothes stacked in the shelves floor to ceiling slowly melt away and I feel the cotton bed cover on one side of my face, my arms and legs. I breathe in the comforting smell of home as I watch the bird complete each cycle untiringly – perfect each time.
Soon, more parts of the room fall away until it’s just the bird, me on the bed floating through space.  
But there’s something else – I don’t move but I see the door behind the bedroom door is still present. Doesn’t matter.

I’m focusing on the bird again. Harder than before. It seems to be slowing down or maybe I’m slowing down.
My heartbeat slows and so does the bird. Each cycle complete makes a slow whoosh.
The bedroom door moves slightly and the door behind it opens too.
A hand rests on my cheek and brushes me ever so slightly like the way my mum would have done to me as a child when she found me napping.
My heart bounces and starts beating rapidly, my eyes open wide and for a split second I can’t move. I can’t adjust my gaze to see who has their hand on my face.
My breath quickens and I get up with a start. Was I breathing? It felt like I’d been holding my breath.

For a moment I look around – confused and startled. The fan spins, the bird cycles and everything is just how it was.
I look behind me and notice the door behind the bedroom door. The bedroom door is open, and the other door closed behind it. There’s a painting of some flowers hanging on some string, gently knocking against the wall from the breeze of the fan.  
For now, I’m alone in the room again but something was in here just a moment ago. They’ve gone somewhere else now.
I’m calm again and plop my head back on the bed.
There’s definitely something about that Brisbane heat.

Journal 13/01/2022

The reflection of the fan blades on the dark screen of my phone. Is it a [BLANK]? It definitely isn’t but I check anyway.

Trying to break a [BLANK] I don’t wanna break deep down.

I wonder if everyone spends as much time [BLANK] to work as I do. What else would they be doing?

Telling myself once I get through the ones left on my [BLANK] I’ll settle down and be content.

That’s what I call telling myself a goddamn [BLANK]. They say, to be a good [BLANK, you need to first convince yourself of your own [BLANK].

Do you think [BLANK] knows?

When [BLANK] looks at me when we [BLANK] do you think he wants to [BLANK] me?

To be honest I feel like deep down everyone wants to [BLANK] me one way or another.

Yeah, I know – I’m a real [BLANK]. You don’t need to tell me what I already know.

Bored with [BLANK] when I have it but yearning for [BLANK] when I don’t have it. I’m a classic [BLANK]!

Do you follow [BLANK]?

Oh, no I don’t use [BLANK].


I think I’m gonna [BLANK] before I [BLANK].

Week 2

It’s been a weird week.

I’m sitting on my balcony at 10:05pm, 23̊c and 64% humidity. Someone is smoking weed above, below, left or right of me. Maybe they all are, maybe I am too – maybe no one is and I’m that person at the bar who asks if anyone can smell weed but really there is no weed but then everyone thinks they can smell it too.

This week makes me feel like someone has taken everyone I know and love out of Melbourne and replaced them with complete strangers. Things are open but they’re not, no one is anywhere. Radio silence.

I think she’s isolating, maybe she’s got it?
He definitely has it, I can’t believe he turned up to work with symptoms.
They’re escaping because it’s all too depressing.
Didn’t you go away anywhere?
Are you sure you don’t have symptoms?

The weed smell has gone and now I can smell the donut place down the street on the corner. I love their donuts, but I hate waiting in there because the smell of the oil soaks into my clothes and hair. A high price to pay for high calories. The guy who runs the place is a bit of a hottie, but I wonder if he permanently has that smell because he’s there all the time.

The streets below are quiet again. No people running and yelling down the street to get more drinks at a bar or drink outside. Just the hum of the air-conditioning fan and a cough in the distance.
Do you think he has it?

I realised recently how deeply uncomfortable it is to be called perfect.
How stressful it is to be over-complimented.
When you put someone up on a pedestal, they will eventually fall off and you will walk away because they aren’t good enough to keep any more. You feel betrayed by the stranger in front of you who only looks somewhat like the fantasy you’ve created by filling in the gaps as you please.

The weed smell is back. I wonder where the breeze is carrying it from. Some laughter comes from somewhere, a gathering unseen. Aside from a car driving under the streetlight below and the leaves quivering in the light breeze around me, I see no one. It’s just me.

Sometimes when I come home, I half expect to see you there. When I walk alone along a busy street, I expect to meet your eyes. I know it won’t happen right now, or maybe even ever because that is how it’s meant to be. But I do feel sad. I do feel loss even though it wasn’t meant to be. I guess I don’t have it together as everyone thinks.
Sometimes, I’m a fool too.

The oil fryer smell is back, I need to take my melatonin and go to bed.