Chicago, ghosts?, “development”

If anyone happens to be in Chicago this weekend, the stuffed animal play is going up at 7:25PM Saturday in the Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins 72-hour theatre festival. I love the concept of this fest, and though I’m happy with the primo time slot my play has, I kind of wanted it to go up at 3 or 4 in the morning, just because you have to wonder who the hell is in the audience at that time of night.

The ceiling fan/light in the living room has been coming on by itself. To operate the light, you have to punch buttons on a remote control. So I assumed that the battery in the remote is going out, causing the light and fan to come on randomly. Actually, it’s not that random. It’s usually about an hour after bedtime (which varies every single night). And it scares the shit out of me. It’s only happened three or four times, but still. So last night, I was home alone and soaking in the tub. Sounds like a horror movie, huh? It’s not that late – maybe about 9 PM – but all is quiet. The dogs are snoozing on the couch, I’m reading a book and getting pruney. Then I hear the paper shredder, which lives in the kitchen, start up. On its own. My pulse started racing and I wondered if someone was in the house. Then I thought, why in the hell would someone break in only to use the paper shredder? The big dog heard it too, because I heard her click-clacking on the tile into the kitchen. When I got out of the tub, I unplugged the shredder.

For a brief moment, I thought about trying to communicate with the machine. These random electrical occurrences have happened since Granddad died, and two of the times the light came on after bed, I was going to his house the next day (once with a moving van to move out some furniture and then last weekend for a garage sale) and was thinking about the house/my grandparents at that very moment. I thought perhaps someone is trying to tell me something. As I stood in front of the shredder, pondering what question to ask, I decided instead to unplug it. Not in any way trying to cut off communication – just hoping to find a better vehicle for the conversation. Dreams are always a good place to go since I tend to remember many of my dreams each night.

My grandparents’ dining table/chairs are now mine. I gave the wood a lot of love with a bit of scratch cover and then a good rub with some orange oil. I recovered the chairs in a cool fabric – that process only took about three hours and was much easier than I expected. So the stuff has a new lease in life. My grandparents had the set for over fifty years. I hope I do too. Quite a few of their things fit right in at my house. Like they were meant to be there. It makes me happy to recycle, and I know my grandparents (who lived through the Depression and were always more frugal than they had to be just on principle) would approve.

Sadly, their house in Bellaire will be no more in a few weeks. It was on the market for a whole three days before a developer bought it. For a lot of money, which means that once the old house is torn down and a new, shitty one takes its place, someone is going to spend a shitload to live at that address. I’ve written many, many times about how I feel about Houston tearing down everything old and soulful and replacing the buildings with shitty cardboard/plastic monstrosities, so I won’t bore you with that lecture again. But still. It sucks ass. I love that house.

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