During the day I can often be found toiling in my basement office at the do-gooder agency that employs me. I don’t mind working in the basement, though I did look wistfully out the window above my head on each of the three sunny days we’ve had in Seattle this year. But yesterday a staff member who had come downstairs to avail herself of the fax and/or copy machine said, “I wouldn’t want to work down here with the ghosts.”

“You mean that tinkling noise? That’s just the bell on Charlie’s collar,” I said. (Charlie is the cat on staff.)

“No,” she explained, “the basement is haunted.” It’s a health care agency, and people have died there. For some reason, their souls have seen fit to hang around the basement rather than ascending to the heavenly light of the first floor.

After she took her papers hot from the copy machine, I walked around the basement. I inspected the walls and corners for signs of protoplasmic residue. I opened all the drawers in the filing cabinets, to see if any entities were hiding in there. I examined the carpet for tell-tale footprints appearing where no one walked. All I found were the remains of Charlie’s morning catnip.

Upon further inquiry, I learned that some of the night staff dislike coming to the basement because that’s when the ghosts show up. No wonder I couldn’t find them. But I can’t figure out why ghosts would have a time-of-day preference. Once you’re dead, what difference does the Earth’s position relative to the sun make?

Since I’m not there at night, I cannot verify the ghost story.

But did I tell y’all I’m going to be rich? See, I’ve discovered the cure for insomnia.

Stay up later.

Seriously, it works. I used to labor under the delusion that human beings such as myself required eight hours of sleep at night. I dutifully went to bed at 11 pm and tried to go to sleep. Note: trying to go to sleep is a euphemism for tossing, thrashing, turning, twitching, sipping water, getting up to pee, and mentally racing through the events of my day, the anticipated events of the next day, the traumas of my childhood, the anticipated traumas of my old age, and painstakingly envisioning every conceivable outcome of every possible permutation of the actions I once took, planned to take, wished I had the guts to take, or were taken on my behalf.

In other words, I didn’t sleep.

But I’ve given up on the eight hour delusion, and now I no longer have insomnia. I stay up until I am so exhausted I can barely pull my pj’s on, and then I pass out. Problem solved.

So, since I’m up, I’m thinking about staking out the basement at my workplace. If I got a good ghost picture and sold it to the National Enquirer, that plus the proceeds from my insomnia cure would make me very rich indeed.


21 thoughts on “

  1. Go to bed later…or get up earlier.  If I can’t get to sleep, that is a question I ponder in great depth…until the ghosts rattle round and distract me.
    Yep…very rich indeed.  

  2. Wonder what made people even think that?  I mean, if I hear a strange noise, I usually find that it’s a case of something overbalancing, for example, or the wind, or an animal, or – you mean it was GHOSTS all this time?  : )

  3. Enjoyed your post about the ghost in the basement.  They claim the building I work in is haunted, too.  I’ve never had an encounter there, but several of my co-workers have.  However, our “ghost” doesn’t like the basement but prefers being upstairs.  People have claimed to hear him/her walking around upstairs, turning the water off & on in the restrooms, and even playing on one of the drumsets we have on display.  (After hours when the upstairs is empty.)  Well, not actually playing on the whole set, but on the floor tom.  My boss was working late one night when the stereo system in the retail area turned itself on FULL BLAST to a radio station that we never listen to….makes you wonder sometimes.

  4. Now THAT is truly funny.  Ghosts who haunt the Seattle basement of a health-care agency, but only at night.  Huh.  And apparently don’t leave any protoplasmic residue.
    I’ve tried your cure for insomnia, but unfortunately it always results in a new problem:  oversleeping.  My current cure for insomnia is: go to bed 30 minutes before my husband can come in and begin watching television and switching on lights and snoring.

  5. RYC: I’m sure you can use tomato-crushing implements, but crushing them by hand leaves them nice and chunky, if you like that sort of thing.Love the haunted health-care basement!

  6. Great insomnia cure. Mine is easier (but more expensive) I am taking Xanax for migraine prevention. I take my dosage 30 minutes before bedtime. Works like a charm.
    Ah yes, ghosts only come out at night. As if that makes any difference. Not to get all soap boxie about it, but why do ghosts wear clothes? It’s obvious they don’t need them. They won’t get cold, or sweaty, or need protection from the elements How do non-living bits of fabric make it into the world of the undead, shouldn’t ghosts be naked? And why is it that the darkness is the scariest time of day for most folks, so it only makes sense that is when ghosts appear?
    I was going to write a poem about the dead people in a cemetery, and how each season of the year equals a day to them. Four days a year, for instance. I could never get it to sound right though. Must be too complicated of a concept for poetry.

  7. Getting decent sleeping patterns is so difficult. The more sleep I get, the more I need. Sometimes I’m much better on 4 hours sleep than I am after 7. What does that say about me?

  8. Is it insomnia if you can only sleep when you are supposed to be getting ready for work? Thanks for the ++ comments. I had to get the idea down, and as the wife pointed out, it’s not a new idea. But, I thought I’d throw it into the world, mostly to see how I felt about it being out there. Feeling better about it now.

  9. There’s supposed to be ghosts where I work too. But I must have bad breath or something ’cause they never come out when I’m around! heh heh
    Oh, and I’d sort of like to know why ghosts like haunting buildings with more than one floor or level. Gosh, there just doesn’t seem to be any ghost movies or stories about hauntings in ranch style houses! What’s up with that? 

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