Harry found a ghost town, after all this time searching. We’ve never been anyplace so completely inclusive before, somewhere we don’t have to face scowls or confused crinkled brows, running or screaming or terror at all, really. At first it was really wonderful. This is the best place we’ve ever been, I told him. He had to lean close to hear, as always, and I stared right through his head as I said it again in his ear.
There was practically a welcoming committee when we get there. A lovely woman named Nancy greeted us, and even motioned to take my arm and give me a tour – as if she could really grasp my elbow. We walked around and look at the kitchens, the beds, the windows. There was sun streaming in broad bright swatches through the dusty air, and – “For the more morbidly inclined,” Nancy said – there was a walk-in closet brimming with spiders and draped in cobwebs.
We stayed in the ghost town for a week. Almost two, to be honest, but that was as long as we could. From the beds where we couldn’t sleep to the kitchens where we couldn’t cook, everything was perfectly set up for living, breathing humans.
It was excruciating to lie next to Harry and feel like I should feel the heat coming off his body – and, of course, he doesn’t have a body anymore. We’ve been done with that worldly nonsense for a while. And it was wrenching to sit with Nancy in the kitchen while someone bustled about the stove, knowing that we had already accepted that we’d never again taste pie or eggs or anything.
We’ve been dead together for twenty years, and we’ve never been anyplace so completely depressing before. I told Harry – loudly, once we were gone and I could say it to the open sky – that I never wanted anything more to do with ghost towns. Haunting suits me just fine.