Did you ever feel like your house threw a party, and didn't invite you? That's what The Pony and I have been going through all month. It has intensified while Genius is away at Missouri Boys State, where he was asked to donate ten days as part of the technology staff.
We have always had the phantom footsteps. Ha ha! The people on those ghost-hunting trips who hear footsteps and get all freaked out are just comical. We live with that 12/7/365. That's normal around the house that Hick built.
Here's a new one. The Pony says he hears noises from my office. Not the noises I have heard, like an empty soda can falling off the counter. Nor noises I have heard upstairs in the past, like stacks of magazines falling off the back of the couch onto carpet. No, the new manifestation observed by The Pony is the cracking open of a can of soda. That's how he describes it. It's only when he's downstairs alone, and I am upstairs. We both know there's no soda-openin' going on in my office. That space is reserved for my 44 oz. Diet Coke.
A few nights ago, The Pony went upstairs for his shower, then bed. No sooner had he gone up, after five minutes of solitude in my recliner in front of the big-screen TV, than I heard the distinctive sound of a soda opening in my office. It has happened once more since then. Or maybe it's a beer. But it's the sound of a can top flipping open.
The Pony also has another new sound. A light switch. I asked him, "What do you mean, a light switch?"
"Duh! A LIGHT SWITCH! Like this!" He trotted across the tile floor to the light switch between the end of the piano we inherited from my grandma and the door to Hick's workshop. He flipped that switch on, then off. It didn't click. They're the silent kind. It thumped. I've never heard that one myself. But The Pony says it happens a couple of times a night, while I'm in my office. In addition, he says he sees a white figure in the doorway of my dark office that he pretends is me. That's the right direction for where I hear my falling can noises.
The Pony has been closing his bedroom door at night. I attributed it to him growing up and wanting more privacy, or not wanting to hear Genius's TV or music late into the night. Genius is a night owl like me, while The Pony generally retires before 10:00. Even though Genius keeps his door closed since being chastised for opening his windows while the air conditioning runs, the sound comes through.
Last week, I woke up in my recliner around 3:00 a.m. I went upstairs, turned off the basement lights, and went to the front living room window to turn off my laptop that powers my internet. The only lights we leave on at night are the ones under the kitchen cabinets. They provide a dim, twilight kind of ambiance that keeps you from whacking your shin on the coffee table. As I turned to go back through the living room, I saw a white shape outside The Pony's bedroom door. It appeared to be standing. It was like an upright manatee. Kind of a long blob. When I looked directly at it, it was gone. I did not tell The Pony.
One day later, that boy was full of questions on the way to town. "Hey, Mom. What kind of things have you seen besides that headless man? And the sounds. What all have we heard? Didn't you hear magazines falling? Have you ever SEEN anything upstairs?"
I told him about the white blob. He rides behind me in T-Hoe. Weird, I know. But that's what he likes. So I couldn't see him nod at the revelation. But I felt it. "That's why I close my door at night. I kept seeing something out there. Was it looking in, or looking out? Because I feel like it's watching me."
"It seemed to be standing. Not looking in OR out. Standing guard, maybe. Like it was looking toward me in the living room. Only there were no eyes. It was just a perception on my part."
"Okay, then. It must be Grandpa looking out for me."
I haven't seen it again. But you'd think there was a rave going on in Genius's room right above our TV-watching area in the basement. He's been gone since Wednesday morning, and by 4:00 or 5:00 in the evening, we start hearing people walking in his room. It's more frequent after 10:30.
I don't know what's going on. But I'm getting used to it.