Your mind plays tricks on you, but not as often as you’d think. A lot of the time you are seeing what you think you’re seeing but your mind sorts it so it can make sense of it. It doesn’t want you to feel distressed or upset, it just wants you to process the details and move on. Your conscious mind is all about moving on, about getting to the next thing. If we didn’t have our unconscious minds, I think we’d be like mental sharks, just swimming swimming, swimming until we die. But that misshapen lump hangs out in the back of our brain somewhere, coughing up forgotten details, registering facts, filing things away and we don’t even know it is happening.
I guess that’s why Emilia seemed so familiar when I first registered her presence. The fact was that I had been seeing her for months out of the corner of my eye or reflected in the glass but I hadn’t really accepted that she was there so I just glossed over her. My conscious mind didn’t want to accept that there was a ghost in my apartment, so it just overwrote her details. My unconscious mind was on the task though. Once I admitted that she did actually exist, that a decidedly modern looking ghost woman in jeans and a Buffy t-shirt, barefoot, with a bandanna pushed down over her forehead, was wandering around my place all hours of the day and night, my subconscious coughed up all the other times I had seen her. It created a context, a pattern of sightings that suddenly gave meaning to a lot of weird noises I had heard and to the way that my things kept showing up in unexpected places.
My subconscious can’t explain, however, why I know that the ghost’s name is Emilia, and that she died on the sidewalk in front of my place one night when she heard a loud bang and ran outside in her bare feet. I have no idea how I know that, but I do. I don’t know exactly how she died though, but I know it couldn’t have been good. A good death probably doesn’t leave a ghost. Or at least that’s my suspicion. I’m also in the dark about what she’s doing here. She hasn’t actually tried to speak to me or anything like that. She just seems to be hanging around, sitting on the end of my couch, looking out the window, strolling up and down the hall like she’s talking on the phone – waving her arm around like she is illustrating a point to someone on the other end of the line.
You’d think I’d be creeped out, but I’m totally not. She’s kind of a comfort really, kind of like an incredibly unintrusive roommate, but a roommate that has made me wary of strange noises outside. I don’t wear Buffy t-shirts or jeans, and I don’t own a bandanna but you still won’t catch me investigating outside after dark.