Posted by: gdevi | October 22, 2010

Halloween Pulp Non-Fiction

Spooky thoughts are in the air already. Yesterday when I picked up D at the YMCA, she was conferring with her best friend B at the far end of the room. We were driving home when Dayani asked me, “Mama, do you know what B and I are going to do?” No, honey, I don’t. What are you going to do?  We are going to say Bloody Mary four times and wait for the ghost to come, D said. That is terrible, honey, I said. Bloody Mary is a swear word and the name of an alcoholic drink. Both sound bad coming from the mouths of children. I’d prefer it if you didn’t say it, I said. But mama, D said, she was a real person. She was a very bad queen. Yes, honey, I said. There was an English queen – Queen Elizabeth the First’s sister — named Mary who put a lot of people to death because she wanted the English throne–but that is no reason to call her Bloody Mary. They were all like that. Queen Elizabeth killed a lot of people too. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. And I am not really sure that the urban legend Bloody Mary is that Mary to begin with. Well Emilia Rosetta is going to help me, D. said. And Bob will help Brittnee. Who is Emilia Rosetta? Who is Bob? I asked D. Emilia Rosetta is my ghost. I made her, D said. And Bob is the ghost that Brittnee made. A ghost named Bob, I said. That is so refreshing. Usually ghosts have such Latin names–Cornelius van der something or the other, Alexander blah blah blah, I said. I like a ghost named Bob. Emilia Rosetta sounds very Latin too. How about naming your ghost Ashley or Cindy? Mama, I am serious! D. said. We are going to call each other at 6 this evening then we are going to go to a mirror and say Bloody Mary three times. Don’t you feel scared, she asked me. No sweetie, I said. I am not scared. I am not afraid of ghosts. Real live people are scarier than ghosts.  But I really don’t think you should say that honey, I said. It sounds bad. Words have energy–you should use them carefully and stay away from ugly words. Words won’t bring ghosts; but they will corrupt you. When she comes she is going to attack me but Emilia Rosetta will save me and Bob will save Brittnee. That is good, I said. It’d be terrible otherwise. Tell me about Emilia Rosetta, how did she end up a ghost? I asked D. Well she was this young mother and then she died giving birth to her son who was born a thousand years later. Really? How is that possible? Human beings have to give birth in 9 months; you cannot be pregnant for a thousand years. I said. Well, Emilia Rosetta was pregnant and then she died but then she interlocked with this other woman who gave birth to her son a thousand years later. Oh? I said. Okay. How did she die? She died in a fire. She got leukemia. She got leukemia from fire? I asked D. Mama, Sadako in Sadako and a Thousand Paper Cranes got leukemia from the bomb and she died of leukemia, don’t you remember? Yes, honey, I said, but that is the atomic bomb that we dropped in Japan–lot of people got cancer from the atomic bomb. But I don’t think you can catch leukemia from a fire, I said. Mama! You can catch leukemia from a bomb! You can get leukemia from a fire! Dayani announced.

D ended up not calling B and not saying the incantation three times or four times. No ghosts so far. Mary, Emilia Rosetta and Bob are resting somewhere in the ether. Instead she learned a new word from her reading homework — monotonous. Use that in a sentence, honey, I told her. All evening she made sentences with monotonous — everything was monotonous. I feel so grown-up using this word, she said, all proud and smiling. Of course, come here you little goose, I said. I could only hug her.


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