Friday, June 21, 2013

Lin

Lin had the distinction of being the first of the staple people to obtain a permanent position. Several other staple people had applied for the same position, but when Lin was offered the job there were no hard feelings. Because Lin was pregnant, it was decided that her getting the job was more fair than if anyone else had because she needed the job (particularly the benefits) more.

I learned later that Lin was deeply superstitious and genuinely terrified of ghosts. Her idea of ghosts was along the lines of the horrifying creature from “The Grudge” which is just ridiculous because everyone knows ghosts look more like Casper, whose very moniker informs you that he is, indeed, friendly. Any of the undoubtedly very few ghosts who are not animated almost certainly look like Rex Harrison.

One day, Lin asked me if I believed in ghosts and I said yes, thinking she was going to tell me some more-fun-than-scary, entertaining story. I mean, I kind of do. I like ghost stories. I’m mostly open to the existence of ghosts because it makes ghost stories more fun than if I’ve unconsciously called “Bullshit!” before the opening credits are done rolling. Suspension of disbelief and all that. I don’t know they don’t exist.

I was raised Catholic. The whole concept of faith is about believing something without evidence, or if you are a truly skilled Catholic, deciding the world around you is the evidence. Once when I was in first grade, I remember a girl in my class picking a flower and showing it to the teacher as evidence of the existence of God. Why would anyone argue with that? After 12 years of Catholic school, I’ll buy anything.

Except for scary mean ghosts who hunt down and kill young women for no reason. Once Lin had determined that I was a believer, she confessed to me that she was worried about some man who had recently died who had been an acquaintance of her family’s. For some reason, she thought he might want to get her. Judging from the look on her face, I surmised that “get” meant kill.

When I realized she was serious and genuinely scared, I told her I didn’t really believe in that kind of ghost, but if they were real I couldn’t imagine why this guy would even give her a second thought. That seemed to make her feel better, and I went back to my desk to kick myself for thinking socializing was a better idea than reading the paper on my lunch break.