by David Kovacs
Hello, my name is Gerald. I identify as a ghost. I am not undead or mortally challenged. I am a ghost. And yes, I am reclaiming that term. A slur, which the living has used against my kind for millennia. While I call myself a ghost or a full form specter, you may not. You can simply call me Gerald, without referring to my status on or off your mortal coil.
I am also your roommate. I am neither offended nor insulted by that label. Or any other cohabitating descriptor like ``roomie`` or ” flatmate”.
So as a cohabiter of this one bedroom plus den apartment, issues have arisen that require a certain amount of plain speaking. Between you, mortal with a temporary lease of 12 months and myself, full form specter residing here until oblivion. I have taken the liberty to converse with you in the literal style that your kind prefers: The List (or as it will be called 50 years from now, list-based literature, as all other styles of writing will have been deemed too wordy and will cease to exist)
So now to the matters of concern, in list form:
ACTIVITIES WITHIN THE APARTMENT
My vocation, for which I diligently trained, is to push over vases and creak doors. A copy of my certification in Small Container Displacement and Light Nuisance Production can be provided. In the pursuit of this profession, I will require access to common spaces to perfect my skill. Minimal damage is to be expected in pottery and flat wear of lesser quality. If you have any porcelain of value, I would suggest removing it from any shared living space.
I am also working on my Masters in furniture stacking. On occasion, I will be required to arrange the sofas, chairs and end tables in an amusing manner. I remind you that you are not to impede my course of study or rearrange any works in progress without my expressed consent.
Likewise, I will not hinder your continuing training in simple guitar chords. Though I would suggest that you seek out some sort of professional assistance, as your progress in this field of study has been limited at best. Also your choice of when to practice might require some rethought. I personally have no issues with extended sessions at 3 am during weekdays. However some of your living brethren are not so understanding. Specifically the personal trainer next door with anger issues.
As well, I have no objections to long midnight rambling and moanings about lost relationships. I am an experienced specter and am well acquainted with remorseful wailing during the wee hours.
PETS AND OTHER LOWER BEINGS
I remind you of the “pet clause” within your lease agreement. All animals must remain a least one meter away from the co-residing phantom at all time. Intrusions within that one meter radius may cause unintentional possession of the animal, requiring the services of a chartered pet exorcist to unbind animal and spirit. The spirit will not be held responsible for any damage to the pet’s previous training or its ability to maintain bowel control.
The size of pet must not be more than a half meter in height, and less than 20 kilograms in weight. There are no restrictions on breed, or whether alive or deceased. Extinct pets are permitted as long as they have been spayed or neutered. Some demon pedigrees are allowed as long as they have been vaccinated by a priest.
DISPLAYS OF ARTWORK IN COMMON SPACES
As part of my condition, I am participating in a therapeutic art class. An afterlife physician`s note is available for viewing. From time to time works in watercolour, acrylics, and bloods will be on temporary display within the common area. It is advisable that all mortals viewing these pieces use a class five welder`s goggle. Viewing without the aid of protective glasses may cause retina strain, and damages to sense of reality.
Likewise, branded alcohol posters (such as beer, wines, and spiced ciders) are not permitted in the common room. Neither are neon advertisements or street signs. A limited allowance of Ansel Adams will be permitted (see appendix for acceptable works).
UNSOLICITED INQUIRIES INTO PAST LIFE
Unsanctioned interrogations, séances, or extra-plane interviews are not permitted. Communication between parties both alive and dead shall be limited to topics of household finances, general state of the dwelling, and light topical news. Requests of past life information from both parties are prohibited. Protection of anonymity is essential. Details of previous existences can only be given without solicitation. Mortals will not initiate bounding over ``brewskies``. Spirit will not appear at the foot of bed making inquiries accompanied by Gregorian chanting.
SHARING OF CLEANING EXPENSES
Laundry and cleaning expenses will be shared equally by both parties. The following exceptions apply: dry cleaning and stain removal of stigmatas and all paint ball related incidents.
Though I am destined for the next half eternity to cause minor disturbances in a shared household with irritating people, I do hope this temporary cohabitation will be satisfactory. A positive review on any accommodation website is encouraged.
I will remain as principal tenant of this apartment, offering a housing alternative to the living until the sun in this particular solar system explodes, destroying everything within it. At which point I will relocate to the Andromeda galaxy, where I will sublet with an equally annoying tri-pedal species.
My name is Gerald. I’m a ghost and I am also your roommate.