Feeling Like a Blue Moon on a Red Moon Night

I walked through the massive building feeling like I was in a cattle yard or an insane house of horrors or just lost.

The years have taken me through market places all over the world. Places of odd smells and sounds with weird paths and turns that have had me lost for hours.

Yesterday I was in a fog under ceilings with strange gray light, thick air, narrow isles and too much for me to take in or want to take in.

I was bringing flowers to a friend in the hospital. I needed a vase. I stopped at a HUGE Wal-Mart by the hospital. It was two stories and it was nuts. I never get hot. In fact I tend to be cool and level-headed at all times, but with the temperature almost 100 degrees F outside and me… well, me being a creature who naturally shuns the bright lights, I started to feel flushed in my own weird way and not quite in a panic, but I thought of a panic and how easy it would be to get lost in this place for hours on end. It had to be one of the most unpleasant places I have ever been.

I stood looking for a vase in obviously the wrong section of the store and suddenly realized that nobody there was like me.  That isn’t all that unusual. It just was. It didn’t matter. I just needed  pretty vase that would hold tall red, purple and yellow flowers that would brighten up a light mint green hospital room.

A woman offered to help me at checkout isle 8. She said the other checker near by was too slow. She could help 5 people in the time the other could help 1. She was friendly as I commented that the store   near my house was a fraction of the size. The huge store near my house seemed charming and quaint compared to his huge whale belly of a store that had swallowed me up.

Outside the temperature was near 100. Hot for October, even for here. Even in the evening when it should have been cooling off it was hot like the desert. I thought about rest stops in the middle of the Mojave Desert between Barstow and Las Vegas. It was that hot.

Once at the hospital the hallways were cool and the light low. Nobody made eye contact. Nobody looked around. Down the hall towards the emergency room I could see a few ghosts lingering around. They needed to move on. They needed to leave this place. There is nothing here for them. I could feel the cold air off of the ghosts coming down the hall for me. They knew I could see them and knew what they were. It creeped me out and at the same time broke my heart into a million shards of something awful.

I was glad to be alone in the elevator with the vase of pink roses and maiden hair ferns. My bag felt heavy on my shoulder.

I hate hospitals. Yes, there is a certain segment of the Vampire population consisting of ghoulish individuals who enjoy hospitals and places full of sick and injured people on the brink of death. I find it nauseating, like the smell of rotten food. Who wants to eat rotten food?

My friend was in her room, a book on her lap, her eyes closed. She’d been in an accident and had come here to have metal rods put in her bones and skin sewed back on  and glass taken out of her shoulder and arm. I couldn’t believe how cheerful she was in such a place. She couldn’t see the ghosts or smell the smells that made me almost sick. But this wasn’t about me.

I was there for a little over an hour. We talked about everything under the sun and moon and stars. My friend would be home by next week with her family, pets and friends. I marveled at her attitude.

On the way out a ghost stood in the elevator with me. He wore an expensive suit and not a hair was out-of-place, but only half of his handsome face was still on his head and he was missing an arm.

“You ought to go,” I said. “There is nothing here for you.”

“You can see me?” He looked truly surprised with his half of a face.

“Of course I can see you. Please, you don’t want to be a ghost unless you’re going to do it all the way. Even then, you don’t want to be a ghost. Your loved ones have moved on and grieved for you. They will never stop loving you. They will never forget you. But you can’t be part of their lives. You have something else waiting for you. You need to go.”

“How do you know.”

“I’m kind of dead myself, well, undead. Anyway, I just know. I can feel it. Trust me.”

Now I wish I could say I saw a bright light and he waved me good bye and his body was whole again, but it didn’t happen that way. The elevator stopped and he vanished. I didn’t feel his presence anymore. I could only hope he’d moved on.

I’m sure I’ll eventually go online or ask around about him. Maybe not. It just depends on how depressed I really want to get.

In the car home I sang along to Runaway Train. I ran through the stations looking for songs I knew then turned it off and sang Runaway Train again on my own.

At home I half expected to have a ghost waiting for me. The Ghost. Nigel, the ghost who lives near my house but he wasn’t there. I wondered if he’d ever been like the ghosts who seem so lost and hopeless. Nigel is more alive than most live folks I know. But he is one of those ghosts who is in it for the long haul.

I know enough about the world of ghosts to know that it isn’t Lincoln’s ghosts haunting the White House. I know the miners from the Gold Rush sit on the bluffs over the river when the moon is full (like tonight) and wonder if they’ll ever see the elephant. I know that if you speak to a ghost and give it permission to move on that it will move on – at least half of the time. For you see, most ghosts shouldn’t be here. They just got confused and took a wrong turn. They don’t know what to do. Nobody met them at the gate so to speak.

I poured a glass of wine and picked up my Nook. I knew that later I’d watch the lunar eclipse. I did and it was lovely and sort of playful in the way that lunar eclipses can be.

So I don’t know. Just thinking out loud and feeling like singing sort of sad songs. And wondering about ghosts and music and missing my child who has gone off to college.

Anyway, that’s it for now. Just a disjointed day. Sort of like a blue moon on a red moon night.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman





“Runaway Train”

Call you up in the middle of the night
like a firefly without a light
you were there like a blowtorch burning
i was a key that could use a little turning
so tired that i couldn’t even sleep
so many secrets i couldn’t keep
promised myself i wouldn’t weep
one more promise i couldn’t keep

it seems no one can help me now
i’m in too deep
there’s no way out
this time i have really lead myself astray

runaway train, never goin’ back
wrong way on a one-way track
seems like i should be getting somewhere
somehow i’m neither here nor there

can you help me remember how to smile?
make it somehow all seem worthwhile
how on earth did i get so jaded?
life’s mysteries seem so faded
i can go where noone else can go
i know what no one else knows
here i am just drownin’ in the rain
with a ticket for a runaway train

and everything seems cut and dry
day and night
earth and sky
somehow i just don’t believe it

runaway train, never goin’ back
wrong way on a one-way track
seems like i should be getting somewhere
somehow i’m neither here nor there

bought a ticket for a runaway train
like a madman laughing at the rain
little out of touch, little insane
it’s just easier than dealing with the pain

runaway train, never goin’ back
wrong way on a one-way track
seems like i should be getting somewhere
somehow i’m neither here nor there

runaway train, never comin’ back
runaway train, tearin’ up the track
runaway train, burnin’ in my veins
i run away but it always seems the same


by David Pirner (Soul Asylum)