Both distinctly and vaguely remembering Pat thumb through the guest list makes me laugh to this very day. I truly believe he thought the ghosts would check in by their names, room numbers, and identify themselves as ghosts: Casper, Donner, Blitzen, Bill, Past, Present, Filepe….(we had to be politically fair….ghosts are not confined to being American). Even as strangely off beating with a beer track, if you will, I recall looking at Pat with a sort of confused and whimsical smile, thinking, “what in the hell are you doing?” Never the more, I respected his thoughts, inquiries, and seconds of painstaking research this young man had placed forth during this challenging day of drinking, dancing, celebrating a wedding, and ultimately spotting a ghost.
We tip toed, (staggered) down several hallways and corridors seeking something which may create a story only our grand kids and everyone else knows we would be lying about. It was glorious! Pat had that look in his eye. You know the one; the one kids apply when looking for ghosts. He wanted to catch one and beat the dead hell out of it for scaring him as a youth. Me? I was just gathering drunk material. Seconds went by, literally, (when seconds go by hunting for ghosts, it feels like years) and we found nothing, zero, bagel! It was a sad midnight. Pat was melancholy. I was relieved. Yet, although finding no ghosts, there is, indeed a happy ending.
In this quaint hotel, many guests did not have bathrooms in their own room, including ours. So, as many naked people do, they adorn themselves with these ridiculous customary white robes provided by the haunted hotel. Pat, my good friend and nephew, would witness these living humans walking, or as he stated “floating”, peacefully to the “john” or “bath”, pointing a finger at them screaming, “LOOK! GHOSTS!!!”. These friendly patrons would become mortified witnessing this red haired (looking like it had been scorched from hell) crazed man (Pat) and sprint to their rooms. Then, we’d share a good chuckle and adjourn ourselves to our own haunted room.
Peacefully, we all fell asleep at midnight only awakening to Steve’s Three o’clock a.m. internal Kramer alarm. “C’mon, We gotta get on the road!”. Not wishing to argue with a man who can kill you with one flick of the fist, we reluctantly, and literally rolled out of bed. Funny thing was, Steve, who looked remarkably stupid in his white ghost robe, was prancing around the room, repeatedly saying, “Hey! This carpet is all wet. Why is this carpet so wet? This is weird! Maybe a ghost came in here and pissed! Cool!” At that point, my most trusted brother, Tom, looked at me with those father like eyes and quietly said, “You pissed in here in the middle of the night, didn’t you?”. My reply? “I don’t know? Probably, but don’t tell Steve”. I must have been too damned afraid to go to the head down the hallway myself, so I just happily urinated on the haunted hotel carpet. Or did I??????????
That’s a stupid ending. Sorry, Steve, I couldn’t hold it.
Post Ghost Syndrome: Pat slept the whole way home, Steve pondered urinating ghosts, Tom wondered how he had subjected himself to such idiots, and I was merely happy Steve didn’t know he was walking in my piss.
Benjamin J. Gannon