Through the crazy quilt of drunken recollections I remember closing the bar. By the end of the night, despite her less savory qualities, Cherry Naturally was a young naked woman. Regardless of how little I wanted to have sex with her she did evoke certain sexual desires. The close of the evening exacerbated those desire as only leaving a bar alone can. Consequently, I went straight home to pound on 3-2E. The old man who lives there, whom I only know as Old Man, answered the door. The smell of boiled cabbage and stale cigarette smoke hit me the face, making me long for a pint of Guinness, a smoke, and a Reuben sandwich. Don’t ask. Despite it being nearly four in the morning, he gestured for me to come inside.
Old Man is a legend in my apartment building. The elder tenants say he’s been there since 1902, and I confess, he doesn’t look a day over 89. Wild rumors abound about him contacting the dead and creatures from the great beyond. So, blind drunk, I thrust a handful near ten thousand dollars at him and said, “I wanna talk to somebody.”
“A lost love?” he said, donning a top hat and a necklace made of rat skulls.
Yes is the short answer. No is a lie. We dated for several months back in college. Every man has one woman who sets the bar for the rest of his life. Dating, fucking, loving, all fall under the estimations established by that one woman. The sad thing is this person is not usually who you end up with the rest of your life, even if you do stay together; nostalgia ruins more relationships than herpes. But in any case, I loved her. Right up to the moment she slipped out of mine and Steve’s hands while doing a keg-stand. Broke her neck on the keg.
Anyway, ten grand is a windfall to a Roger’s Park necromancer. He offered to not only put me in contact with my lost love but to bring her back from the dead. Upon hearing this I threw in 5k to keep from getting a shambling rotting corpse. Old Man said with a grin, “You’re a savvy customer,” and started the ritual.
At this point I feel the need to state there is no furniture in Old Man’s apartment. Not even a pile of junk mail to use as a nest of some sort. Yet, he said to take a seat and there was a seat, poofed! right behind me. I mention this not out of wonder but envy.
On a dingy stove streaked with various greases, Old Man set a pot to boiling. He mumbled some words that sounded like crackhead Latin as he stirred in sundry necromantic items. Some I recognized. Others I didn’t. None looked appealing except for the oregano. And maybe the fish eyes, depending on which fish.
Slowly the steam rising from the pot changed colors gradually taking on a purple hue. He carried the pot from the kitchen into the living room. He poured the contents on the floor using them to form a circle.
I breathed a sigh of relief, “Oh thank god. I was afraid I’d have to drink that.”
Old Man said, “Not for this. Although, in those cases I prefer to use an enema. Gets it right into your system, and you don’t have to taste the pig anus.”
The brew congealed into a solid ring. It started to glow. Most people might say with an eerie light, but it was no different than a purple glow stick poured on the floor. What did make me flinch, however, was when strands of the solidified liquid snaked their way across the diameter. Steadily more and more tendrils whipped from opposite sides till the whole circle filled in forming a glowing purple disc. I could hear voices coming out of it. Old Man muttered some more of that crackhead Latin and a hand shot up from the luminous puddle. Old Man grabbed hold of it. Then he hoisted out Jessica Rimbault.
That’s when I told Old Man, Megan Swift was who I wanted.
Apparently, Old Man was working off the snippets of coherent conversation we managed to have. This amounted to things like“Jessica fucking… at her funeral. I loved mxpliktick… I’m miserable serious.” And, “garber Jessica. Jessica Rimbault. She knows. Want her back…. fries.”
So. Yeah. Jessica Rimbault was a friend of Megan’s whom I fucked at Megan’s funeral. Sad people do strange things to not feel grief. Sad drunk stoned people do strange things to not feel grief.
It seemed wrong to just pitch Jessica back down the hole, but I think it was the tactless way Old Man shoved her back into the afterlife, sort of a shoulder check into the great beyond, that bothered me the most. He murmured that crackhead Latin again and up came Megan. The only problem is on her way up Megan passed Jessica on her way back. Time in the land of the dead is a strange thing. The two had long enough to say hi and exchange a few particulars.
Suffice it to say I’ve been locked out of my apartment by my recently resurrected girlfriend for having sex while she was dead. At her funeral. With her best friend.
But we’ll work it out. Life’s too short to stay angry, and nobody knows that better than the dead.