Haunted House


Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

There’s a ghost in the house. Not just any ghost, mind you. This one’s the spirit on the block, a majordomo with divine pretensions—and he’s gonzo territorial too. When this guy moves in, he takes over the joint and doesn’t take lightly any moves to reclaim ownership. He’s got squatter’s rights. We’re talking the supreme spook who’s got a direct line to You-Know-Who and an affinity for transitional neighborhoods. There’s nothing he likes better than a fixer-upper.

This ghost wasn’t satisfied with the brick and mortar temple where the devout and semi-devout could stop by for a visit once in a while. He didn’t take to huge pillars or altar fires or gold statues like a normal god wanna-be. He wasn’t even all that big on the Box the Jews constructed for him even though they made it to spec. No, this ghost wanted a mobile home, a biosphere, a flesh and bone domicile to move into. Not only that, he wanted every freaking one of them for his very own.

So he scopes out the ghetto. (It’s all ghetto, baby.) And he zeros in on the shabbiest shacks, the mud and dung hovels with dirt floors and open sewers. He announces his intentions to the current owners. He proposes a buyout. He gets the houses; they get the pleasure of his company and a down payment on a future subdivision (with running water, paved streets, and a long-term care plan). Those who take the deal get to stay in their huts but forfeit the right to call the shots. The Ghost gets the deed and lays down the house rules.

Some folks cut the deal and then later aren’t so sure they want such a demanding house guest. They try to renegotiate the contract. They don’t mind the long-term care package but would prefer an absentee landlord. This distresses the supreme spook big time. You-Know-Who hears about it and . . . well, you know what. There are going be some major excise taxes imposed when the current neighborhood is razed, and some folks are going to find out the hard way. That’s just the way it is. You don’t mess with the Ghost.

I have to say that the supreme spook has strange tastes in temples. Why he opts to downgrade in the first place is way beyond me. But he’s always been the renegade of the posse potentate, a free-wheeling agent of fire who likes careening around like a maverick wind. And he apparently likes the renovation business—though when I look around at some of his projects I have to wonder just how successful he is at it. What’s the point of a nice house without power?

The Ghost does what he does for his own reasons. Those who learn to dance with him are likely to have quite an adventure. The rest are just going to have to cough up the tax.

.   .   .

Holy Ghost


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