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Sunday, 30 August 2015

INTERESTS – A Ghost Story

For Thomas B., a good sport

This is the story of a ghost who didn't know what to do. He was bored and tired of hanging around the boy who lived in the house with the blue door. He'd been happy during the time when the boy had listened to him and played his games but one day, without prior warning, the boy started spending most of his time away from home. He'd leave early in the morning to return only in the evening and then pretended to be too busy with his books so as not to hear or see him. It was really annoying. Ghost had actually tried to spill his cereal milk one day, but even that had gone unnoticed. It wasn't the boy that was clumsy but it was him, the ghost, who had tried to punish him and had failed miserably. Why couldn't he see that? Why couldn't he see him anymore?

One day the boy's father brought home an old, broken down car and put it in a large garage in the backyard. Ghost immediately jumped into the hood and started fiddling with the old rusty parts. Suddenly, and to his great surprise, the man began talking to him. The louder he made the parts grumble, the more the man would speak.

'Now, lets see what you sound like.' he said, while turning the ignition key.

Ghost immediately tickled the engine, making it gag and cough.

'Not bad. Not bad. Nothing that a bit of TLC won't mend.'

Every day after work the man would come to the garage and work on the car for a couple of hours. Ghost couldn't be happier. The man couldn't be happier. He had finally found a hobby, an interest to keep his mind off work and Ghost no longer felt bored all the time.

When the man wasn't there working on the car, Ghost kept on studying the engine and all the other parts. He was so fond of the car and so gentle with it that one day the unimaginable happened: the spirit of the old car was brought to life. Naturally, Ghost being a ghost was not at all taken by surprise. He was actually very pleased to have someone else to talk to and develop he's newly found interest in what made cars tick.

It took the man almost two years to restore the rusty wreck. And Ghost, guided by the wise knowledge of the old Chrysler Newport, was right there beside him during the gutting, sanding, reboring and upholstering processes. Whenever there was a choice to be made, Ghost made sure he toppled something over or made it disappear under some wooden cabinet so that the man was forced to weigh up his other options and go for the best one. Even though not all of them knew they were even part of one, they made a good team.

The man finished primming the body and sent the Newport to a workshop to have a professional paint job done on it. The overall cost would be worth it.

And so it was. The beautiful satin blue Chrysler Newport had hardly been back in the backyard garage for a month when the man received a very generous offer from a collector. He sold it for almost three times as much as he had invested and couldn't feel any prouder of his feat. Half of that extra money was set aside for the boy's future university fees and the rest was invested in another old clunker with yet another whole host of mechanical problems.

By now the boy was a bit older and started hanging around his father in the garage and their shared interest was acknowledged in silence by both father and son. Ghost was thrilled to be able to hang out with the boy once again and now and then he would play one of his pranks, just to see the puzzled and almost melancholic look on the boy's face.

Over the years several old cars received a new breath of life in the garage, and life went on as usual. Cars came and left. The man eventually passed away and left. The boy grew up and left, became a dad himself, moved back into the house with the blue door and once again took up his father's hobby, this time with his own son and, of course, with Ghost, who had been there all along, waiting for the new cycle of life to begin.

- COPYRIGHT/Registado no IGAC

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