At eleven, God exists for me in storm-tried houses, with the smell of a large red door and whitewashed dusty brick. God exists on a staircase creaking, when the pine roping’s been placed and the needles swept away.
It is a shared belief that this house is haunted.
At eleven, while reading, the afternoon light begins to fade. I look up from my book at the touch lamp across the room and it turns on, sending my skin into a gasp of excitement and fear. I quickly blurt out “thank you” as I’m not sure how ghosts feel about manners.
The only time I show fear, happens fitfully one summer morning, the room sweating in Mississippi heat. I am shoving unapproved items into the bag that’s been packed for camp, when there’s a “huh” in my ear. In a flailing gesture I drop the bag and throw myself backwards onto the floor of my room, wide eyed and yelling for my brother!
At eleven, God exists in coughing ghosts.