Mostly, they’re just gentle mutterings as one reads his iPad, the other works a crossword puzzle. It’s music of a sort. Humming noises in the background. A soft blur.
It’s all easy and expected. Until last Saturday morning when one uttered the following: “I was visited by smells last night.”
Then the world stops. There’s a palpable gasp. As if the dead has been resurrected. Which is exactly what those words mean.
The questions start. Was it flowers or fruit? How long did they last? Were you sound asleep when they came to you?
The questioner already knows the answers but they need to be asked anyway. For confirmation. To make sure. Why now, we wonder? She’s been gone several years.
She, for the uninitiated, or the forgetful, is my mother. Dead now for over twenty years, she spent many of those years appearing to us in the night as “sweet smells.” Sometimes fruity, sometimes floral. Strong, intense aromas that wafted over us, waking us from deep sleep. Never visiting both of us at the same time. Ghosts don’t do that. Don’t ask why. The episodes always lasted between 15 and 30 seconds. Then they’d be gone. Poof. Just like that.
The abnormal became the normal. The peculiar, the accepted. The why, the why-not. The events became shrug-worthy. Nothing more.
But now, after a hiatus of several years?
There’s a reason it’s happening again. We just don’t know what it is. Yet.