Re: Still processing

110 7 18
                                          

From: novela-harmon@bethel.edu
Date: Tue, Sep 12, 2017 at 4:48 PM
Subject: Still processing
To: grace-k-nelson@bethel.edu

Dear Grace,

I may have exaggerated my ease in overcoming the Fear of the Haunted Staircase. It's one thing to say that ghosts aren't real, that there is no objective proof in this case, and that these girls were drunk and maybe high and probably hoping to see weird stuff. It's another to will myself to walk out there in the middle of the night and look at the landing. I just can't do it. I feel like the biggest idiot.

I can't help thinking about the weird stories my mom told me about the the old house she grew up in. (If you haven't heard them, remind me sometime. Not now.) Obviously, haunted houses don't really fit into our theology, since we don't believe that souls hang around earth after they die for "unfinished business" or however the lore goes. But maybe the reports can't all be discounted, either. My mom's family are about the most logical, intelligent, educated and skeptical people I know, and several of them remember these experiences. My mom says they were demons, not ghosts. I'm not sure that's comforting.

I've been reading and rereading Psalm 91, Ephesians 6, and the verse in Romans that says, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" It helps, but I still have a hard time sleeping.

When I first got to Guadalajara, I noticed the house was quiet. It didn't really strike me as large, not compared to my house or yours or most people's I know. But I think my concepts of size are shifting, especially after being in the little indentation in the wall where Lupita lives with her daughter. Now the house seems huge, especially at night. It's dark any time of day, with the small amount of light that could come in from the street blocked by dark curtains, and the few lights using something like 40 watt bulbs. None of the rooms are actually large, but coming through the garage I walk into the empty living room, with the empty kitchen to the right and the empty dining room ahead, and up then the staircase - the curved concrete staircase I thought was cool at first - to the empty second level with the three empty bedrooms and the empty attic upstairs. I've never ventured up to the attic - have never been invited too - and am pretty sure I wouldn't want to now.

Anyway, I've been writing all this to you because I need to dump on someone. I can't tell my mom because I don't want her to worry. I can't tell Levi because he would probably send me a condescending lecture about how ghosts aren't real, only demons, and God is greater so we shouldn't be afraid - all of which I know and none of which would be helpful to hear. (You can tell there's more I could say here, but I'll save that for later.)

I could try to get transferred to the student dorms, but I don't really want to do that. Even as disappointing as this homestay is turning out to be, in several ways, it still gives me more exposure to the language and culture than I would have in the dorms where everyone speaks English. And I would feel silly and weak, and you know I can't abide that.

Sigh. You have my permission to quote portions of this back to me the next time you seem me, but until then, I humbly request your understanding, or if not, at least the pretense of it.

Thanks for taking the time to read this novella (although that is my middle-- er... you know).


Love, me

Love, Novela [Completed]Where stories live. Discover now