Before Freud and Others

Her soul didn't belong to me, it was not in my possession, yet at certain times of the day I miss her, and I can see her ghost in front of me.
I should say right now that she isn't dead, at least at this point in time, to my knowledge.
And yet I do see her ghost, at certain hours, in certain places, in a peculiar sort of light. It always comes when I notice it has gone cold.

I believe that it isn't really her. Not an actual ghost. But more a "ghost" of memory. A "ghost" of the past. She always looks the same. She always has the same face. And I forget how cold it's gotten, and remember how badly I miss her.

I see a shade of red. Not one shade but many, not even but blotty, like a close-up of a bloodstream. Though, I imagine, she looks a lot better. For example, I see her head, and the shape of her hair. And I see her arms, two long, thin shapes to the side of this mass of red. I really don't see any eyes, but I can just feel her mood. Most of the time I imagine her smiling.
This is her soul.

I didn't kill her, because she's not dead. But I kind of did. In my own certain way. I kill her in me. Took all traces of her in my life and threw them away. Locked my memories of her and threw away the key. I didn't give myself permission to reminisce about her.
That's just my reaction to pain. It was hard enough to convince myself I liked her that much to ask her out. It was also hard to brace myself in case I fell in love, which I did. But it was simply murder when we stopped seeing each other, and stopped sharing our love, like we didn't want to give each other a bite out of our piece of the pie.
We just stopped being together when one of us didn't feel like it was any fun anymore. It took me a while to figure out that she was really gone. I thought it was forever, for awhile. So I forgot about her, I killed her inside, and every day was a little easier to deal with, a little easier to wake up to.
Then I noticed it was getting cold.

The first time it happened I really thought it was her ghost. I was sitting on a park bench and a fog had rolled in inconspicuously. And then she stood right in front of me, about five feet away. She was red, had no face and didn't move. I remember thinking, one out of about thirty thoughts taking place in my head, that she had died, and had a final message for me.
But she just stood there, and I sat. Then I thought she smiled at me. Even without a mouth, or eyes, I felt her smile. And I cried. Because I was happy.
I only cried on the inside. And I stopped when she disappeared, and all I saw was fog again. That was six weeks ago.

I see her almost everyday. It used to be once or twice a week, but it's winter now, so I see her "ghost" more and more often. I'm not scared, of course. It's not a real ghost. And she doesn't move, and I think she smiles at me. So when she comes I just stare. And I pretend she's really there.
I see her soul, in the form of her body. She's so peaceful. So serene. Every stress she had is gone, only a gentle smile and two arms by her side remains.
I study every curve, even as they change. The flare's from her soul body continuously thrust out, slow enough to put to memory but still always changing. I study every curve because I think it's important. Her soul was beautiful. I knew that about her when we were together. I wanted nothing more than to be inside her when she was right with me, so close that we mingled souls. I wanted to have a conversation with her soul, and talk about why comedians and clowns are always portrayed as tortured souls.
Not I just look at her "ghost", her soul. So real I could touch it but I never have. Because it would disappear if I tried, and it's just so personal I wouldn't want to violate her in that way.

I liked all parts about her. She was beautiful. She was intelligent. She had a sense of humor, and had a beautiful laugh. But it was her soul that drew me to her. The one thing I couldn't see but feel, an aura like warmth that came from her skin. Her soul was always smiling at me, even she talked, even as we walked, even as we sat watching a movie.
I don't think she ever knew. I never told her, in the first place. I don't think that's something a girl can easily understand, especially if the messenger couldn't say the right words. And I didn't have the words then. "Oh, I know you're beautiful, and I love your kindness, and we laugh so much when we're together, but it's your soul that I really like about you."
It's just not something anyone can prepare for. Ever. Maybe after death, but nowhere else I think.
So I never told her. But she was a great person anyway so I had a good reason to be with her. But while I could forget her face when I finally had to, forget her voice, forget her body, I couldn't forget her soul.
My mind forced itself to think of other things and other people.
My body occupied itself as best as it could.
But my soul was devastated, it lost its partner, it missed the warmth it touched when we were together.
And no matter what my body or mind did, it would not forget her.

A body can grow accustomed to almost anything, food, exercise, another body, and it can also grow accustomed to not having those things anymore, albeit with difficulty sometimes.
A mind can learn and relearn, and change quite a bit given the circumstances and motivation to change. It epitomizes our human nature of adaptability.
But our souls are old. They don't respond well to change. Spend most of their time alone and cold, in certain people at certain times of their lives. And like a blind puppy left all alone, it's miserable and there's not much of anything it can do.
But give it a taste of warmth, a gentle touch of something good, something bright, and a soul will grow attached. In its long life of barren isolation, the touch of another soul means the world to it. This is their food. This is their life. That is their whole point.
And they get very angry when it goes away.

So my soul gives me memories of its former partner. Like a crab who's lost its life-long love, it recalls its memories of mingling with her soul, an intricate dance, an incomprehensible embrace of innumerable hands. My soul misses hers and lets me know.
I let it so because I don't think it was fair to do to that to it, even as me and her, her and I had no more reason to be with each other.
So I see her "ghost" on occasion, and I see her red shape standing right there, smiling like she did before.
My soul reminisces, and pretends to ask her how people used to solve their problems before Freud and Jung and the others.
And then she disappears, when my soul doesn't feel like pretending anymore. Even her fake "ghost" becomes too hard to let go, if she stays too long.
And my soul slowly becomes accustomed to the silence again, the death of touch, the painful isolation trapped in this body of mine. It's starting to not care again, becoming used to the void. It knows even it should bury its memories, and let its past life go.
It's growing cold again, here in my bedroom. I think only that it's winter, and that my soul is only looking to keep itself warm.
By Don Bernal
Back to Story Page