The basement in particular frightened me. My mother kept a lock on the basement door and locked it every night, as if we needed to make sure whatever was down there stayed down there.
The song Ghost* is not about my childhood home, but it did seem to fit with the video I took of the house during the final days as we were moving my mother out. My mother died a year and a half later.
Journal Entry 10/26/07
In my dream last night I was at my mother’s house. All the furniture had been moved out of the bedrooms and den. I was going to be sleeping in the living room. I was watching a show on PBS called “Thoughts of My Mother at the End of My Childhood.” My mother was banging pots and pans around in the kitchen, grumbling about needing to sell everything and how unsafe she felt now that the locks had been removed from the doors.
I argued with her and got up to lock the front door, but she was right, the locks were gone. Suddenly I was afraid to sleep in the living room. It felt unsafe, as if someone would certainly come in and get us.
My mother went out the back door. It was nighttime and I didn’t want her out there alone in the dark. I quickly followed her out the back door. Once outside it was daytime. The backyard was still set up from the yard sale we’d held last year. I looked in the garage. It was arranged like a showroom displaying my mother’s bedroom set. The neighbors must think she’s crazy, I worried.
Then I saw my mother in the backyard amidst all the furniture, appliances, clothes, and dishes she had accumulated over the years. She was furiously wiping down a place mat on a kitchen table.
“Stop it,” I yelled, but she kept cleaning, all the while mumbling about needing to sell everything. . .
* Ghost features Karen Mitchell on back up vocals and Glen Douglas on guitar