He sat at the top of the stairs. His ebony, Vaseline greased hair glistened in the faint Victorian lighting of the stairwell lamps. His Ralph Lauren pulled at my nostrils, confirming his presence. Even the smell of his favorite cigs allured the air. A long thin chain trailed from his fingers, as he rubbed the open locket with his fore finger. I recognized the locket… a cherished memory always seen around mother’s neck.
“Don.” I whispered reluctantly, knowing he’d been gone for several years, I shivered as my mind fleeted over what to make of my handsome brother’s image. No reply came.
Was I going insane?
I had spent my night listening to music and I had just said my prayers, always including a mention of Don and my loved ones both alive and deceased. Don's picture on my nightstand.
My texts to friends about QUEEN, Freddie Mercury, the red caddy, the red carpet and even the Elvis hairdo, were just getting the best of me. I was imagining this man at the top of the stairs. Right?
I had been following this handsome singer for 6 years- initially because he reminded me of my brother. This night I'd been listening to his newest song, GHOST TOWN. Was the curious links I’d laughed about and cried about to family and other fans, really some way that my brother had found to break through the silence of death? Wishful thoughts and scared thoughts rolled around in my head as if they worked in sync…perhaps to keep me from running. I was alarmed, yet not afraid. Numb. I was numb. No stranger, still startling. This was my brother! Was he really back?
I had left the door open so the breeze from the terrace could get through the screen door and cool the hot summer night inside my lonely mansion. I bought it with Don in mind, rather than a house I’d have chosen. Everything I did was like this (I gasped), since his death. Sometimes, I was not sure if he was summoning me, trying to reach me or if I was still in some long-term grieving funk.
I scaled the endless stairs. Slowly, I tried to control my fears and my pounding heart. My image appeared in a mirror I had placed on the first landing, startling me now. I looked up thinking he’d be gone, but there he sat smiling showing his pearly whites.
The breeze suddenly turned on the radio, or it seemed to have. Both things happened at the same instance. I slipped on the stair I had just stepped up to, and almost went falling completely down all thirteen I had bravely conquered.
GHOST TOWN, played on the radio just as I touched Don’s hand..
Don Amador, I heard the DJ say. Then a white noise took over the air and it seemed to be everywhere, on my television, in the breeze, sounds in the room. Don Amador, I heard the radio say again and again.