Archive for the ‘ ghosts ’ Category

On Sleeping

Dear Hugh,

I was glad to hear that you rebounded quickly after Crystal had betrayed your generosity and trust.  I can still hardly believe that she would be the type of person that would stomp on a man’s heart like that.  I never had any doubt that you would bounce back quickly.  I have to admit, though, that when I heard the rumors of your death, my heart did skip a beat or two.  I was certainly thankful to hear your voice when I called to check in on you.

Anyway, in that conversation you were asking me where the handle “ericslept” came from.  Well, I told you I would explain so here it is.  As I said, it’s a long story so I don’t want to hear any complaining.  I’ll try to keep this as short-winded as possible.

There once lived a house.  It was a house that served a family of ten well for many years.  In the waning months of 1970, one of its occupants, a boy in his early teens named David, was having difficulty sleeping.  What young boy’s mind wouldn’t wander at the sight of country darkness outside his window?  A deep sort of darkness disturbed only by the twinkling of the heavens, ancient light raining down from the big Texas sky.   The quiet comfort and shelter provided by the house allowed David’s imagination to deprive him of a growing boy’s sleep.  Nonetheless, it was a great house.

It was originally built as a duplex. A prefab American Dream snapped together and designed to house two post-WWII nuclear families.  David’s father had purchased and then liberated it from its prison of conformity and released it upon a flat tract of land on the outskirts of Waco.  It would house his large family for several years, jutting out from the hard Texas ground like a mesa.  Isolated, the structure sat away from the roadway, with plenty of land to stretch out its arms.  Freedom.

Just as David was giving way to his dreams he heard someone whisper his name.  He ignored it at first, believing it to be one of his younger brothers intent on annoying him.


All he wanted to do was sleep.

“David,” the voice came louder this time.

David flung himself over and projected his annoyance swiftly and with a single word.  “What?”

Before him was something he had never expected to confront.  A specter.  The dark silhouette of a heavy-set man wearing a bowler hat looked down upon him.

Then young David did something completely unexpected.  He simply turned back over and soon went to sleep.  On its face, this shows a young man of extraordinary bravery.  But perhaps this was the only strategy he could come up with that would make this spirit go away.  Sort of like pretending to be dead when a bear is prowling around your campsite.

When the next morning came David’s grandmother was preparing breakfast.  The first thing he mentioned was the strange silhouette of a man he had seen the night before.

“Was he wearing a bowler hat?” his grandmother asked.

When David affirmed, his grandmother explained how she had seen this same spirit.  She was alone in the house watching David’s nephew.  A sweet baby not yet even a year old.  Grandmother had gone to check on the baby when she saw this same silhouette leaning over the crib watching the little one sleep.

Needless to say, this sent shivers down young David’s spine.  But more importantly, that helpless little baby?  That was me.

Anyway, give Shera my best.  Here’s to better luck in love!

Yours Truly,


P.S. I don’t know if I mentioned it on the phone but I heard the rumor of your death from Gary.  He was convinced that Larry Flynt had you murdered.  What a moron!