Friday, October 28, 2011

I Am Not A Ghost

Ah-lah. I read the Masque. Ah-lah. It was fine except for the part where I totally lost my place and said, "I'm sorry."
Nothing like breaking character. Nothing like FUCKING UP!
But I projected well. I always project well.
It was fun to be at the Opera House again. It always is but it didn't make me regret deciding not to do the current play. I just...don't have it in me right now.

I stole my free beer from the cash bar after it was over and chatted for a few moments. Monticello was having a big downtown Halloween celebration with all of the merchants handing out candy. There were still older kids walking around town when we were done, merry and happy and looking to catch up with the ghost tour. Monticello is famous for its haunted houses and is actually going to be on the TeeVee, I think, on Monday on some morning show. The Opera House is supposed to be haunted by Mr. Perkins, the man who built it, but I've never seen any evidence of him although others I know have. Maybe he doesn't like me. Maybe I'm not talented enough and I merely slip below his radar with all of the rest of the hundreds and perhaps thousands who have trod his boards, so to speak.

I've never seen any evidence of haunting in this house, either to tell you the truth.

Now Dog Island- well, that's another story. Definitely a poltergeist there although Mr. Moon has never seen any of the action. I definitely have and so have Jessie and Lily. And that house was built in the seventies, I think.

I am not a person consumed with interest about what the dead may concern themselves with. But I am not a person who denies that anything, anything at all, is possible, either. At births and at deaths, I have seen the curtain move to allow entrance and egress into and from this particular veil of tears. This particular realm of wisp-smoke joy and sorrow.
I do not view these partings as any sort of parlor game. I take them as seriously and pragmatically as I take the day's dawning, the night's falling. I think we are here and to worry and wonder about what might be there is a fool's errand.

Well, here is where we read our Poe.

We had feared we might not get ten people as an audience, we hoped for twenty. We got almost fifty.
Monticello is a very cool place to tell you the truth and if it is inhabited by ghosts, well, so be it, but that has nothing to do with why I love it which is the very Mayberry essence of it, albeit a more multi-cultural Mayberry than Andy Griffith sheriffed over. We have our Aunt Bee's, our Barneys, our Claras, our Opies, our Floyds, our Otis's, our Darlings, our Helens, our Howard Spragues.

I am all of them, at times. The Opera House has allowed me to be many of those characters and the Court House says on it, Suum Cuique, which means Each To His Own. I find this surprising but then again, I find much about Monticello to be surprising and somehow, whenever I am there, I am surprised once again.

Surprised that almost fifty people showed up to sit in the audience to hear stories and poems written by Edgar Allan Poe not the least of it. Surprised that I go there and they let me read out loud. Surprised and delighted and wondering what sort of blessing Mr. Perkins has laid on me, whether he shows himself in ghostly form or not.

Well, time for bed. Thank god the Time of Red Death has not, at this point, devastated the country. Poe lived a short life, but an imaginative one.

I am tired, y'all.

Good night.


  1. Poe always makes me think of my high school English teacher. She and I had words over The Raven. I must be more confident than I think I am if I'm willing to argue with a teacher about a poem in a room full of teenagers.

  2. If i lived near Monticello, Ms Moon, I'd have been in the audience too. I'd jump at the opportunity to revisit Edgar Allen Poe with others. I read him as a school girl and these days I cannot bring myself to go back there for fear of being frightened. Which seems ridiculous. If I was not frightened then, why now?

    As for your stuff up in audition and your decision not to perform now, it sounds like the right way to go. Too much stress and adrenalin is always worth avoiding. Even for Edgar Allen Poe.

  3. And now Poe takes me back a few more years... reading The Tell-Tale Heart in the fourth grade and being deliciously scared about the crooked pictures on the walls at home. Too fun.

  4. No, no, it was The Pit and the Pendulum. I'll shut up now :)

  5. Well, I've gone and read a couple of them trying to figure out which story it was that had the crooked pictures on the wall and now I'll never get to sleep!

  6. Linda said you were great! She invited me to go, but marc is playing cards tonight. God, I hope he wins.

    I remember one time Mr. Perkins outed the lights at the end of one of your plays... it was the one Mr. Moon escorted me to. I guess it doesn't really count as a ghostly encounter, but everyone in that room was thinking the same thing!

  7. I haven't seen any ghosts but definitly have felt a strange feeling in some places we have stayed. Some I had heard might be haunted but another I didn't and really felt uncomfortable being in that house.

    I sure wish I could have been in the audience!

  8. Yes, we are all connected.

    Sorry the reading didn't go as you'd hoped. But I would pay good money to hear your voice reciting even some small bit of that. (or anything for that matter)
    When I first heard it on one of your videos I was struck by how familiar it sounded and how comforting that familiarity was. Sounds silly, but it was like the voice of ... womanhood. Love it. Sometime, if you're ever in the mood....recite something for us..! You could read if off the paper - we don't care.

    Sweet dreams to you.

  9. I remember the first time I heard your voice. It wrapped around me like honey. It clung to my heart and would not let it go.

    I wish that someday I can sit in that gorgeous Opera House and hear it again.

    You can just read the phone book or something. That would be fine.

  10. I love that picture of you. Sorry you had to say sorry, but I bet the audience loved you for it anyway.

    I only remember reading some Poe in high school, the tell tale heart, maybe? I'll put him on my list to revisit. So much literature, so little time....

    I would love to hear your poltergeist stories - maybe your halloween post? I've never had the experience, and don't want one, but some of my family members.... very spooky, inexplicable stuff.

    That's all for now, Sweet Dreams Ms. Mary Moon.

  11. I wish I'd been there -- even to see you mess up. It sounds like so much fun --

  12. I read all of Poe one summer at my grandmother's house when I was about ten years old, in a delicious series of small books bound in dark orange leather. Scared myself silly and just loved it. What a gorgeous, dramatic picture of you!

  13. There is such a nice sound to Monticello. It sounds like a village or town where I would want to live. And if I would, I certainly would come to listen to your reading. Poe is not my kind of guy but I bet you would be able to sell it to me... Your picture is somewhat... spooky!

  14. Poe sends chills up and down my spine.

    I once stayed in a an old hotel near Kimberley haunted since the Anglo-Boer war when women and children were put in concentration camps by the British troops and I kept hearing someone knocking a lamp over in an empty room next to where I was sleeping. Glass breaking and muttering all night long.

    Happy Halloween --

  15. I would sure love to hear you read any of my poems. I love your voice already.

  16. Stephanie- Either that or you REALLY felt strongly about The Raven. I don't remember crooked pictures!

    Elisabeth- Poe is not nearly as scary, I have to say, as an adult than he was when we read him as a child.

    Ms. Fleur- I fear the wiring at the Opera House far more than I fear Mr. Perkins!

    Ellen- I have had similar experiences.

    liv- Ah yah. Maybe someday I'll do a video blog post.
    Thanks for saying that about my voice.

    Omgrrrl- I remember that night. Ah. I'm so glad you called me.

    Mel- I'm pretty sure I've told all of the poltergeist stories but I'll probably tell them again one of these days when I'm in the mood.

    Elizabeth- It was fun to get dressed up and sit down and read out loud. It really was.

    A- What scared me the most as a child was a book called Tales To Be Told In The Dark. Jesus! I couldn't sleep for years!

    Photocat- Just being in the Opera House is a huge treat.

    Mary LA- I believe you. I do.

    Madame King- Mmmm. Now THAT gives me an idea. But what if I read it "wrong"? What if I pissed you off? Well, I'm going to think about that.
    (And now that I'm thinking about it I sort of want to turn my tongue to embers reading that last piece you put up. Oh my. What if I did that?)

  17. Love the way you dressed up for your reading. I am sure it sounded great, even with that little stumble. Poe at the Opera House, that would have been something to listen to and see. x0 N2

  18. That photo of you is hauntingly beautiful ~ looks like it could have been taken centuries ago!

  19. DO IT! There is no way you could piss me off by reading my poem or poems or um book or books. My ego is much too huge to be knocked off course and also there's no wrong way to read poetry unless you do it in public and make like little birdies are flying out of your hands.

    I made your effing line.

  20. Gorgeous photo. Being read to in an old theatre is the nicest way I can imagine spending part of halloween weekend. I really wish I could have been there!

  21. N2- I hear we're doing it again next year...

    Madame King- I am so honored that you made that line. And I don't even know how to make that little birdie thing. I swear.
    I love you so much.

    Denise- I wish you could have been too.

  22. that picture of you looks like something out of an early Anne Rice novel. very mysterious.

  23. I think we are here and to worry and wonder about what might be there is a fool's errand.

    Amen to that.

    I am glad the reading went well. I thought of you. I really did.


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