Wednesday, April 10, 2013

J - Jacob

My great uncle Arl told us time and again that a ghost named Jacob haunted his house.

I didn't believe a word of it because my father didn't.

“Stares at me when I sleep, but does good things for me,” Uncle Arl said, when my father and I joined the conversation.

“Like what, Mr. Montgomery?” my father asked, not in anyway trying to hide his skepticism or disdain, jabbing me in the ribs for show.

“Makes sure my car never runs out of gas.  Makes sure that when I'm needin' of a little money that I find a hun'dr'd dollar bill in my nightstand.  I have to be reaaalllly needin' it, though.”

My father crossed his arms and leaned back.  “Really?”

Uncle Arl nodded.  “Really.  And I’d advise you not to laugh too loud in my house, Roy.  Jacob can travel.”

My father laughed himself breathless, alternating between pointing and pounding his leg.  I would have felt sorry for Uncle Arl had he not rocked back and forth in his scared wooden rocking chair, took a good long slug of his beer, and smiled, seemingly unconcerned about a thing.

I didn't believe Uncle Arl's story.  Couldn't believe it.  But it looked to my like Uncle Arl did.

Years later, after Mr. Scott (see A - Adoption), my mother told me a story.

"Rocky, the night after your Daddy had that good laugh Uncle Arl's expense, he snapped awake."

“What is it, Roy?” my mother asked.

“I thought I saw…?  No. It couldn’t have been.”

“Couldn’t have been what?”

“Oh, God, it just couldn’t have been.”

"Did you see anything, Mom?"

She shook her head.  "But he did.  There's no doubt in my mind that Jacob paid him a visit that night.  Did you notice your Daddy never again said, 'There's no such things as ghosts?'"

I smiled.

Thanks, Jacob.

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