Neighborly Lessons

by Laura Eitniear
(Hesperia, MI)

My neighbors dogs were up barking all night every night last summer, by fall we were half insane with the lack of sleep and the bothersome barking. One day we ran into Jim in the yard and we confronted him. Jim wasn't very nice about it and politely told us to go to hell. Now, everyone knows that people from Bensalem have the East Coast Attitude, so I brushed mine off and told Jim exactly where to go and how to get there. The next day there was a lot of movement at his house and the dogs were gone. We had gotten our wish, silence. We thoroughly enjoyed a quiet, sleep filled evening.

In the weekly edition of our local paper was an obituary for Jim and another article for a 9-1-1 overdose call to his address. The article stated the overdose was intentional, sparked by an argument with his neighbor. The note said, "She speaks the truth, I am stupid, I should die and I can't go on any longer."

Since that day I have repeatedly contacted psychics, held a seance and prayed for some sort of contact with Jim. Every once in a while I am able to make a psychic contact with him, but in the most of embarrassing of ways. For instance, this morning he visited while I was in the shower and laughed at the site of my naked body. Last week, while I was visiting my dad he showed up at Armstrong Park in Bensalem, PA, now how did he get from Michigan to Bensalem like that?

Right now, he is sitting here, looking over my shoulder watching as I write and correcting my errors! This man/ghost drives me crazy! He says he is only paying me back for taking his life!

Taking his life? I didn't take his life, or did I? Could I have been so blind and mean that I pushed a nice guy over the edge? Maybe he wasn't that bad a guy until he met me with my East Coast Attitude?

With all this in mind I should hate Jim, but he has spent so much time bothering me that I'm rather fond of him. Sort of like in elementary school when the boy that liked you pulled your hair then later you found out he had a crush on you! It is like that. Jim is there for everything. We've become good friends, we speak often and he is really smart.

Jim has offered advice on life, love and humor. Though my husband is still my best friend, Jim is my second advisor. He has taught me to hold my tongue in anger, be nice to everyone and love like your life depends on it, because it does.

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