Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It's the Jazz that haunts me

I own 3 AC window units. About a month ago I put the first one in. Every year I try and wait out the summer as long as possible, but like the law beating down John Cougar or John Melloncamp or whatever he goes by nowadays, the summer always wins. However it was not a hand’s down victory as I only put 1 of the 3 units in…at first any way.

I store the two lighter AC units (translation: the ones that way slightly less that 200 pounds) in the attic during the off season. I store the heavy bastard, which goes in the window in the living room, in the basement. It was the heavy bastard that was put in first. He’s a juggernaut that makes a lot of noise to let you know he’s working. The cats love it.

I thought we’d be fine with just the 1 unit, until last week.

The temperature soared to a less than quaint 90 plus throughout the night. I couldn’t take it anymore so I decided to wave the white flag and hope that waving action would bring a cool breeze my way. It didn’t. But at least the house was comfortable. That is, until 2 nights ago.

The temperature dropped and we were able to turn off the noise making coolers for the first time in a week. We opened the windows and went to sleep. That’s when the sounds started coming from the attic. “Oh no,” I thought. This happened last year too, but we were able to ignore it. This year was different. Louder. Just a real pain in the ass.

Sorry. Let me fill you in…

Last year, about this same time, we were lucky enough to turn the units off for a few days. We noticed music coming from the attic. Music and moaning. Now I know what you’re thinking, music and moaning often go together. Two things. One, you’re right. Two, you’re a pervert. So after about 3 nights of music and moaning, I went into the attic with my 2008 Philadelphia Phillies Commemorative World Series bat. And a flashlight. Now I have a light in the attic, so I’m not sure what inspired me to take the flashlight. But I’m glad I did.

I flipped on the attic light, pulled down the retractable stairs and slowly climbed upward. The whole while the music grew, yet the moaning seemed to stop. I took a deep breath and broke the plane from the hallway to the basement. Just then ALL sound stopped. And the attic light went out. I flicked the flash light on and dropped it to the floor below me seconds after seeing something, or someone move. I too dropped to the floor below and let the stairs slam shut.

That was the end of sleeping that night.

The next morning Julie and I were greeted by a local ghost hunter, Tig Sillbourne, who seemed willing to entertain our little problem. I explained what happened to Tig as he drank the coffee we brewed for him. He shook his head in agreement as if he knew exactly what I was going to say next. I was hopeful under Tig asked what the music sounded like.

“Jazz,” I said.

“With a tonal bebop harmony,” Julie added.

Tig’s eyes grew wide, but only slightly. It could have been from the strong brew beneath his lips.

“Can you hum it?” He asked.

“I can’t,” I explained. “I had an accident as a child, that keeps me from being able to hum, whistle or roll my tongue.”

Julie whistled. It was a sweet song. Not as haunting as it had been the night before. Tig’s face went white and the coffee mug went smashing to the floor.

“Sell the house.” It wasn’t a suggestion. He was commanding us what to do next.

We sat stunned in silence. Then the music and moaning started again. At 7:23 in the morning.

“What is it?” Julie said looking toward our guest for some information.

“It’s not a what. It’s a who. I’m afraid your attic is haunted by Eric Allan Dolphy.”

I was appalled. “Who is that? A biker? A killer?

“A jazz musician.”



“How do we get rid of him?”

“You can’t.”

“We have to be able to do something.”



“Jazz musicians are impervious to almost everything on Earth…save one thing.”


“Heroin.” Julie guessed right. She had just watched a documentary on Chet Baker.

Luckily for us Tig provided many services and happened to have some “china white” on him. We climbed into the attic and left a spoon, a needle and the white powder. We waited an hour and the music stopped. The beast had been sated…for a little while. For you see, ghost can not overdose on heroin.

That brings us to the other night.

I grabbed the bat and immediately became reminded that there is no 2009 Philadelphia Phillies Commemorative World Series bat. This pissed me off and made me ready to face a jonesing Jazz musician.

“Dolphy!” I yelled as I ascended the stairs. “We will not have this crap again this summer.”

There he sat amongst my comics, with his base clarinet pressed against his lips.

“I never understood how they brought Superman back from the dead.” He said as he lowered is instrument.

I noticed Action Comics & Superman issues everywhere. I lowered the bat.

“It was the ‘Eradicator’.” I said.

“Yeah. But I still don’t get how.”

“I know. It’s a bit messy.”

“And that Red & Blue bullshit. What was that supposed to be man?”

We sat in silence for a few moments.

“I think it’s jazz,” I said.

He nodded, and hasn’t made a sounds since.

1 comment:

Claire said...

brilliant. just like dear old Dolphs.