I am being haunted. I don’t mean, like, a poltergeist throwing furniture at my head. I don’t need a poltergeist for that, I have Anna. I mean a subtler, ghost-less version of haunting. Perhaps stalking is a better word. For example, I am often radio-stalked. A song or an artist will show up on my radio too frequently in too short a span of time to be considered a coincidence, and because of my belief in radio karma, I know this must mean something. The Power of Love by Huey Lewis & the News? Love might just save my life. A little Bad Company? Lula the Bad-Ass Lumina is feelin’ frisky. Rob Thomas and/or Matchbox Twenty? The apocalypse is near. These are signs; I understand them.
Now I’m being haunted by KISS, and it has nothing to do with the radio. First, I watched A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints and liked it, which was surprising, as was my fascination with a song played during the DVD menu. I memorized some of the lyrics and made a mental note to google “New York Groove” later. Before I had a chance, I read Chuck Klosterman’s Killing Yourself to Live. If you’ve read him, you know he has a gigantic man-crush on KISS. It was somewhere in the middle of his comparisons of his love life to members of KISS that he mentioned “New York Groove” by name. Then I read Magical Thinking, and Augusten Burroughs just off-handedly mentions that his brother was the genius behind the special-effects guitars of, you guessed it, KISS. This has put me into a tailspin. What do I make of this? Am I supposed to rethink my lifelong ambivalence to KISS? Am I supposed to go to New York and start grooving? Do I need to just, I don’t know, get out more often?
After re-reading that paragraph, I realize I am insane. Luckily, I do not care. I have bigger problems to contend with, as I am also being haunted by a child’s pink bike basket.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “But Rachel, that’s yours! I remember it from your apartment!” That is, if you’re not thinking, “When did you turn into a nutbar?” I’m not a nutbar, and it was my bike basket – Sabrina and I found it at the dollar spot, filled it with fake pink and yellow flowers, and hung it outside our apartment door throughout senior year. I became so attached to it I even hung it up in my summer apartment, but I decided to part ways with it at the end of the summer. I dropped it in a “free” box, along with the multi-colored, daisy-patterned placemats, my Garden State poster, and all of my plastic dishes. It was a very symbolic (and colorful) free box; it said goodbye, College! Hello, house three blocks away from College! I am moving on!
Fast forward to today, when I’m delivering mail at work and am temporarily turned into a statue by the sight of a pink basket, still filled with fake flowers, sitting on top of a pile of books in the office of the chair of the environmental studies department. What could this possibly mean, besides the onset of dementia? Shaken, I came back and told my officemate about it. Apparently, he “won” it in a blind gift exchange at a Christmas party. From this, I have deduced that the bike basket was taken from the free box by some enviro kid, kept for five months, wrapped up for Christmas, selected by the chair, and now resides in an office just five doors away from mine.
I can’t imagine what this means, but I’m sure it means something. Maybe it is symbolic of my inability to move on, no matter how much I try. Whatever it is, it blows my freakin’ mind, man.