Friday, October 1, 2010
Sometimes I really wonder if I'm getting messages from beyond but am too obstinate to accept them. The hubby keeps telling me we have ghosts, but I keep coming up with ways to debunk him. On this occasion, I really have no way to debunk him.
The guest room recently became a literal hot bed of activity.
If you notice in my previous posts, after three years of stalling, I was finally able to finish remodeling that godforsaken room. Though it was intended for my stepdaughter to use on her visits, she prefers to sleep in front of the TV on the couch, so it was relatively unused.
In August, we had unexpected company. My stepson and his girlfriend came to stay with an open-ended departure date. Two weeks into their visit, a foul stench started emanating from the guest room. The only way to describe it: cooking rotted-fish smell. Initially, we accused the young folk of significant hygienic indiscretions. What could possibly cause such a smell other than dirty laundry and harboring nests of rats that may have expired. They tried to placate the hubby by sorting through all of their clothes, proving that they and their belongings were not the source.
I refused to go into the room beyond the doorway. The smell was knocking me out. My stepson went into the attic to see if something died in one of the rat traps. It was August, after all, and a hot dead carcass would definitely be rank up there. Nothing. The crawlspace was clear as well.
By 10:30PM, I was thoroughly frustrated and focused on putting the little guy to bed. From his room next to the guest room, I could hear darling hubby performing a seance, coaxing the angry spirit to reveal itself. The chanting was the last straw for me. I stormed into the room and told them all to go to bed. We would find the cause of the smell in the morning when we had the light of day to hunt through the attic. For all we knew it could be a dead rat in the wall. No one listened to me, but they coaxed me to come into the room all the way to get a good whiff. The smell was apparently migrating throughout the room. The girlfriend thought something had either touched or burned her leg. I decided the three of them were getting hysterical.
I sent the hubby to try and put the kid to bed since he was starting to get panicky. I moved close to the bed where they were claiming the smell was shifting and took a big inhale. What was that smell underneath the rotting fish? Was that hot metal?
I pointed at my stepson and said, calmly, "Help me move the bed away from the wall."
"Reach back there and check the plug."
"Ouch!" He said. "It's hot!"
He pulled the plug out of the socket behind the headboard. It was blackened and smoldering.
"Is the wall hot too?"
"Yeah, it is."
"Crap, I'm gonna have to call the fire department."
Anyway, the firemen (all very cute and tall I should mention) pointed their heat detector at the wall and determined some cutting was necessary. I tried to find my trusty drywall knife, but I was a little panicked, and by the time I had found it, they had already used one of my utility knives to hack an opening around the guilty outlet. Thankfully, the fire hadn't spread to the surrounding beams. If we had waited until the morning, it could have been a different story. They cut off the power to the bedrooms and told me to call an electrician to check it out.
The following day, the electrician confirmed it was a loose wire in the socket. He went around to all my sockets and told me I should probably swap out most of them. Really? Another project? Could I be so lucky? It has been more than a month, but I haven't had time to work on this newest project yet. I've been focused on repairing a burst pipe and knitting a sweater. Those will have to be covered in another post.
So where does the message from beyond come in to this story? No, I didn't waste your time with this long boring post just to mock my hubby for talking to the air in a room about to catch on fire. This is where my skin crawls a little when I think about it. The lamp that was plugged into the outlet used to belong to my now deceased friend, Tosha. The picture on the wall over the outlet? The painting I had done of her that used to hang in her bedroom until she passed. Aside from me, hubby and the kids, Tosha is the only person that has ever come and stayed in the guest room. She never got to see it remodeled. For some reason, I really believe that she was trying to tell me something. Or maybe she was trying to help me get up the courage to ask the guests to leave even though it was totally not their fault. The fire ended up being a catalyst.
The wall has since been patched, spackled and repainted. Since the departure of the guests, the little guy has taken to coming into our bed at night. In order to avoid continuous sleep deprivation and constant neck pain, I leave for the guest room the minute he arrives to crawl over me. I have to admit, it's nice to have my guest room back. Thanks, Tosha, for seeing into my future and knowing that I would need my spare bedroom back. And thanks for not burning down the whole house while trying to get my attention.