In fact, upon returning to hovering
over land, he descended and parked
his boat beside a lamppost on the shore.
He tossed the rope around the pole
and hopped out. Five minutes later,
he returned with a bouquet of daisies,
it was a present for the ghost.
His house was fluttering all its big
and little sails on the invisible walls.
He could see his rocking chair going,
though by the time he tied his boat to
the tree and turned to look again,
the chair was still as a painting.
He never had any trouble with the ghost.
He only noticed it passing a few times
in the day. Sometimes he wondered if
it was giving him dreams, when he saw places
from long ago where he had never been.
He made sort of a big show as he entered.
“Hello!” he called. He walked slowly like a
deep sea diver. “I brought you a present…
I want to say thank you…”
Albert stopped in the kitchen and listened.
Nothing. He reached into an invisible cupboard
and took down a vase. He reached for the
invisible faucet on the invisible sink and filled
the vase with water.
The house was still quiet. He settled
the flowers into the invisible water
and held it up to the air.
“I just wanted to say thanks for scaring off
that fish…I guess it was getting on everyone’s
nerves…” Nothing happened. “I don’t know if
you like flowers, I don’t know what ghosts like.”
Nearby, someone laughed and someone else,
closer to Albert said, “We’re not ghosts.”
Albert stood there and listened to them.
“This used to be our house,” another unseen said.
“We didn’t want to leave,” said a girl’s voice.
“Ohhh,” Albert said, figuring it out,
“You’re from The Invisible City…”
Someone corrected him,
“It’s only invisible to you.”
“You’re not ghosts?” Albert stumbled on.
A laugh, “That’s what you people call us.”
From the sounds of their voices, there were
four of them. Albert asked, “You’re a family?”
Albert sat in his rocking chair. On the table
where the fish used to be were the flowers.
Outside, which was all around him, leaves
were blowing, falling and swirling on the
jagged grass, rain was hissing, the yellow trees
were bending and waving.
“I lost my job,” Norman Withers told him.
“We ran into some hard times. We lost
the house. We had nowhere to go.
What were we supposed to do?
So we stayed with the house.”
“We didn’t think you would notice us,”
said Doris. “We tried to be quiet.”
Her children were near her, Albert
could hear them too.
So there was an invisible family
in his invisible house. Now that he knew,
it was better. He let them have their rooms back.
They could live the way they were used to.
He tried to give them space.
He had a little room in the attic,
a bed and a light, creaking floorboards…
basically Albert Roselli became a ghost.
Next, Part 3: The Bees
Drawings by Rustle
'listen, talk, walk
out of this world'
Photos of birch trees taken at my job
Annotated Air Travel:
1. If you drive across Lake Washington,
you may notice the floating bridge is
named after governor Albert Rosellini.
2. Here is Rustle's complete