Tonight I drove to Montreat College, a small school on the outskirts of Asheville, North Carolina. They have asked me to do a review of their Music Business Program, They put me up in a huge old house off their main campus called the Manor House. It's pretty creepy.
I'm alone in the house, apparently. It's one of those old houses that has several staircases leading to an untold number of unpeopled rooms, with bookcases lining the walls, huge banquet rooms, and even a swimming pool in the basement. There are even hidden panels in the walls where during Prohibition former tenants hid the alcohol. It reminds me of what old professor Digory's house must have looked like in "The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe," just waiting to be explored. But I haven't found a wardrobe yet. Come to think of it, maybe it's more like Hitchcock's Bates Inn: the only sound I hear right now, besides that of me typing, is the drip drip drip of the bathroom faucet.
Of course I don't believe in ghosts or disembodied spirits of any form, and yet in some way the former tenants of this place remain, their collective memories only vaguely discernible to me etched in the chipped paint on the walls, the creaks in the hardwood floors, the well-worn books, the slightly out of tune piano, and in the depression in that empty chair, just there, outside my door. They're all here. Long ago this was a home, and then they left, or died, leaving behind only the presence of their absence --- and one day that too will be gone.
I need to stop that drip. If I do, what will I hear then?