It’s a really odd feeling, being a ghost with a love of good food.
I mean, walking through walls and making people jump is ok in its own way, but I really would like to taste coffee and chocolate again. It is unfair that your taste buds go ghostly at the same time as the rest of you.
So I like to sit in the corner of Annie’s Coffee Corner and imagine the tastes as I remember them. Annie has a wonderful huge old espresso machine, all retro pipes, and tubes and things to pull and it makes a fantastic hissy noise. Sometimes if someone sits on top of me on my chair, I make the hissy noise in their ear. Even people who can’t hear me speak to them can feel the hiss of air in their dainty lugs. Usually they leap up as if they have been scalded and make for another table. And I get my chair back.
But today my sit-upon-er (for want of a special word) is different. She is very light, I can hardly feel her, but she isn’t worried about the mad hissing. Can’t she hear me? Is she oblivious to ghostly hissing? I try again. She smiles. But no leaping and wildly looking about.
“I know you” she says. “ You can’t shift me with your shifty hissing..
Yes, and I know that you want to taste the coffee again, don’t you?”
How could she know? Is she psychic? Has she had contact with other coffee-yearning ghosts?
“Did you know that there is a way you can get to taste it again? I can help if you like” She is pretending to talk into her mobile phone so people won’t think she is in need of care in the community. Funny how people don’t mind people talking into thin air if they have a phone in their hands, even if without one, they would think you were completely loopy, don’t you think?
“I’ve been watching you. I’ve seen the people who sit here, lovingly cradling their lattes and cappuccinos – and then they leap in the air as if they have been stung, leaving their coffee sitting there.” She laughed, a silver trill of giggles. Nobody in the room turned round though to see who had made the noise, maybe the sound of the espresso machine drowned it out.
“But each time, I expected to see the steam from the coffee take a sideways detour on it’s way up..” She smiled quizzically “didn’t you even think to try it?”
“All you have to do is breathe in…you can breathe out in a hiss, you just need to breathe IN in a hiss..” Goodness, what a good idea! Why hadn’t I thought of it?
“Look” she said “here comes a happy chappie.. complete with a hot steamy triple shot espresso..”
The Espresso Man came, sat down. On top of both of us. I moved round so that I could see my ghostly sit-upon-er more clearly. She smiled encouragingly.. if rather transparently.
“One .. two.. three…”
And we both sniffed in a hissy fashion. And we smelt the coffee.