The Ghost Who Tried to Love Me(5)
Author:Adam Tervort

    Aboutthe Author


    This story is part ofthe Zodiac Schmodiac story cycle, a group of short storiesbased on the Chinese Zodiac. Remember the paper placemats with zodiacanimals from your favorite Chinese buffet? The things it tells youare wildly inaccurate and probably have no resemblance whatsoever toyour life or situation, but reading them is fun and writing thesestories was too.

    “The Ghost Who Triedto Love Me” began as a retelling of my favorite ghost story. I knowa teacher in Taiwan who resembles this story’s “Hank” quiteclosely, and he told me his ghost experience one night during GhostFestival. We had just finished teaching our conversation classes forthe evening and I mentioned to him that some of the students thoughthe’d seen a ghost before. He told me that it was true, he had seena ghost, and the story he told me stuck in my mind. His story scaredme because guys like us (non-Taoist, educated North Americans) aren’tsupposed to believe in ghosts much less see them. He didn’t haveany explanation for what he had been through, he only knew that itwas really creepy and that it happened. The details of this storyaren’t his, they are mine. His story was a great jumping off point,but this story started to go in interesting directions almost as soonas it got started. Any inaccuracies or strangeness here is mine, nothis.

    So which zodiac signdoes this story take? The dragon. I know, it’s a stretch to relateghosts to dragons, but I figured since they are both “imaginary”that they fit well together. The real Chinese explanation for whypeople see ghosts is much more involved than what your zodiac signis, it takes into account you “8 life numbers” which is terriblycomplicated and way over my head. I once had a Chinese fortune tellersay that since I am a foreigner and born on the wrong side of theglobe my 8 numbers don’t even work. (Maybe she could tell that I’ma cheapskate and wouldn’t pay well so she decided to take the easyway out.) If your 8 numbers show that you have a light tie to thisworld then you are more likely to see things from other worlds, likeghosts, which is why I always try to stay a few pounds overweight sothat I don’t float away or see any ghosts.

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