Lighthouse Soliloquy

October 20th, 2012

I've finally convinced myself to start a writing journal. You would think that people my age would have plenty to say but I have nothing to say, I fear. I am honoring her wishes. Let's see how it goes.

My wife Brenda died a year ago today. I shuttered the tourist center on our property for six months after that. Brenda was always real great with people. I raised the lantern and kept the grounds trim. I started letting crowds in early this year, just before the Spring tourist season. They often asked me to speak at length about the lighthouse history and I just pointed them to the pamphlet.

"Those are free." I tell them, unable to mask my annoyance. "You can take that home with you and memorize it."

"But don't you know the history of your own family's lighthouse?" they often retort.

"My wife Brenda was good at telling stories, and she is dead." I usually reply. That shuts them up good and quick. I lead them around the grass and then stand near the rocky shoals and point out the location where a ship went aground, which led to the lighthouse being built in 1764. I make things up. I don't really know the location of the crash, because no such crash ever took place. I don't like to elaborate but I like to say enough to scare people.

"Every one on board died." I say dryly. "Sometime you can still see ghosts of the crew walking around."

"Is that true?" someone usually asks. In response, I usually take off my glasses and rub my eyes and say nothing. Let them think what they want to think. I'm only in it for the money. I know Brenda would hate me saying that, but let's be real: I'll be seeing her soon enough. I'm 89 years old. I can barely make my way up the stairs. All I can hope for is enough money for a decent pot of coffee in the morning and three square meals a day. 

October 25th, 2012

I've grown sick of the view from the lantern room, so I have spent most of early Fall hunkered down in the watch house where it is a bit warmer. There's a real brisk wind coming in from the north and it whistles through the cracks at night. Brenda's death halted a sealing project I was working on that would have kept the winds from whirling up through the tower. 

6:02 pm: The power just went out. God dammit. First thing tomorrow I'm going to call the County and give 'em what for. Until then, I'm writing in the stone ages, by candlelight. Why am I still doing this? Oh yeah, I'm 'marking the days,' whatever that means. I'll admit - Brenda urged me to do it years ago, and I felt it was the least I could do for her. She had strengths I just don't have. Still, I don't know what good it does.

11:28 pm: Hold on - hearing noises outside. 

12:15 am: Okay, I just went outside and checked the grounds. The lights over the parking area have gone dim. Another complaint for the County. It seems that some big rocks were slipping down by the long shoal. That's the noise I heard.

November 1st, 2012

Can I just say, I don't know whose idea it was to make Halloween such a big deal, but I would prefer it did not exist! Big groups of teenagers are pounding on the lighthouse door and on the main door to the watch house/tourist center. You want to know what they're doing? They're demanding candy! I call out to them to get off the property or I'll call the cops. One of them tosses a stone through the window of the main office. I put on the fog horn and they all scatter. 

I'll call the cops tomorrow. I'm glad Brenda's not here to see this. It's getting colder by the day. Just last night, as I made my way up to check on the lantern, I noticed frost along the inside of the tower wall - a line of it, like a crack, completely iced over. And we haven't even seen our first snow.

November 15th, 2012

I got the heat working in the watch house right now, and the power has been on for the last two weeks. Unfortunately there has been more vandalism. Some kids came and stole my collectible coins while I was out on my daily stroll. 

I got someone from the County to come and take care of the cracks in the lighthouse. They know I'm too old for the kind of work that's required. I'm glad nobody has any interest in touring the grounds for the winter season, so I've closed off to tourists until next year. I wonder if I'll live to next year. The man from County, Fred Parsons, claims that the lighthouse should start warming up from now on.

That's a good thing, because the most comfortable bed happens to be in the window room just below the lantern room. It's been deathly cold but if it's fixed, I'll take all my valuables and bolt the door at the base of the tower and set up camp in there. Much safer, and no one can throw stones in the window or break in and steal my things. Damn kids.

9:07 pm: I am hearing a lot of noises outside that sounds like more rocks shifting on the shoal. I should check but I am tired. Good night.

November 26th, 2012

Today I cleaned the lens up at the top of the tower and shined the rails of the catwalk. I do wish I could scrub the exterior of the tower. It looks decrepit. I wish I could give it a shower or restore places where it is crumbling. My family has looked after this place for so long, and I fear I have not been up to the task since Brenda died.

I think the icy chill from last month ruined the stone masonry and concrete somehow. The tower - or as Brenda used to call it, the 'turkey neck' - is much warmer but there is still bit of damage where Fred Parsons sealed it a few weeks ago. It looks like burn marks near where the frost appeared last month. It's a downward slash, and it's sealed, but it looks like a scar. I do not understand it.

I'm slower getting up the stairs, but once I get up to the window room, I settle in nicely. I've got a desk, and that comfortable bed. I can gaze out the small windows at the sky. If I lean in through the thick window I can  see the dark sea blinking back at me under a bright moon. I like that view. When it gets late, I settle into bed. I'm about to do that now. 

1:30 am: The sound of the fog horn just woke me up. It is late. I can't see well enough through the windows so I am going to walk down the staircase and check on it. The watch house is empty but I hate the idea of kids breaking in. No one can activate the horn unless they are inside, so I know someone is in there.

2:15 am: Turns out, it was a cat nuzzling against the button that activates the horn. She is a scrappy little thing and I let her inside the lighthouse. She bounded up the steps faster than I ever could. As I sit here at my desk just beneath the lantern room, I am looking over at the bed. The cat looks so happy with her bowl of milk.

November 27th, 2012

This morning, the cat was nowhere to be found. I searched the tower area and all around the storage rooms at the base of the lighthouse, but there is no cat. Also, every window in the watch house is now broken, but all the broken glass is on the ground outside. The windows were broken from the inside.

Time to call the police.

December 9th, 2012

Not getting much sleep, Brenda.  I think I need to drop the facade that I am speaking to anyone else but you. I got nothing to say to myself. So anyway, I called the County about the watch house and it turns out the fog horn is broken. Also, the light house is cold again, but I do not have the strength to move all my stuff back down the stairs.

I tried to call Fred today but I am told Fred Parsons is no longer working for the County. I think the lady at the County desk is very upset when I bring up his name. It sounds serious. I don't mean to sound like a nasty old man but my problems are real, too. I am freezing up here. The scar on the inside of the tower is frozen solid again. Still no snow outside, but there is ice all along the walls.

Sometimes I wonder why I am still here, Brenda. If I stay alive long enough for next year's Tourist season, I don't think I will be in the mood to show people around. You were always so much better. You knew how to smile. I, on the other hand, smile like a pained skeleton.

10:20 pm: It seems every time I start to write, I hear noises outside. Signing off for now.

December 27th, 2012

I went into town today for my weekly grocery. Mabel at the check out asks me how is business. I says, I says business is nonexistent because it's not tourist season. Then she asks me how I am getting along. Her husband is a contractor and would be happy to take a look at the County's work on the restoration that was obviously shoddy. He cannot come until middle of January but he will be there, she says. You take care and stay warm, she says.

8:00 pm: I have most of my things upstairs, but I left my bulk items in my Buick in the parking lot. I take out the milk and place it on the window shelf. I wonder if my friend the cat is okay.

10:17 pm: The little cat's ears must have been itching! I just woke up and heard yowling echoing up from the bottom of the turkey neck. It's still down there and the yowling is getting worse. I am going to go check it out. Maybe she hid in the storage room.

10:28 pm: Nothing there, but there's something wrong. I was halfway down the stairs to get my cat friend and the yowling became a voice. My first thought was small baby but the voice said something, and laughed. I am hearing things. I think there is a person down there. I yelled down a lot of times, but no one responded. I got to the bottom, and it was quiet as a tomb down there. No person or cat in sight. It's also very warm down there, warmer than it is up here.

1:50 am: The yowling has started up again and it is not a cat. I have closed the door and wish I had a radio to drown it out. There is no one down there. Someone outside is playing tricks with me. There is laughing down there.

December 28, 2012

9:02 am: I am locked in.

The door to the outside is frozen shut. Outside, I see grey and white and I know there is a storm coming. I have taped up plastic wrap on the window holes to keep out the elements. The wind is very loud and very strong. I took some of my tools and tried to force the door but I am a weak old man and nothing will work. The phones are down. For some reason I am not looking forward to sundown, Brenda.

I have enough food for a few more days but I need to get the door open. I will try to think of something.

7:30 pm: The wind whistles low through the turkey neck and rattles my door, but I do believe I just heard the foghorn blowing, quite loud, from the direction of the watch house. It is blowing in bursts, like a rude driver honking a horn. A little ridiculous, if you ask me, because the horn is broken. I've stopped thinking the cat is downstairs, but the yowling started up again today and sounds like it comes halfway up the stairs.

January 1st, 2013

I miss you, Brenda. I have not had a proper drink of water today. I ran out of food sooner than I thought. I spent most of yesterday up in the lantern room, with my hands placed on the cylinder where it is warmer. Something is knocking on the door to my bedroom, so I took some things and headed up here. It is cold. I am restless and pacing the thin catwalk. All below is white. The shoal is covered in ice. My car is buried under mounds of snow. The watch house is ruined, too.

I find it strange that I need someone to come to my aid, Brenda, and I am in a lighthouse, a structure built for the purpose of drawing attention to itself. The humor is not lost on me, Brenda. Everyone expects a lighthouse to alert the world to its existence, so...

3:30 pm: I just got an idea. I will be back to report on my progress.

3:46 pm: I just 'doused' out the light. I am not supposed to - the State actually demands that I keep the light going all year round - but I need someone to notice that I am here. I will be noticed when my light goes out. Maybe the local authorities will come to see what has happened. Why didn't I think of this sooner? I will not last until the middle of January when Mabel's husband arrives. By that time, he will find me changed into a Popsicle. There is a really bad storm coming. I can feel it in my bones.

January 2nd, 2013

3:55 am: Something awful has happened. The lantern room does not give me a good view in the darkness, now that the light is out, but there has been an accident outside. There is no fire but I hear screaming right now. A sound like croaking wood, I think. Several loud pops. The whole tower is dark but I need to go help. I am on my way now.

5:00 am:  In case anyone finds this I need you to know what happened. There was whispering on the stairs below but I needed to try to get outside, so I kept walking. I could not see a thing but there were two voices, one a female and one a male and they moved apart quickly as I reached the lower landing. I did not care at this point. Outside I heard rocks grinding together and loud voices. Maybe someone is trying to rescue me.

The storage room is empty so I took a broom and try again to force open the door. I almost got it and a trail of snow floated into the room. I think there is no way out, even if I tried. I am so tired and so cold. I am just going to crawl into bed.

January 6th, 2013

Brenda there is nothing on the rocks. There is no wreckage even though I have checked each and every day for the past three days and there is nothing there. I am eating melted snow that I get through the door when I push the broom on it. I am heating it. I cannot light the lantern up top now and I know no one is coming. If someone was coming they would have come by now and it is not happening.

Every night I am woken up by more loud crashing and rocks tumbling and screaming. That first night I thought it was real, then the second night I knew it was someone playing a trick, but tonight I just have a feeling that whatever is happening does not care that I am up here. It is happening whether I am here or not and it is not about me. The boxes in the store rooms at the base of the tower are sliding around on the concrete floor as I write this. Time to go investigate although my legs are very weak from low energy. Wish me luck, Brenda.

8:40 pm: All the boxes are splintered and that is not all. I saw him but my hands are shaking too much and I need to stand guard or else he will come in. I need to tell the world when he gets me that he got me.

1:05 am: Heaven help me. Five hours ago I went down to see and saw the smashed boxes in the alcoves when I stepped off the bottom stair. I saw him leaning down over a box and thought Mabel's husband came early. He was down there. I said very loud, 'thank God!" and he stood up and turned around and oh god. He is this man like my great great grandfather, only in a frock coat and wearing a bowler hat and a van dyke beard but his mouth is all teeth and his lips are gone. He tips his hat, but with his teeth like they are, he smiles like a devil. This is not a person. I covered my mouth, afraid of screaming, and he lifts a hand to say 'sssshh' and I see through his finger, and I see bone segments of his fingers. I ran back up and there is some pain in my arm and my chest. I over-did it, and now I cannot sleep.

2:00 am: If tonight is like the last few nights, then the loud crash will wake me up. I am going up to the catwalk with a blanket and my journal and waiting for it this time. No bed for me. That man will come through the turkey neck and into the door if I sleep.

3:30 am: White sails in the black night are fluttering. There is a boat out there but it is not stationary. It is going to hit the shore any minute. I put out the light days and days ago and cannot make it go back the way it was. I am a stupid old man, Brenda. Will I join you in Heaven or meet my own fate in Hell? I doom these ships night after night. It was my job to protect them and to protect myself I put out the lights. Now I cannot put my light back on. I deserve my fate, but whoever is out on the boat does not deserve theirs.

3:39 am: The screaming has started down in the water. I can see shapes of bodies, black outlines against the snow, writhing in agony upon the shore. They all depend on me but I let them down. Will no one come to their aid? I see shadows but nothing casting the shadow and they move along the snow to the Watch House. Soon they will find me. Good.

January 7th, 2013

Cannot feel left hand but using my right to get these words down. Door still not open down turkey neck. I go there during day to get broomstick but not budging. Brenda I am sorry I did not try harder. I do not think I will see you again. Went out on catwalk and shore is empty, clean but shoreline is all snow. Not forming words. Need rest sleep.

9:00 pm: Put head out door to laughing at bottom of tower. They are people. Big scar in tower is dark and frozen. Shadows down there. Bright faces look up, no eyes, no lips, no noses. Frosted and ghastly. Waist coats, corset and tall top hats. Smiling man with beard, I know him from before, he walks up stairs. It is a parade of demons coming up spiral stairs. Faces keep looking up at me. I pushed desk against door. Maybe someone will come.

11:30 pm: Hand barely holds onto pen. Brenda you gave me this pen. I am seeing things. I saw smoke in shape of a hand come through the door and I found the body of my friend the cat under the bed, frozen stiff. How long was it under there? I am so sad about it. I am alone here. Smoke pushes under the door.

4:00 am: Am cold. Stay close to me my friend my cat, lying still next to me. Wake up, please. Voices all night, through the night, voices like demons. Voices through the smoke coming through cracks. I hear them and saying, "on the morrow we shall die." "taken ill, very ill, let us in" over and over and over again. "Good sir we are but passengers of death." Voices ring, not stopping.

"good sir we are but passengers of death" <--- saying again over, always. keeping journal on lap. want to jump. brenda please. help me brenda. if you find me know that it was in the dark i will try describe ok

4:08 am: top hat glasses teeth ---- god -


Popular Posts