‘Will we think for always?’
‘What do you mean? Think about what?’
‘Like, when we can’t eat or drink or pick things up. What about all the stuff here?’ She points in the vague direction of her forehead.
‘What kind of stuff?’ I’m smiling. I know what she means.
‘Mommy! You know. Like, when I play with Rainbow Dash and Princess Twilight Sparkle, and I talk in their voices…or when I make the mommy and daddy crayon go to work or the grocery store…or when I think about Ash and Thomas or dream or whatever…’ her voice trails away here. She knows she’s made a mistake.
‘And what do you think about Ash and Thomas? Are they your boyfriends?’ I reclaim the washable marker she’s yanked away and continue to fill in a squiggly heart. Destroyed sticker palettes and coloring books litter our workstation, but we’ve found a blank space and are busy filling it; I with my go-to heart and arrow, she with a caricature of herself drawing a caricature of herself.
‘I don’t want to talk about it.’
‘Ok, but do you still daydream about Ash saving you from the monsters?’
‘I don’t want to talk about it!’
She’s right. Grander themes are being explored here. ‘Ok, so you said ‘when we can’t pick things up’. You mean when we’re ghosts? Well, I like to think that the stuff up here,’ I tap her forehead, ‘has a whole lot of staying power. Like, when you touch something–give me that brown marker, please–it lasts for as long as it lasts. Look, I’m putting it down. So the moment between the marker and me is over.’
‘Can I have an oreo?’
‘Shh, listen. Now I’m going to think about how much I love you. Did you feel that thought bounce on your head? Can you hold it in your hand?’ She shakes her head. ‘Right. So nothing stops that thought from floating out into all of space and time, forever and ever and ever. Nothing puts it down. It just keeps going.’
She looks at me with those wonderful eyes, the mossy blue that harbors both total faith in and disregard for me.
‘Yes, my love?’
‘Can ghosts eat oreos?’