Monday, September 26, 2022

All Houses Are Haunted

You come to this place, mid-life.  You don't know how you got here, but suddenly you're staring fifty in the face.  When you turn and look back down the years, you glimpse the ghosts of other lives you might have led; all houses are haunted.  The wraiths and phantoms creep under your carpets and between the warp and weft of fabric, they lurk in wardrobes and lie flat under drawer-liners.  You think of the children you might have had but didn't.  When the midwife says, "It's a boy," where does the girl go?  When you think you're pregnant, and you're not, what happens to the child that has already formed in your mind?  You keep it filed in a drawer of your consciousness, like a short story that never worked after the opening lines.

-- Dame Hilary Mary Mantel DBE FRSL (6 July 1952 - 22 September 2022), British writer whose work includes historical fiction, personal memoirs, and short stories, Giving Up the Ghost (2003)

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