Have you noticed how people in movies and TV shows who become ghosts or ghost-like in the sense that they can’t touch anyone or anything and can walk through walls never fall through the floor? This is not a new insight, it’s an old conversation, but it’s been nagging at me.
Maybe I’ve been thinking about ghosts.
We don’t trust floors when we’re solid. Balconies collapse, trap doors pop open, floor-boards crack and crumble and our meaty feet drop through and we land in some nightmare basement. We have idioms about the floor dropping out from underneath us, as though our grounding is superficial (ha, ha), and any little thing might leave us falling through space. Down a bottomless well, a place with no floor. We imagine the possibility of no floor.
Yet as soon as we’re ghostly the floor becomes ineffable, unquestionable, the only thing a ghost can count on. Our spirit bodies can ride elevators, climb stairs, stand over drainage grates. Maybe we can look through the floor, stick our head through to check out the high jinks in the room below. Imagine us there, kneeling on the floor with our incorporeal knees, vaporous hands braced on the carpet as we ease our head down.
Ghosts are allowed floors. No, ghosts are required floors. Floors that never collapse. Floors that are sure.
While those of us with mass might fall.