Text Messages From a Ghost

by Mallory Ortberg

October 14th
hey im gaunting you ok
Do you mean haunting
yeah sorry i don’t have any fingers
so im poltergeisting a stick to help me text this
Who is this?
oh sorry im a ghost
So do you live inside this phone
yeah kind of

October 21st
sorry if last night was pretty loud
some other ghosts came over last night and we fought
we used to be roommates
they weren’t good roommates
I’m sorry
no no it’s okay
I mean its really nice of you to care
I really like haunting you a lot
Don’t you mean “gaunting”
hahaha you remembered

October 30th
Hey! Happy almost Halloween!
Oh, is that not — do you not celebrate Halloween?
not really, no.
I just thought that since you were a ghost, you might –
i dont really like to talk about it too much
Oh, sure, sure.
but you should definitely have a fun halloween
get some candy babies or something
Candy babies?
is that not what you call them?

November 7th
hey are you using that tree outside
The one by the door?
yeah that one, are you using it, like do you need it for anything
I guess not…
okay, cool ,thank you, thats great
Is everything okay?
oh yeah i was just thinking of taking a vacation
Is that how ghosts take vacations?
Sorry if that’s a stupid question
no not stupid at all
yeah i mean, if you live in a phone sometimes it can be nice to go somewhere with more room
You still like it here, though, right?
oh yes definitely
this is the best phone i have ever haunted
ill only be gone a couple of days
k thanks

November 19th
hey its me
im back
How was your vacation?
it was really good, thanks for asking
all of the leaves were really nice
Ghost, can I ask you a question?
What are you the ghost of?
im sorry, im just really tired from my trip
it’s really great to be back
i missed the phone

November 24th
do you know what i really like about you?
What’s that?
youre always really good about texting your friends back right away
and i think that’s nice
even if it’s about something you didnt really want to go to
Oh, wow, thanks
i hope you don’t mind my knowing that
i don’t, you know, read your private messages or anything
i just noticed you’re always quick to text back
No, I mean, that’s okay
You can read them if you want to
Even the ones you send to julia?

December 6th
happy birthday
Thank you!
i got you something
Did you?
yeah it was kind of tricky but i poltergeisted it up into your bedroom
let me know when you see it….
Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Ghost! Ghost, you’re amazing
This is unbelievable!
do you really like it
Like it? Do I like it?
i mean is it what you wanted?
Ghost, this is incredible. I don’t know what to say
Thank you!
im really glad you liked it
im really glad that you like it then
i was worried you wouldn’t like it
How on earth did you know?
i remembered

December 15th
what did julia say
She hasn’t said anything yet, Ghost
when are you going to see her do you think
I don’t know, she said she would call me tonight
i could call her for you if you want
No no, I don’t want you to do that
she wouldnt know it was from your phone i mean
i just want to help
Oh my God, that’s her, she’s calling
I have to go
okay good luck!!

December 25th
happy christmas
Ghost! Happy Christmas! Where have you been?
ive been around
how did things turn out with julia
Things went great. Things went better than great, actually
score one for the ghost!!

December 31st
hey drive carefully tonight
it’s a pretty crazy time of year
Oh yeah, I definitely will
What are you going to do? Take another vacation?
no i dont think i can anymore
What do you mean?
i just have a feeling
im pretty tired anyway
i dont know if i could make it all the way out to the tree again
i might just stay in and read
Well, happy New Year, Ghost
Take care of yourself
Love you!
i love you too alot
really, this has been the best year
It really has, hasn’t it?
yeah it really has been

January 7th
do you want to go see a movie
Oh, can you see movies?
That seems like a dumb question I guess
no its not dumb haha
yeah i can see movies
you just have to leave the phone on
I didn’t know that!
yeah but you should leave it on silent so it doesn’t bother anybody
What do you want to see?
i heard joyful noise was pretty good
i really like dolly parton
i think she would make a really great ghost
not that i want her to die!!
Oh no, definitely not
definitely not, i just think that when she does, maybe we could be friends
Do you get to meet a lot of people when they’re ghosts?
oh yeah, all kinds
i met eleanor roosevelt in a Droid once
yeah she was really nice

January 14th
Ghost! Ghost! Are you there?
Ghost, it’s me
I dropped my phone and it was raining and then the cover got cracked
there was some water damage I think
and it took me a few days to get it fixed
I’m so sorry
Ghost, are you there?

Next: The Return of Ghost.

Mallory Ortberg is a writer in the Bay Area. Her work has also appeared on Slacktory and Ecosalon.

Photo by andreiuc88, via Shutterstock