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Monday, October 10, 2005

Miracles - The Ghost - Installment 7

Larry Kittridge and Paul pull up a bench on the playground across the street from the realty office.

Kittridge tries to describe how it felt to lose his son - how people would try to offer comfort by saying that he has gone to a better place. A better place? Really? He looks to Paul for validation. Unfortunately Paul is deep in thought, probably thinking about Tommy Ferguson's tortuous existence and the darkness that haunts him. Paul is able to offer little in the way of reassurance. He responds with a weak "I hope so....."

Kittridge pounces on his obvious lack of commitment. Paul tries to correct his statement by offering something more firm, but the truth has been spoken. Paul is simply not certain anymore.

Kittridge speaks about how he prayed for Kevin to come back. "That's really what you want - to have them back". Again Paul seems to be churning his own thoughts of guilt. Tommy traded his life to save Paul, and Paul would give anything to have Tommy back.

After a few moments of silence, Kittridge rises to leave - to head back to his office. He begs Paul's silence about the haunting. It would destroy his wife to think that Kevin had not appeared to her. Paul warns him that there is much more at stake - the Kittridge marriage is on the line and Meg is at her breaking point. Kittridge shrugs and suggests that perhaps it's for the best.

Paul sits alone on the bench. He huddles in his coat in the cool night air. 0 for 3 on the counseling front. Hey, don't quit your day job. Oh wait, this IS your day job. Come on Paul - SNAP OUT OF IT!!

After a bit of contemplation he heads down the alley, stopping to peep into the realty office windows. The way Paul's judgment has played out in this episode I fully expected a Lowell NJ police cruiser to roll down the alley, but the tides may be turning. Paul observes Kittridge talking to Kevin's unseen presence. Paul's eyes dart to the security cameras, suddenly not at all certain they are non-functional.

He looks down the alley at the row of dumpsters. Sure he's ready to drop from sheer exhaustion, but why sleep when you can spend the rest of night dumpster diving for old video tapes. Paul pops the container's lid and gingerly grabs his first bag. (Hey Paul, the first bag is always free, but you'll pay dearly for this habit..............just say no).

Hours pass and Paul has stripped down a few layers when he appears in the morning at the local diner. His clothes are stained and disheveled as a result of his midnight marauding in Lowell's back alleys. Alva is waiting for him at the counter. Paul apprehensively slides past the same elderly waitress. She gives him a come hither look and whispers "I like 'em a little on the trashy side". An involuntary shudder racks Paul's body as he slips onto the stool next to Alva.

Questions to Ponder:
Are Paul's counseling sessions more for him or those he is trying to help?

Is it likely that neat & tidy Paul would go to the diner reeking like a trash heap?