Hungry Ghost is interested in architecture. We take the train one day to visit Phillip Johnson’s glass house, because that seems appropriate. It is early fall. Hungry Ghost smokes a cigarette. After we tour the Glass House, Hungry Ghost says, “Phillip Johnson had emotional issues.” I ask him why. He doesn’t answer. Finally he says it’s because the “only walls for privacy in the house are in the bathroom and no man should be ashamed to shit in front of others.” We walk towards Ghost House, which is Johnson’s ode to Frank Gehry. We sit for a minute and look at Ghost House. I tell him I don’t understand how a house can be an ode. He tells me he finished reading The Night of The Hunter. I tell him he shouldn’t read about serial killers, that it’s not a healthy interest. He tells me to shut up. I throw my purse at Hungry Ghost’s head. He tells me that he won’t play these stupid emotional games. He twists my arm behind my back and makes me promise not to say another word. I don’t say another word. It is hard not to talk. I finally tell hungry ghost I think Ghost House is ugly. “It looks like a dog house,” I say. Hungry ghost stares at me hard. “You have to be still and let architecture speak to your soul,” he tells me. I sit still and let it speak to my soul. My soul thinks it looks like a giant dog house. My soul wants to sing Hound Dog. “You ain’t never caught a rabbit and you ain’t no friend of mine.” Hungry Ghost looks at me and laughs. “Your soul doesn’t run real deep,” He says. I pinch his elbow. “Phillip Johnson had emotional issues,” I say.
Ghosts in a Glass House by Melanie Browne