ALEXANDRIA: A Ghost Story
There’s a dead girl living at the Alexandria Hotel. Trust me, my people know these things. Old things, modern man forgets. Just like I forgot. But the old knowledge never leaves the attuned. And the Alexandria is old. Charlie Chaplin lived here. Clark Gable lived here. And now I live here. It’s ooold.
So she’s dead– Sixth Sense, dead– ‘cause she thinks she’s still living here at the Alexandria Hotel. Or so I’ve heard. I'm just a modern man living in this old thing out of convenience. But I swear on my mother, I’ve met her.
So it's my first day at this place. I'd just gotten the keys (Yay!). And I’m leaving my $400-a-month, low income, 6th floor jail cell, that I instantly love more than homelessness (‘cause I’ve been done with that part of my story). And I’m standing, waiting for the elevator, getting into character to ride my Ninja through LA gridlock, when I hear this little girl laugh behind me. And I keep on running through pre-flight checklist until the delay catches up to me...THERE. IS. NO. LITTLE GIRL...Okay.
No, but yeah. She was right behind me. Laughing her carefree toddler laugh. Giggling right into the small of my back. So to justify my standing up arm hairs, I go to the end of the hallway to see– 'cause I have to see– if I’d just missed some actual kid running past me. At this point I kinda peak one eye round the corner, down the long, morbidly rugged corridor, that the other tenants (and now me as well) say is quite reminiscent of the halls of blood in The Shining. Maybe that’s what I was expecting; twin girls with their throats slit, standing still as death, as a blood tide surfed round them to spirit me away to where ever Ichabod Crane ended up. I gripped my motorcycle helmet defensively before me, like a shield and jumped around the corner, full on. And you know what I saw? You know what I got? A whole-lotta, not a god-damned thing. Because there was no blood. No little girls. No little girl. No body. No nothing. And yet... I kinda stumble into the elevator, not really tripped out anymore, but wanting to share. So I tell these two white girls in there, strangers to each other as to myself, "Um, think I just had an 'encounter'.”
“Oh you mean with the lil' girl?” One of the young ladies retorts, with a nonchalant waist flick of her hipster pelt tail. I lose a breath.
“Like, duh,” snorts the other one, her face illuminated by cell-light. “Like, she likes to ride the elevator with you sometimes, and press extra buttons. (total brat).” I find another breath. “Oh. Okay.” I say. I press my own button marked 'B', and put it all out of my mind.
I take it all in stride like the girls in the elevator, because maybe Alexandria, as I now call her, is the spirit of the Alexandria. Rumor has it, that she was the daughter of the architect. She'd fallen down the elevator shaft while playing during the building's construction, back in the early 1900's (Rumor also holds that those little cherub reliefs around the edifice are in her image.) But maybe, she was just some person who grew up, and old, and died, and came back to the happiest time of her life.
So, if you ever go up to Ghostbusters central in Rudolph Valentino's suite on the 9th floor, you might meet her. Or someone like her. Or you might be attending a play in the black box on the second floor, and see her shadow flit by in the wings. Maybe if you're sipping a sazerac at the ground floor bar, she's sitting next to you, legs a-dangling. Maybe she is you. Maybe she’s me. Because she still thinks she’s living and maybe, so do we. I don’t know. I’m just a modern man living in this old thing out of convenience. And hey, as long as she’s happy, I’m happy. Because Charlie Chaplin and Clark Gable lived here (they even formed United Artists here). But now I live here. And it’s good to have friendly neighbors.