26. The Last Unhaunted Spot

Most people don’t notice ghosts for the same reason you don’t notice your own breathing. Air slips in and out of our bodies without us having to think too much about it. Our souls slip in and out of our bodies without us having to think too much about it. All the noise and motions ghosts make, going about their business, once we’re grown, usually fades into the background, forgotten along with the rest of our imaginary friends.

We don’t notice not because there are no such thing as ghosts, but because, in a sense, there is nothing but ghosts.

Except, weirdly enough, for one spot in the grass in front of Grace Baptist Church, where Brick Church Pike crosses Old Hickory Boulevard. The geography seems normal enough, but something about that place left it empty from the dead.

This is where that strange little gal from Goodlettsville would come on the nights she couldn’t sleep for all the racket. She would drive down, park in the parking lot, and lie down in the empty spot in the grass. Usually, she would wake with the dawn, but the church secretary had also gotten used to shaking her awake and sending her on home.

After she died, the secretary would still see her lying there in the grass some mornings. Sometimes, the secretary would walk towards her, but that gal would always fade from view before the secretary could get close to her.

Lots of folks saw her there, before and after her death, which led to a story about how she had been in an accident at that intersection and thrown from her car, where she landed in that spot and died, and that’s why she haunts that place.

That’s not the truth of how she died, but it almost doesn’t matter.

Now there is no spot in Nashville that is not haunted.

Mother Jones Thinks It’s a Racket, Too

They’re talking about the Anti-Muslim Ponzi Scheme operating here in Tennessee. It strikes me that there’s something interesting about that quote at the end–about joking that Muslims are wife-beaters. If you work with any women’s organizations here in Tennessee, you know that it can be very hard to provide services to women because of the push-back you get from ministers if it seems like you are even remotely encouraging women to make decisions without the approval of their husbands or decisions that might cause women to leave their abusive spouses.

This is a very real and very damaging reality for many of the women in our state–that being Christian means tolerating abuse because the social sanctions against women who don’t is so severe.

So, this is an interesting intersection, right? Sally Snow is a bigotted asshole who hates Muslims. Her behavior directly harms Muslims. But by setting up Muslims as “wife-beaters,” she’s attempting to define wife beating as something “we” don’t do, “we” being good American Christians.

Don’t get me wrong, what she’s doing is fucked up and she should be embarrassed to be so unneighborly.

But I think it’s interesting to watch these conservative white Christian women trying to make more room for themselves and to make the room they have more pleasant. It’s pretty sad that here we are in 2010 and what Snow is advocating for is to be taken seriously as someone who knows what she’s talking about AND for Christian women to not be beat. But, hey, small steps. Yes, some of us are not inherently stupid and not fit to speak in public and some of us should not be beat.

Next we can work on “no woman is inherently stupid and not fit to speak in public and none of us should be beat.”