He put himself through college ghostbusting. His uncle hooked him up. He still owned the predictable grayish-brown suit designed to deflect slime and grime and the oil and grease coming off the proton pack—everything but the smells. He had grooves thumb deep in his shoulders from carrying that pack up stairs and down into basements, into closets and attics lit by lightning strikes. The PKE meter never worked. He’d long since outgrown the habit of ducking into doorways or behind dumpsters when he saw his classmates approaching. This wasn’t a 1980s movie about bedsheet togas, after all; everyone worked now. What he should’ve been worried about were gamma rays or that the traps were just for show, but people didn’t worry about those things then—or didn't care.
*In a recent online survey, most respondents admitted to being fully aware of the dangers of ionizing radiation. Seventy-eight percent of the time, they selected “It was different back then” as their rationale.
All rights reserved to Carlo Matos.
Illustrated by Alexander Fukui.