Dead now. Dead today. Dead tomorrow. That’s what the widow told me about her husband, her palms flat on my desk wishing it to be true. I finished my cigarette, drove her home, and she showed me the sofa where her husband died after trying to swallow an enormous bite of doughnut, opposite the television that imparted messages as she flicked channels. One show ended with a contestant shouting “help!” before cutting to another channel where the soap star finished her sentence with “me.”

She switched on the TV and there was a talk show on about possessive relationships, its caption reading, “I’m trapped,” and it was clear to her that her husband’s soul had been absorbed. “I’ve thought about cracking the screen,” she whimpered, “but I didn’t know if it would hurt him.” I told her that it was wise to have waited for assistance as souls, that were trapped on Earth, always attached themselves to an important object in their owner’s life and we were fortunate enough that her husband currently had a way of communicating.

I took the remote and switched on the subtitles, then took a picture of the screen with my phone. Reviewing the image, I noticed that by taking only the first letter of each word and putting them together, a new sentence was created: “M Y D R E A M I S T O B E O N T V.” His widow explained that her husband often complained about wasting his life, stuffing his face and glued to that flashing box, unable to look away from an alternate universe where almost everyone was young and re-runs meant they stayed the same age forever.

My resolution was to call up the talk show, taking down its number when the credits rolled, claiming to have the most bizarre relationship story since Jerry Springer hit the air with his “Secret Mistresses Confronted” special. After the show’s team checked the television, asking questions while changing stations to locate some kind of ghostly undertone in flashy commercials, they agreed to have us on the show. It was clear from their brief investigation that they didn’t believe anything about possession and only wanted to exploit the hysterical widow.

We were invited to the studio the next day. The producers were obviously aware that crazy people can get cold feet about humiliating themselves and wanted to rush us along. A limousine pulled up beside her house and lured us out with flutes of champagne, which we sipped nervously in the back. Because it was important to conceal my identity from those demonic forces in the underbelly of the media, I watched from the side-lines as the widow and her television husband were showered in garish light.

It was difficult for the widow to explain herself over waves of laughter or properly answer the host’s probing questions. She switched on the TV to show that her husband was trapped inside. As I expected, nothing the widow said received any response from the nuance of each channel. She flicked desperately from station to station, asking, “Do you still love me?” and “Is there much room in there?” but the soap operas seemed just as tedious as usual, mostly concerned about which characters were having affairs with each other. Now her husband had reached millions of televisions across the world, he had no reason to cling onto his little idol from the corner of his living room.

The widow was distraught and sobbed huge tears as I drove her home, claiming to be happy that her husband’s soul was free. I was secretly miserable that her pride had been lost, and without a possessed television, she was now really alone. She asked me, as a man of God, whether I found comfort from sitting with strangers in church and whether I was ever lonely if Jesus was by my side.

I told her that I can’t always hear God’s voice. I watch television, just like everyone else. She burst out laughing, as though nothing could be funnier than an exorcist, equipped with a stake and holy water, tuning into morning cartoons over a bowl of cereal. We lifted the TV, which strangely seemed lighter than before, over the threshold like a new bride and set it back in the corner. Exhausted by such an emotional day, she practically fell into my arms as we kissed, our reflections captured in the television screen.