Monday, November 26, 2012

Excerpts From A Ghosts Diary

July 16th, 2003
     Hello diary!  This is my first entry of what I’m sure will be many.  I mean, what else do I really have to do?  Where to start? Well, I’ve been a ghost for about 6 years now.  I have no idea why I am a ghost, I did not suffer some great injustice in my death nor do I feel I have unfinished business on Earth.  I just died and next thing I know I’m floating around the netherworld.  Well, not exactly floating.  It is quite annoying, to be honest.  It’s mostly just like walking, but the maddening thing is that your feet don’t exactly touch the ground in any firm kind of way.  There are stray currents blowing through the ether and a strong eddy can actually dislodge you and move you against your will, maybe 5 feet, maybe 100 feet. You are kind of at their whim at times, especially if it catches you off guard. As you could imagine, it can be annoying.
      I must say it has not been as much fun as I thought it would be.  It’s not as if I had been given a choice, but I’m sure many people would have signed up for the chance to be a ghost and do all kinds of cool ghost-type things.  At least they may have seemed cool.  The reality is a bit different  At first the passing through walls and spying on people was fun, but when you see the disgusting things people do with themselves in private it kind of takes the joy out of it.  Also, forget what you see in magazines and movies, people in real life do not look good naked!  They especially do not look good naked when they are doing things like exercising, or clipping their toenails or nose hair.  Worse yet, in private, people are always examining weird parts of their bodies, contorting themselves in front of the mirror or on their bed, poking and prodding in places they shouldn’t.  I don’t even want to go into the self-abuse. 
     I have gained a new appreciation for porn actors and directors.  Seeing people have sex in real life is absolutely disgusting!  The fact that filmmakers can make sex seem erotic is a minor miracle.  It quickly lost its fascination when I realized that I could no longer do anything about my sexual urges anyway, and soon the urges ceased altogether.  If there is anything I could ask of the living, it would be this:  please act responsible when you are naked, and please have the lights out as much as possible.  You are really traumatizing us ghosts and making our earthbound suffering that much more horrible.

September 27th, 2003
     Hello diary.  I know it’s been a while since I wrote, but there never seems to be enough time in the day!  Oh, that’s a lie.  I have just been kind of depressed lately.  I guess I am just lonely.  I can’t seem to meet any other ghosts with whom I have any thing in common.  Every other ghost I meet seems to be from the civil war, or from Victorian times, even a few spirits from the colonial period.  I guess that’s what you get living in the east.  I suppose I could go out west, but I fear I will just meet dead cowboys, miners and prostitutes.  What’s  really depressing is the few American Indian ghosts I’ve met.  I can’t understand anything they say, and they just seem very bitter.  After a frustrating minute or two of trying to communicate with me, they just give up and sulk. 
     Then there are all the other spirits that are simply spheres of light.  They seem to have no interests other than ruining people’s photographs.
     I had thought in death I might find some of the answers to life’s mysteries, but alas, there seem to be no answers.  It’s just day after day, moving about and wondering about the meaning of it all.  Forget about asking the other ghosts.  They just moan or whine over and over about some unfinished thing they want to take care of, but of course they can’t now.  I swear, ghosts are some of the most self-absorbed people you ever want to meet.  Everything is me, me, me! I was poisoned, I promised my girl I would come back from the war, they thought I was a witch!  Enough already ghosts, we’re dead; get over it!

December 23rd, 2003
     Well, it’s almost Christmas.  Needless to say, I won’t be getting any presents this year either.  What would anyone get me anyway?  Who even knows I still possess a consciousness? I don’t really care. 
     I have decided to stop going to see my family on the holidays.  First off, there are always ghosts of family members hanging around and I didn’t like most of them while they were alive.  My grandmother just complains about not going to heaven and being with the angels and such, but if heaven doesn’t want her around what in the world makes her think I do?! Seriously, death gives you a perspective on family that really could have come in handy when you are alive. 
     Worse than seeing the dead relatives, in all honesty, is seeing the living ones.  It’s no fault of their own, but for them, life goes on.  They move on and every year your memory fades a bit more.  It gets depressing to see that they miss you less and less.  Being dead somehow gives you a different perspective on the living (duh, really?!) and you slowly come to understand that you were never really as important to everyone as you think you were.  It’s easier to deal with now that I’m dead. I think it’s a by-product of the whole passing over thing.  It’s like you see everything from the outside looking in and you can cut everyone and yourself a little slack.  Again, it’s another thing that would have come in handy for the living.  Life is strange.  Wow, some things I still haven’t gotten used to.  I mean “death is strange”, of course.
     I must admit though, it does give me a little bit of comfort sitting in some families living room on Christmas eve, after they have all gone to bed.  Just me, alone with the tree and the presents.  It’s then that I have an ache for the life that I have lost, even if it really is just the idea of that life.  In reality, my life didn’t contain many wonderful Christmas memories that I cherished when I was alive, but I sure miss them now that I’m dead.
     I also look at the milk and cookies people leave out for Santa, and I can’t help but think about what a waste that is.  Parents know that Santa is not going to eat those cookies.  What about us ghosts?  Surely if people can waste all that food, they could just as easily leave a radio on with some Christmas carols playing for all the lonely ghosts sitting in their living rooms on Christmas Eve, remembering the past.

For part 2 go here

© David Ferraris 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Why I Hate White People

     Being a white man I get to hear a lot of racist and misogynist garbage from other white men that assume I’m in the same club that they are.  Putting the misogyny aside for now, I hear people complain about black people and other minorities and talk about all the ways they are ruining their lives and the country.  Here’s my problem with all that.
     I have grown up and have lived most of my life surrounded by white people.  I have had limited contact with people of other races.  When I was young and when I went to school it was with white people.  Anytime I was bullied or beaten up it was by white boys.  Many of them were jocks.  In fact, whenever I see stories about hazing incidents in sports or fraternities it always seems to be white guys.  White affluent jocks seem to me to be much more of a problem than black or Puerto Rican guys. 
      I have only ever dated white women, and almost all of them have broken my heart.  Some have cheated on me, some have lied to me, and some just left.  I’m not saying it was all their fault in every instance, but no woman from any minority has ever done me wrong. Again, all my pain has come from white people.
     People have complained about black musical acts forever, thinking society would crumble due to pot smoking jazz musicians, sex-crazed rock and rollers and nowadays gangsta rappers and hip hop acts.  If this is truly a problem, shouldn’t we blame the people that are supporting them, the people making it possible for these musicians to glorify the thug life? Who is creating a market for these acts and paying them off handsomely?  That’s right, white people! 
      People get angry when they see white kids dressing like rap stars and acting like hip hop thugs, but their white parents are buying them the baggy pants.  People complain about parents in the black community not raising their kids properly, yet I mostly come in contact with white kids and I don’t see white people doing a much better job.
     Case in point: whenever you see a school shooting in the news, who’s doing the shooting?  White kids!  When they grow up they go on to shoot up the post office, a McDonalds or a movie theater.  The old stereotype is that black people talk in movie theaters, but it’s much better than the growing white stereotype of murdering people in movie theaters.
     I hear an awful lot of griping about minorities collecting welfare or food stamps, but again, I don’t really know a lot of minorities.  The few that I have come to know over the years do not collect welfare or any other government subsidies.  I know a bunch of broke-ass white people collecting money from the government.  I know a lot of white people getting disability and no one says a thing about it, but they all have something to say about these minorities that no one I know seems to know personally.  They claim to have seen them here or there, abusing the system, but I actually know plenty of white people that have abused the system.  I really can’t say for sure that people I don’t know or ever met are scamming the government.  I know it happens, but to my personal knowledge I have only known for sure that some white people I know have done it.
     People also complain about illegal immigrants taking our jobs, but who is giving them these jobs?  Rich white people.  Why? So they can make more profits while offering cheaper products to other white people. 
      I have heard people complain about all the minority drug dealers, and I have met some of those.  Of course, I met them when I was with my white friends while we were buying drugs.  In fact, most of the minority drug dealers I have ever met didn’t do the drugs they sell.  They existed in large part fulfilling a need for illegal drugs created by white people.  So once again from my own personal experience the main reason there seems to be a drug culture in this country is because of white people.
    I have also heard people complain whenever they see that there is going to be a Puerto Rican day parade.  They get all indignant and ask “when is the white people day parade?”  My reply to that is every other parade is white people day parade.  Parades are a very white person thing.  If your races only complaint is that you’re missing out on one parade out of all the other parades thrown all year you should just keep your mouth shut.
      This is another reason I hate white people.  They get mad whenever they see a black guy complaining about inequality or mistreatment; yet all white people seem to do is complain.  They even complain about other people complaining!
     Most of the other problems in my life are caused by people I never meet, but I can directly feel the effects from their actions.  The rich people that control the banks and corporations that in turn control the government and the media that in turn control our day to day life are for the most part white people.  They take my money, poison my food and water and the air that I breathe. 
     Perhaps if I had some more minority friends, or came into contact with them more often I might find reasons to hate them too, but for know I can only comment on what I know, and what I know is this:  white people have bullied and beat me up, broke my heart, simultaneously supported music and culture I hate while trying to censor music and culture I like, shoot innocent people in public places, scam the government for my tax money, support drug dealers, give away our jobs to immigrants, steal my government, steal my money, poison me and the environment around me, and all the time they do this they complain and whine about anything they can think of.  That’s just what I can think of off the top of my head.
     If you really think about it, I bet white people have been directly responsible for almost all the hardships and annoyances in your life.  If there is a minority reading this, I feel pretty safe in saying that they probably feel the same way.
     Oh yeah, and if that’s not enough, white people are also responsible for Honey Boo-Boo.

© David Ferraris 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Letter To A Girlfriend

Dear Angela,

     I know my behavior last night was abhorrent.  I know it was not right to hit on your friends, or your mother for that matter.  It was not right that I injured your cats leg trying to demonstrate the intricacies of dancing “Gangnam Style”.  Nor was it the best decision to then try to dance “Gangnam Style” myself, but to my credit I seem to remember being awesome at it.
     I know you must think that my drinking had something to do with my behavior.  True, we have had issues in the past with drinking … okay, I have had issues with drinking, but you were right there letting me do it.  You could have just as easily taken the drink from my hand and wrestled me to the ground to stop me, but I won’t rehash all that again.  I’m just saying, it’s something you could work on.
     No, I really think something else is at work here, and I think once you hear me out you will realize how wrong you were to yell at me and kick me out of the party following your nephews Christening.  I think it is quite clear what happened to me yesterday and what I fell victim to:
     Demonic possession.
     We have all seen a rise in demonic possession stories in the news, or at least in the subject material in several new movie plots that I have seen the trailers for on TV.  I can’t always tell the difference.  I am quite sure that it is a growing problem.  If not, they wouldn’t be making movies about it, would they?  I have also seen books and TV shows about it and let me tell you, it is not pleasant.  It also would explain a lot of my behavior from yesterday.
     Case in point: the vomiting.  Have you ever seen The Exorcist?  That little girl threw up way more than I did, yet everyone felt bad for her and I got yelled at.  The insensitivity shown me was shocking, but I am prepared to forgive.  It is unfortunate that I threw up on your cat, again while demonstrating aforementioned dance moves, and again on myself while dancing, but I really had no control over that, the demon was in charge.  You might also want to check your kitchen cabinet, the one with the Lazy Susan.  I seem to remember the demon commanding me to vomit in there also.
     Another occurrence from yesterday we can attribute to the demon: the yelling and cursing and loud outbursts in general.  I know I should not have called your grandmother a whore, but again, that girl in The Exorcist said much worse. Besides, where I may have said some off color things about your grandmother (a lovely woman, by the way) that little girl said them about a priest’s mother!  I mean, compared to that telling your grandmother about my penis was nothing. Showing her was probably a bit much, but I’m telling you, the demon had control. 
     I have just realized that there is a chance you have never seen The Exorcist, and if that is the case I really think you should put this letter down and go watch it on Netflix.  It is not really fair to me in the least if you are reading this without first seeing the horrible behavior of the little girl in that movie. Moreover, you will see just how similar my behavior was to someone possessed by a demon.  I have also included on a separate sheet some other movies concerning demonic possession that you could also watch.  You don’t have to watch them, but I think if you seriously want this relationship to work you would be willing to put in the effort.  Once you have watched them, or at least watched The Exorcist, please start reading the letter over again from the beginning.  
     Thinking about it, I think you and your family might owe me a bit of thanks.  In many cases of demonic possession, the possessed person will murder others while under control of the demon.  Apparently I was strong-willed enough to resist the urge to murder most of your family, and yet I am being made to feel like I did something wrong here!  While you may think it was bad behavior to knock over your bookcase and break that lamp while yelling at your aunt, it seems I was in reality quelling the demons urge to murder her and perhaps your entire family and your stupid cat.  Sorry, I didn’t mean to call your cat stupid, Mr. Boots is a fine cat.  I believe that was the demon again.
     I’m not sure why the demon made me hug your father and profess my love for him while crying, but I’m sure there is a demon movie I haven’t seen with a scene like that in it.  Demons seem to be very crafty, so I’m sure it had a reason.  Besides, I’m sure your father was touched by the display, who wouldn’t want to be told they are loved?
     This whole possession thing has given me a new outlook on life.  For instance, apparently most of my frat buddies were also possessed by demons just like I was back in college.  That would explain a lot of our behavior.  I’m sure it was the demons that were responsible for all the homoerotic activity taking place after some of those dorm parties!  That’s certainly a load off of my mind.
     I can assure you that in the future I will try to find help for my affliction, perhaps go to see a priest or hypnotist.  Maybe I can find an old gypsy woman; I notice that they are sometimes involved when demons appear in the movies.  Do you know of any gypsy camps outside of town?  If not, I guess I can check on Google Maps.  I just ask that you stick with me and have some sympathy for what I am going through.  I don’t want to make you feel guilty, but it’s the least you can do after the insensitive way you’ve treated me when I have a condition that’s beyond my control.
     I’m going to go now, for some reason the possession has left me with a splitting headache and feeling nauseous.  I will let you reflect on what I have said here and I’m sure you will feel a little foolish for being mad at me and explain this all to your family. 

John (as far as I know)

© David Ferraris 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

My Very First Bad Choice

     When I was young, perhaps five years old, my friend Timmy and I used to play superhero.  We would tie a towel around our necks like a cape and jump around pretending to fly, like I’m sure most kids did.  Timmy was always Superman, which I have to say right now is pretty lame.  Superman was too invincible, too perfect, too clean cut.  Timmy was also a Yankees fan, which in my mind makes perfect sense.  Superman, like the Yankees, had everything stacked in his favor. He was supposed to win.  Not like Batman, who inhabited a dark world where he was mortal and got hurt when he was punched.  Not like Spiderman, who also had to navigate a morally ambiguous world and deal with teenage angst on top of it.
     Superman.  Wow, what a lame and unimaginative kid Timmy was. 
      So, what dark, intriguing, fringe of society ultra-cool superhero was I? Obviously, I loved Underdog. 
     I mean loved him.  I was an Underdog nut.  For Halloween my mother made me an Underdog costume.  I’m not sure if it was because the simple plastic mask, store bought version wasn’t realistic enough, or perhaps we were too poor to buy one of those rich kid, two dollar costumes.  More likely was that there were no Underdog costumes sold in stores because what kind of a loser kid wanted to be Underdog?  My mother’s home made costume consisted of ear muffs with felt dog ears, a blackened nose, red pajamas and an old bath towel for a cape. I was in heaven!  I felt like an unstoppable, crime fighting, all powerful … cartoon dog.  A cartoon dog voiced by some nebbish comedian named Wally Cox because apparently Woody Allen would have sounded too masculine. 
     I loved him so much that to this day my family will occasionally buy me an Underdog shirt or DVD, or some other Underdog memorabilia to remind me of my childhood obsession.  I would like to take this opportunity right now to tell my family: please stop buying me this crap! I am over the whole Underdog thing, for at least the last 40 years now.
     Honestly, what could I have been thinking?  I might as well have worshipped Bullwinkle as my childhood superhero!  It was a cheaply made show that kind of failed on all levels.  It was not exciting.  It was not clever or funny.  It did not accurately represent life in a teeming, animal populated metropolitan area.  Batman was Bruce Wayne in real life, a dashing millionaire playboy.  Underdog was a “humble and loveable” shoeshine boy.  He didn’t even have a name.  They just called him “shoeshine boy”, and at the risk of sounding racist, you would assume he was black.  Alas, there did not seem to be any minority animals in whatever city Underdog lived in, which made it like most cities on television in the sixties. 
     Underdogs only concern seemed to be to rescue Sweet Polly Purebred, a dog reporter that was obviously a one-percenter, and way out of Shoeshine Boys league.  Superman’s alter ego was Clark Kent, who seemed to be spending much of his time rescuing Lois Lane, but at least he was a reporter along side her, so it made sense that he was always around to help when she got into trouble. Lesson for all you young girls out there: You can aspire to be a gutsy newshound going after the big story, but you had better have a big strong guy waiting to save you when you inevitably get in over your head. You’re welcome!
     Why lowly “Step And Fetch It” Shoeshine Boy happened to be linked to a big time female TV news reporter is beyond me.  Of course, like Lois Lane with Superman, Polly Purebred (really, as a dog could you have a more haughty, snobbish “fuck you I’m rich” name?) seemed to get all weak in the knees for Underdog while treating Shoeshine Boy with disinterest.  Lesson for all you guys out there: Women only like you if you’re a winner, if you aren’t a superhero don’t even try.  In fact, you in turn should ignore all other boring women and only fixate on one unobtainable one!  You’re welcome!
     Worst yet, every story ended with Underdog flying along spouting his motto “not bird nor plane nor even frog, it’s just little old me …” at which point he would crash into a building or a billboard.  Then disheveled and looking foolish he would lamely finish “Underdog.”  Even as Underdog he was as weak and pathetic as he was when he was Shoeshine Boy. 
     The point of the whole history lesson about Underdog (of which I totally remembered and didn’t look up on Wikipedia) is that I couldn’t have picked a worse dog-based cartoon character as my hero.  My proof?  Timmy, the lame, one-dimensional Superman lover would bully and beat me up on a daily basis.  How did I deal with this?  Like my feeble hero, by letting him do it.  There was no real difference between Shoeshine Boy and Underdog, other than the flying and super strength which he gained by taking an “underdog super energy pill”  Lesson for all the kids out there:  Need to be better? Problems in your life? Take drugs!  You’re welcome! 
     Seeing as I had no drugs to make things better, my own personal Simon Bar Sinister (if you don’t know who that is, look it up. I’m tired of doing your homework for you!) would continue to torment me day after day.  I simply did as my hero would do and remained humble and loveable. 
     This bullying went on for a couple of years, but there was one glorious day when I acted like a superhero in my own right.  After complaining to my mother again and again that Timmy had hit me she finally told me to handle it myself and hit him back.  So I marched back outside and handled the situation the way any noble and proud superhero would have.  I came back in the house and informed my mother that I had hit Timmy back and there would be no more problem.  The look of pride in her eyes told me that I had equaled, perhaps even surpassed Underdog in bravery and bested my tormentor with honor on the field of battle.
     At least until Timmy’s mother called to complain that I had beaten him with a Wiffle Ball bat.

© David Ferraris 2012