Thanksgiving at my house had a couple of surprise guests.
I was delighted to see my oldest brother because he has been dead for decades. He was killed in a car crash when he was 24 and I was eleven.
We had a wonderful conversation. He asked me what the hell I had been doing all these years. He was a tough guy, a football player, who didn’t mind rough language, so I was comfortable in telling him, Oh, you know, generally fucking up my life.
I was even a little surprised to see my son Will. He was always a loner. He died alone in his room in a halfway house for drug users.
He swallowed enough barbiturates (secobarbital and amobarbital) to kill himself three times over. He wanted to make sure this time.
The first time he tried it he woke up in hospital and after a few days he was transferred to the psych ward and after a while longer to the halfway house.
He appeared to be dealing with the problem. He gave us all that impression, a false sense of security, because he didn’t want anyone to interfere with his plan.
He was determined to leave this life, and that day in his room at the end of the corridor of the halfway house, he swallowed the pills and went spinning off into oblivion. A painless death and a peaceful death. A good way to go.
My other older brother I knew would drop by on Thanksgiving since he died fairly recently. I bought an extra bottle of Jack Daniels for the occasion. He always enjoyed his bourbon, especially at the end when he was dying of cancer.
As for my wife Susan, well, she was already in the house. She has been here for three years, eleven months and three days. She will be here for as long as I am here, which is the reason I try to keep on living, the last man standing and all that crap.
I want to keep her in my mind, remembering all the good times we had. I even remember the bad times to try and wear them out, wear down the guilt and the regrets that haunt me.
I want to remember it all — because it will all end when I die.
GALLERY OF GHOSTS