So yesterday this random kid shows up on our lawn. None of us know him from Adam.
"Do we know you?" My fourteen-year-old finally said.
"I'm the dead boy."
Awkward pause. "Uh . . . okay . . . so what is a dead boy like you doing here?"
So there you have it-- proof that life when you're dead is just as monotonous as life when you're alive.
He's not really dead, by the way. Apparently he got hit by a car last year and lived. His dad also got hit by a car and lived so I think it's genetic.
The dead boy says that when you get hit by a car you either get smarter or dumber. He says his dad got meaner.
Okay, so for your information, (or as they say in virtual reality, FYI) I've finally started reading Mockingjay, and for the record, (or as they say, FTR) if Peeta dies, so help me Gad, I will hunt Suzanne Collins down and personally poke her eyes out.
I'm only on page 8 and before Braden Bell spilled the beans in my comment box I made a prediction. Someone tell me if I'm psychic. I predict that Gale will spend the whole novel with Katniss so we can all get even more conflicted about the love triangle.
Am I right? Huh? Huh? Huh?
That's what I would do if I was a best selling author.
So raise your hand if you want me to become a best selling author. One who writes conflicting love triangle stories full of angst and laced with undertones of political satire.
But would you mind terribly if I swapped the political satire for religious satire?
Now raise your hand if you think Nicole Kidman should play my grandma in the made for tv movie of my first best selling novel.
Fer reals, how pretty was my grandma?
And don't you think Jimmy Stewart should play my grandpa?
Or is Jimmy deceased?
No matter. My grandpa is deceased too.
I need to start at the very beginning of the whole best selling story, don't I?
Ahem . . .
I was born of goodly parents. Goodly and badly, actually, but that's life. You take the goodly with the badly.
My parents were also born of goodly and badly parents. And their parents were born of goodly and badly parents.
And so on and so on and so on.
For me the badliest part of my parents was that my dad was a drug addict. But the goodliest part was that he was the kindest, lovingest, intelligentest, charmingest drug addict in Provo.
The badliest part of his parents was that his mom was a religious fanatic, straight as an arrow, that one, and always standing directly in the path of revelation, which perhaps can be blamed on the shame and pain she felt over the badliest part of her parents, which perhaps can be blamed on lub sweet lub.
Do you get me?
Or is it hard to follow?
It's time to be blunt then, or as Tim O'Brien would say, "It's time to heat up the truth. Make it burn."
Her mom (who is my great grandma) fell in lub in 1923, when she was just 19 years old. The up side of this lub was that he was 24 years old and handsome as helk. The down side was that he was already married.
In hind sight, and restrospectively speaking, the up side of adultery is that it sometimes springs new life. In other words, I wouldn't be here if it weren't for that adultery.
Is that selfish?
Are you cringing right now?
The down side of adultery is that in the early 1900's it was a crime and my great grandfather spent two years in the Utah State Prison paying for it.
Are you cringing now?
I'm not supposed to know all this because it's a secret, but I watched a lot of Get Smart when I was a kid and I can super sleuth as well as the next dummy. I've seen the court documents with my own eyeballs, signed with his own hand.
The exact wording on the subpoena goes a little somethin' somethin' like this:
Willful, unlawful, felonious and carnal adultery.
Cause for pause, ain't it?
My grandma has pretty much wiped him from our family tree so I often refer to him as Voldemort, or he "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named."
But I know things. About him. Like his name.
And other things.
When I went to visit my cute grandma two weeks ago we sat in her bedroom all afternoon talking story and I mustered up the courage to ask her if she ever gets curious about him now that she's older. In the back of my head I was thinking how it might lift her burden to know a few things about him.
Things that I know.
"Oh, no," she said. "I don't want to know anything about him."
To Be Continued: