A man once told me that in order to really see life for what is truly is; you would have to be dead. At first I didn’t believe him given the fact I was ten and had just gotten finished building a sand castle in the backyard of my step fathers’ house. Now that I’m actually dead I am now beginning to see his point. You got me. I’m dead, and believe me this is no joke. I have been dead for twelve years now. Now to tell you this wonderful tale on who I was. If you’re looking for a wonderful story about a boy who lived in a picket fenced house with an older brother and a loving family with a dog named Spot; then you’re sadly in the wrong book. Let me start from the beginning.
My life has been pretty hectic from the start. Let’s start with introductions. My friend Hank told me that these things are very important, but I’ll get to him later. My name is Ronald Peterson. I know such a lame and boring name for a dead guy right? Anyways; I had lived in a small shack with my mother and older brother Steve just outside the comfort zone of New York City from I was born until I turned nine.
That’s when my mother decided to freshen her life up and date this man named Andrew Yeats. Now Andrew was a busy man. According to my mom; he was a lawyer. Anyways I’ll get to that later too. Long story short; about a year later low and behold Mr. Yeats popped the question and the two of them got married. It was a small, but traditional wedding. Eventually the two of them decided to skip the honeymoon and that the entire family should move to his place. Of course my older brother wasn’t too happy about this. In fact after living two months inside the house, he figured that life wasn’t living for if he had to deal with the creep of a step dad Andrew; so he hung himself.
Now me being the scrawny pale skinned boy that was two small to reach the counter, and a heck of a time seeing due to my rigid baggy brown hair that always got in the way of my blue eyes; you can imagine the struggle I put up with when I found my brother hanging from a ceiling fan with a rope around his neck and me trying to get him down before he died.
After the funeral things certainly did change. That’s when I met Hank. Hank was an old man who seemed to be around a lot of places. My mom called Hank my imaginary friend, but for some reason I had this feeling that Hank was real. A lot of times things happen out of the blue and unexpected and there isn’t much explanation for it when it happens. Now that I’m dead I understand why.
You see the dead have a lot of influence on the living. Some whisper ideas and plans into the sleeper’s ears. Others just give things a nudge on certain objects to give inspiration to those who seek it. For me I prefer moving things. You know having people misplace their keys, and come to find out there on the coffee table right next to the wanted adds for jobs are. I love doing that, but for the most part that’s sort of what we do. As spirits we are inclined to motivate people into doing something productive. I’m not saying its right, but everybody needs a push.
Now the way I died seems to me the most stupid thing on Earth. Apparently twelve years had passed and I just got out of college for the summer. Life was going great. I had a few friends, I had a girl friend and I was in a band. We called ourselves the Insanity’s Finest. We rocked the night away at our usual spot. The Tavern. Of course I couldn’t get far without my best friend Razul Sanders. We call him that because he hates the name Jeff.
Anyways basically enough the rest of my crew of misfits are just your emo and Goth people that weren’t appreciated in high school. We were awesome to everybody. That is of course you count the only fourteen people that came to our shows; which were the Goths and the Emos.
One night as were putting away the equipment. I happened to buy a snack. Next thing I knew I was choking to death on a salted peanut. I died before anybody could do anything. Can you believe it! A salted peanut and I wasn’t even allergic to peanuts. What luck.
Now when a man turns a certain age he is supposed to be bestowed with great wisdom from the unlikely source; that never happened with me. In death it seems people just forgot about me, and for some reason people never really knew who I was when I was alive; so I guess I lived a poor life.
Now I’m not going to into inside details on what happened with my miserable life before I died now. As one of my friends Marcy says; “The best part of a story is best told when the details are explainable. In case you don’t know Marcy is another one of my dead friends. I’ll tell you about her later too. For right now I probably need to tell you the details and responsibilities on being dead.
Yeah we have to have responsibility here too. Trust me living was a hell, but the thing is if you actually compare it from being dead for so long; you kind of start wishing you were alive again.
It’s the same routine over and over again. Sometimes you have to repeat your death; which of course happens once a year on the actual date that you died. Of course you have to time it just right on the dot otherwise unnatural things happen to those that were associated with it. You know the weird things that no one can explain, but none the less it creeps them out.
In worse case scenario where the longer you are off on your annual death date; the more bizarre and gruesome the things happen. If you miss altogether then someone dies, but that has never happened.
Sure being dead has its perks. I mean the whole line of heaven and hell is half right. When you die you enter into a hallway where you have to wait to be assigned jobs. Some of us get to be little helpers. Others; well they do the exact opposite. It’s all determined on how well you lived your life. About the whole paradise; well that’s false.
There is no gate where you get judged and sent to either heaven where there is paradise, and there isn’t any hell either. There’s the endless space of solid ground with every dead person on earth. Trust me after a while it gets crowded.
Now for every time we do a good job we get awarded with absolutely nothing. Death as we know it is a bore. Sure we can swap stories on how we lived our lives, but that’s just it.
Now speaking of stories… I have to go to the odd ball club. The Odd Ball Club is just a group of us dead people of have died to weirdest ways possible and swap stories. Tonight it’s my turn to swap a story, and I’m going to tell a good one. Stick around. You’ll learn a lot.