Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ghosts and Large Cats

Considering the number of dead people, even if a very tiny percentage were ghosts, you’d think we’d see a lot of the damn things, or at least see regular visitations of those who do exist. Look at it like this; with all the sharks in the oceans around all the world, only a tiny fraction of shark and human encounters results in a bitten human, but less a dead one, but we still know sharks exist. We have photos and videos of sharks. We can pull live ones out of the water and keep them in tanks. We can find shark teeth and on occasion, even get killed by them.
This isn’t definitive proof ghosts do not exist. They may indeed kill people but we just haven’t devised a method of determining the cause of Spectrcide. Yet again, unless they are causing car wrecks, suicides, or fast food sales to go up, the evidence ghosts exists or cause us any harm at all by existing, there seems to be a ghost of a chance they exist at all, but less are in some way malevolent.

Now, all of that said, since I was a child I had always heard there was some large species of cat living in South Georgia that some people called Panthers. You heard the stories from people, but it was always at night, and there was never any evidence, like a dead body, a paw print, or a photograph of the animal. A couple of years ago, in broad daylight, with another witness who was also very sober, we saw one. A big cat, not a ghost, mind you, try to keep up, please.
This isn’t to say we could not possibly be wrong. Well, actually, I’m not sure we could be wrong because the lightning was great, the cat was close, and it had to cross open ground to get out of our range of sight. Cats run like cats. It was not a large dog. Cats look like cats, and I have seen enough cats to know one when I see one. It was a hell of a lot larger than a bobcat, but I wouldn’t say it was the size of a mountain lion but close. It was the size of cat that if you met it in the woods you’d be wishing that second amendment thing was there with you.

I live alone in the middle of the woods in a house where someone died the first night they were in the house. This does not bother me at all. I assume the dead have less use for the house than the living. For that matter, and this is a very touchy subject for a lot of people, I also assume the dead do not require headstones, coffins, crypts, caskets, or for that matter, embalming. The whole idea of cemeteries is skewed. We’ve turned land that might be a park, or a forest, or for that matter, a place for the living to live, into a place where the dead are still dead, some of them for many, many years.
I’m assuming the dead flat don’t give a damn anymore. Maybe they do, but of all the dead people I know, not one of them has ever shown up to express an opinion on death, life, houses, or graveyards. What we should do, if we really want to have a memorial for the dead that matters, is have a forest or a meadow or something like that, and bury the bodies in the ground, nude, and let nature takes Her course. Plant a tree, a fruit tree, an Oak, whatever you’d like to remember your loved one by, but return the body back to the earth, as it was meant to be. But the idea of pumping a dead body full of poison, putting that poisoned corpse into a wooden box, and putting that in a concrete box, and then putting a rock slab over it, is totally insane. It serves no one and it serves no purpose. The idea that the people we love are still there, some part of them haunts or hovers around a poisoned corpse sealed in a box within a box under a slab does nothing but make it harder to accept the idea that someone who is dead, is gone, truly gone, and life has to move forward.
I do not visit graves. I have not set foot into a cemetery, except to look for character names in fiction, for over fifteen years. My father kidnapped me one time to take me to his mother’s grave, and I ask him if he thought she was still there, if he thought for some reason she could still hear him, or feel him, or know that he was there. It hurt his feelings, but at the same time, I didn’t want to be there. He knew better than to take me there because my view on the dead hasn’t changed in a very long time. The idea that someone who is riding in the same car with you is subject to your need to visit a poisoned corpse buried within a box within a box with a slab on top of it as a memorial isn’t right. My grandmother isn’t there, she isn’t watching that spot from some astral plane, or at least she has never given me any reason to believe this is true.
Somewhere in Virginia is a simple, common looking rock, with a name painted on it. It’s the name of a friend of mine who was murdered many years ago, and this is what she wanted. She wanted a very simple, common rock, with her name painted on it, and for her ashes to be let loose to wander the wind in the hills. When I got there I knew why she chose this place, and I knew it was fitting. I have never been back to that place, and I very likely never will return to it.

She isn’t there, and she never was. The only place she still lives is in the hearts of those of us who loved her, and I will never understand why that is never enough for some people.

Take Care,
Mike

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