Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Jared, the Coca-Cola Truck, and How I May Have Been a Middle-School Catfish. Or a Ghost Summoner.

When I was 13 I developed body odor and an obsession with the Ouija Board. I think in that order and at the same overnight visit to Lauren's house.

Sara, Lauren, and I met in middle school art class and in between drawing circle people and perspective city-scapes, the two of them spent every class, willingly or no, listening to my unverified theories that perhaps all of Def Leppard are deaf and like super Beethovens that are way into cats and either bad spellers or the cool kids that are smart but pretend they can't spell. I also spoke loudly on my conviction that N.W.A. was named after an airline. I'm pretty sure they had some bet going over who could stand my idiot stories the longest without laughing. Maybe there was a Dr. Pepper on the line. Whatever it was, I eventually infiltrated their clique of friends like Ebola, spreading my ignorance and lies to the furthest reach. Miraculously, I was never beaten up. 

The year was 1989 - please don't sue me Taylor Swift, I cannot erase that year of my embarrassment as much as we would both like for me to. We ALL would like for me to, but alas. So, 1989, possibly 1988 but we're not going to squabble because when I start doing the math on my age I begin to sweat and grow even older. It's like that merry-go-round  in Something Wicked This Way Comes, all fun and games until your skin wrinkles and dusts off of your skeleton in a pile of ash and sadness. 

Where was I? Oh, 1989. Sleep-over at Lauren's house. We had just finished watching a rented vhs copy of The Exorcist which even at the time we all knew was a bad idea but none of us wanted to admit it to the others. Or maybe that was my projection of the psychological terror and superb level of uncool little kid that I was feeling because I was scared. And if I'm scared, you all better be equally scared and ready to gossip or we can't be friends. Well, we can still be friends 'cause I like to feel popular, but I swear to god you keep your macabre to yourself because if you decide to "hahah" "tee hee" scare me I will not be the cool, calm, fun-loving Amy character I obsessively try to portray. I will take you down violently and by the crotch if I am able.

What I'm saying is, don't scare me. I have a brand I'm trying to sell. Jesus.

So anyway, we get done watching The Exorcist and decide to dress up in Lauren's new dresses from San Francisco which is the precise moment I realized that I officially needed to start wearing deodorant. I'm convinced it was fear manifesting itself into physical form, like Freddie Krueger shredding up the pits of Lauren's new dress with my onion-like stench. I'm a true friend and said nothing about it. We also decided at this time, because I think a Magic 8 ball told us it was destined, to pull out the Ouija board and talk to dead people. This would not be my last Ouija board experience nor my last attempt to talk to dead people as I just tried last night to convince my neighbors that my ghost hunting app was top notch. It didn't work. It may have also gotten me the coveted classification of Neighborhood Witch. Kids will flee from me for years, my legacy has been written. 


    "Only use two fingers, like lightly put them them on. Actually, they shouldn't even really touch it, just like hover."

    "But it needs our energies to work or something doesn't it? How's it going to work if we're not touching it? We need to touch it."

    "Yeah, like if we didn't need to touch it, it'd be channeling ghosts all the time!"

    "What if it's channeling ghosts right now? I don't think I want to do this. You saw what happened in Exorcist. Even the smoking priest couldn't handle the demons that came from the Ouija board."

    "He smoked. That's what the demons were mad about. The smoking. He was probably faking the whole thing anyway. He was a stunt priest."

    "Can we get on with this? Okay. Two fingers, touching the pointy thing, but lightly. And don't push it. I'll know if you're pushing it."

Will you know though, Lauren and Sara, I thought to myself as I sat oozing B.O. into a dress that wasn't mine. Don't test my will to trickily deceive and story-tell.

Now, to be honest, I probably pushed it but I don't remember doing so. I remember being spooked and engrossed in the story playing out before us letter by letter of a boy named Jared who was killed  - hit by a Coca-Cola truck on his way home from the mall or something equally as teenager and forced into an afterlife of parlor tricks and fortune telling. I still think fondly of Jared.  What's that little ghost dude up to these days? Did he get tired of stinky teenage girls putting words in his planchette? Did he move on to the Magic 8 Ball? Or better, did he find his own Long Island Medium to do his bidding, occasionally having to take fall for an ill-timed fart?

Or are you a truck driver, Jared? Driving up and down a lonely country road waiting for your chance to pick up a hitchhiker to pass on your tales of untimely death? "Just tell 'em Large Marge sent ya"? Only "Large Jared" unless maybe you now do go by Marge, I don't really know, you never call me.

Or do you????

Excuse me, I have a ghost hunting app to update.

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