I am currently enjoying the privilege of having a Prius that I can drive my wife and I nine hours to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I am enjoying the company of my extended (in-law) family and the abundance of food that this holiday ushers in. A fireplace, couches, music (played by the actual people in the room.)
I am also contemplating the idea that America is the house from Poltergeist. Built on an ancient Native American burial ground, a sprawling suburb spawned on top of thousands of years of Cherokee, Shawnee, Illini, and Apache graves and without Craig T. Nelson to get us the fuck out when things turn to crazy, supernatural insanity.
We now live in a year when Bill Cosby is a rapist, Bruce Jenner is a woman and Donald Trump is the President Elect. Prince, David Bowie, and Leonard Cohen have shuffled off the mortal coil leaving the rest of us to deal with the Evil Clown, the Killer Tree and the fucking television (now computer) screen that sucks all that is precious into the white noise of static.
Some of this nightmare that has been 2016 is completely our own fault. Like the Freeling family, we weren't there when they built the mostly white communities on top of the pain and horror of genocide and even if we had acknowledged it, it wouldn't have changed a thing. The ghosts of the past could give two shits about our innocence in the face of their unending rage. What they want is revenge. Whether that is their right or simply destruction from an aggrieved sense of justice isn't actually the point.
We are being haunted. We are being punished. The idea of us living with the supernatural beings is folly - there is nothing we can do to repair the sins of our forefathers. What we can do is move forward and do no more harm. What we can do is shake off the guilt of centuries of oppression and man-made horrors and cease the need for these poltergeists and shades.
Today I'm going to call my family in Kansas via FaceTime and tell them I love them and am thankful for them. Today I'm going to spend the day with my extended family and demonstrate gratitude. Today I am going to let my lovely and remarkable wife know how overwhelmingly grateful for her love and continued presence in my life. I will give thanks today for all the things I can be thankful for.
Tomorrow I will stand fast in my determination that the forces of a racist, sexist, xenophobic past are not allowed to create more furious ghosts, hellbent upon our destruction.
Also, clowns are not evil. Just a little creepy but so is the weird psychic lady who helps get the little girl out of the TV.