Daddy and the Ghost and Other Stories

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How he had a wand.

And then, of course, there was her fascination with Jack Kerouac. Marta took Nico to get take-out Thai one night, and they ran into some neighbors. As if, maybe, he was the father she thought she should have. We had knowns fathers would become an issue eventually. But we had hoped to have the daddy conversation later, once Nico was old enough to understand the difference between yesterday and tomorrow or that an image of a man was not the same as an actual person in the flesh.

But, also, once I was back home and could help Marta explain what it means to not have a father, but have two moms instead. The second, and last, time Jan saw her father was when she was pregnant herself.

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She was fifteen and life had not been easy. But she had a steady boyfriend now, and they were going to go on the road themselves. Jack Kerouac was sitting in a rocking chair watching the Beverly Hillbillies and drinking whiskey when she arrived. He asked if Jan was getting his checks. She said she was, and then he talked to her boyfriend John, as if he might avoid talking to her. He explained the paintings on the wall, the one of underwear hanging out to dry by his friend Stanley Twardowicz, the one of the Pope that Jack had painted himself, and the one of his baby brother Gerard, who had died when he was nine.

Eventually, Jan sat beside her father and held her hand up to his. She told him her mom had said they had the same hands, and she wanted to see if that was true. She goes for the mail and finds a letter from her mom with the check from Jack and, taking it out, she lists the things she will buy with it: That night, Jan fries the fish John caught in the ocean and he squeezes the limes.

They call a midwife, Jan labors most of the day, and just before sunset the baby girl is born. The hoarse voice of the old woman came to me from far away. I lay there insensibly, with no energy to react. Jan looks at her baby girl and sees the Kerouac in her, alongside the Portuguese features of the father.

She strokes the lanugo covering her head and stares at her tiny toes. The midwife had left her in a roasting pan, the only container in the house, and that night boys from the village arrive with a small coffin. The sepulchral hush was shattered as John reluctantly drove down the nails. Then they carried her away.

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Soon after that, Jan goes on the road. She travels to California, then Seattle and Santa Fe. Later she returns to Mexico, and then to Colombia, Peru, and, eventually, Tangiers. She visits Allen Ginsberg in Colorado and her mom in Oregon. In interviews, though, Jan refuses to resent Jack Kerouac.

Sarah Viren Contemplates Parenthood at the Kerouac House Residency

He had books to write, she says, and she understands that. She would be almost twelve years old, probably be as tall as I am. Does it exist anywhere? A fucking veritable GASH—a great slit between the legs lookin more like murder than anything else. I read these things when I was living in his house in Orlando, and I still felt sorry for him sometimes. And, watching him on the screen, we know he never will. Jack Kerouac died at the age of 47 in St. Petersburg, Florida, where he was living with his mom and his third wife, Stella, near broke and almost completely forgotten.

In many of his letters, he is angry at his change in luck and all those he felt had wronged him. One of his last letters before he dies is to his agent, asking about publishers for his latest manuscript and any new royalties payments that might have come in. Jan died a little more than 25 years later, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her kidneys were failing from years of drinking.

This Gamer Says He Found His Father's Ghost in a Game | Time

I think, really, though, she hoped someone would finally recognize her as his daughter, even if he had refused to do so when he was still alive. After the article ran, the musician C. Vrtacek wrote into the Times. Marta was out of town at a conference, so I went by myself. The doctor told me, unconvincingly, that he was sorry to hear about the miscarriage, and then he noted that my mucus was good. The nurse told me the sperm count was good, too, and after that preamble, they inseminated me, and I lay for ten minutes on the gurney in the examination room, hoping that it would take.

Dad Telling Ghost Stories 1/6

The lights were dimmed and I sang to the egg and the sperm, who I had named Franklin, imagining their coupling as a way of trying to will it. That night, as we were reading a book about a girl with two moms, she told me that she wants to be a writer when she grows up. The baby was born that following October, and two months later, I learned that my book had won a prize and would be published the following year.

We named the baby Frida, after Frida Kahlo. My book is called Mine. After the birth, the board members of the Kerouac House sent Frida a present. She asked who Ray Charles was, and I explained, though for a moment, I worried that he would become a new obsession, her next daddy crush.


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The film remains Sidney Poitier 's last directorial effort to date. Elliot Hopper Bill Cosby is a workaholic widower who is about to land the deal of a lifetime at work, which he hopes will win him a promotion and a company car. After he forgets his daughter Diane's birthday, he attempts to make it up to her by promising her she can have his car when he secures the deal at work on the coming Thursday. After being persuaded to give the car to his daughter early, Elliot must hail a taxi from work, which is driven by Satanist Curtis Burch Raynor Scheine , who drives erratically and speeds out of control.

Attempting to get the taxi stopped, Elliot announces that he is Satan and commands him to stop the taxi. Shocked to see his "Evil Master", Burch drives off a bridge and into the river. Elliot emerges from the accident scene, only to learn that he is a ghost when a police officer fails to notice him and a speeding bus goes straight through him.

When he gets home he discovers that his three children can see him, but only in a totally dark room, and they can't hear him. He struggles to tell them what happened when he is whisked away to London by paranormal researcher Sir Edith Ian Bannen , who tells him he is a ghost who has yet to enter the afterlife because "they screwed up"; his soul will not cross over until Thursday.

The pressures of work and family life lead to many comedic events, as Elliot attempts to get a life insurance policy and complete his company's merger, so his family will be provided for once he crosses over. One day, he must choose between staying in an important work meeting and helping his son with a magic trick at school. He eventually decides that his family's happiness is more important and walks out on his furious boss, Mr. Collins Barry Corbin , who later smugly fires him. Dejected, Elliot reveals himself as a ghost to his love interest, Joan Denise Nicholas , whose initial shock soon turns to sympathy.

Edith arrives from London to announce that Elliot is not dead; his spirit jumped out of his body in fright. They also work out that the only previous known case of this happening was Elliot's father. In the excitement to find Elliot's body to reunite his spirit with it, Diane trips on a pair of skates that her little sister Amanda left on the stairs; she falls and is seriously injured.

The family rush her to the hospital where her spirit has also jumped out of her body. As she delightedly flies around, Elliot begs her to re-enter her body; his own has started to "flicker". When he collapses, Diane becomes concerned and races into the intensive-care unit to find her father's body. She helps him into the room and they discover that Burch had swapped wallets with Elliot, meaning Elliot was wrongly identified by the hospital as Burch.

Elliot returns to his body and wakes up; Diane does the same and jumps off the operating table to tell the family what has happened. As the reunited family leave the hospital, Elliot spots a yellow taxi parked outside and Burch behind the wheel. Delighted to see his "Evil Master", Burch returns Elliot's wallet and tells Elliot he will do whatever Elliot commands.