TRACEY FLAGLER’S HAPPY HOLIDAY
DAVID ARTHUR WALTERS
This is the season to be jolly, but I am sad at present, and I look forward to saying good riddance to this two thousand and seventh year of the Common Era, or, if you prefer, the same year of the Lord Jesus Christ. Of course this year had its good side: there is no evil unattended by some good, and vice versa. The Dualists say Good shall overcome Evil in the end, and then and only then shall there be one god, an entirely good god at that, but until then we shall have them both. I am thankful for a goodly number of reasons, which I am in no mood to presently enumerate, and may the New Year be a happier one for us all. But for now I am sorrowful.
I have just received word that Nathan, scheduled to be home for Christmas, was killed in Iraq. His grieving grandfather, a minister and a missionary, had tried to persuade him not to go to war; but he was an idealistic youth: he wanted to exercise the patriotic ideal handed down to him from high authority; he wanted to “do the right thing” urged by the president of the United States in the name of the unseen father higher than his father, whosoever that unknown all-mighty might be. Of course we support our troops, but I for one envision the devil dangling by the neck at the end of a flag from a pole while his councilors face a firing squad below.
The year did not begin well for my family: my niece’s dad went into the backyard and shot himself to death with a rifle shortly before she turned sweet sixteen, apparently over economic woes. They were close; we could only imagine the sorrow and horror she felt – she did not show it. My aging father, always solicitous for her welfare, was left extraordinarily distraught. He had already suffered from an Orpheus Complex for nearly seventy years: my mother died of polio, shortly after I was born, in her twenty-first year, and since then he often wept over several poems he had composed in commemoration and then frequently rewrote throughout his life, changing a word here and there, but never getting them quite right. He finally joined her shortly after his ninetieth birthday – how such a wide difference in age is resolved in the hereafter no one knows, for sure, except perhaps the psychic who swears that all persons there are thirty years old regardless of their age at time of death.
And then my friend Doc gave me his old, slider cell phone for good luck. I received a call on it a few weeks later, from his new number, but it was not him: it was his son, who informed me that Doc had died. If there is a life similar to this one after death, with money and all that it implies, I shall buy him that cheeseburger, as I had promised to do in order to break his insistence on paying for our greasy meals when we got together. And now the nation’s elders have sacrificed young Nathan’s life, needlessly, in my opinion, if it were not for the need of the young to imitate their elders and prove their mettle. Doc understood all that: he proved himself several times over in Vietnam, and elsewhere on Black Ops; he was a warrior by profession, loyal to his nation and its commander-in-chief, no matter who he might be.
“Woe is me,” is certainly unsuitable in my case. It is not as if my entire family and many friends besides were killed collateral to the struggle for so-called liberty. Again, I have due cause to be thankful for many things, not to mention just being alive in the first place and the chance to rejoice once in awhile as my own end appears over the horizon.
Still I have been morbid as of late, and even the more so since I found the beautiful body of Stacey Flagler, the girl next door, decomposing in her apartment. Her diaries revealed that all she wanted out of life was fun and joy and love, which amounted to the same thing.
“Joy,” she wrote, “is the whole point of life.”
The hodgepodge pop-culture endorsed by her frantic idol Oprah Winfrey had convinced her that the purpose of life is personal joy, that death is really a myth, that good and evil are relative, that even Hitler went to heaven because he thought he was doing the right thing, that there is really no such thing as death, that we are all immortals who choose and discard one body or another and take up yet another at will, so she discarded hers, and I found it rotting in her studio.
Unsurprisingly, she had taken up democratic channeling – everyone can now sit down and hold séances with their ids, alter egos, superegos, and other psychic entities if need be, and become mediums for ghosts, spirits, souls, and gods and the like. I supposed that was all a lot of nonsense; but then again, wishful thinking along with the fact that our culture, hoping for a better life, worships death somewhat more than life, has given me cause to dabble in the occult, and, in this living novel, to dwell at length on the incidentals of the demise of one Stacey Flagler, may she rest in peace if she’s not dancing for joy in paradise.
The pop-culture of today is constituted by warmed-up leftovers of the postmodern dishes we relished in the Sixties. We said yes to the occult long before we just said no to hallucinogenic substances that helped us to get together, get with it, freak out and enjoy the vibes. Our vibes back then are today’s vibrations.
And now the mesmerizing high priestess of the Virtual Church of O has endorsed something called the Law of Attraction. Someone used to refer to the Power of Magnetic Thinking. We don’t need to hold on to an iron rod dipped in water to cure our woes nowadays. We can plug ourselves in to the will-power-source within, direct the current to our internal generators; the amplified flow, oscillating according to our fondest dreams, may create magnetic fields capable of attracting whatever we might want, or at least set up an aura of the right wavelengths to attract money and mates like bugs, if not send some sort of electromagnetic ray to reel in the prey from afar, or perhaps radio-waves emitted by our Diamond Crystal Radio implants might enable us to use the fabled Power of Suggestion on people at a great distance.
But it is difficult to keep up with the amazing progress of science, so analogies drawn from that field to create useful science fiction aids to successful thinking might be exposed as faulty, which would cause people to look like fools and to lose faith, It’s best to keep the scheme and the technical methodology in which one has faith secret, lest the critics, who would naturally resent one’s luxurious lifestyle were it obtained, do everything they can to retard the novitiate’s progress. We used to speak of a person’s magnetic power quite often until someone familiar with magnets pointed out that like does not attract like, as the ancients thought; in fact, as many married couples know very well, opposites attract, wherefore it would seem that praying for wealth might attract poverty.
Maybe it would be best to take vows of poverty in order to be loved by the universe and to therefore gain catholic fame and fortune. We may recall that the wise old Jew in Balzac’s Skin of Chagrin renounced things and pursued philosophy: things flew to him as if he were a magnet; he got what he did not want, namely everything, including an antique store wherein the wild ass’s skin was deposited until the suicidal fool who had given up philosophy took it as a gift.
For all we know, the holes vacated by electrons in the Jewel in the Lotus race around in a direction contrary to that of the electrons, as the electrons vacate and fill hole after hole. And who says that space itself is negative, when we may think of it as positive; the things that fill it negate it, hence are negative. Let it be positively negative if you prefer. The negative has its positive attractions after all, especially in a liberal consumer democracy, where the motto might well be “Find a hole and fill it ad infinitum.” The miserable shall be comforted and the meek shall inherit the earth. We are all bums at the bottom of our being: we should have more faith in Nothing.
My positive might be your negative and vice versa. Debit and credit do not mean minus and plus, but mean right and left; and then there’s the question, to whose right and left? But never mind scientific skepticism; positivism gets sensational results, so let’s be positive and embrace positivism. It is generally accepted that we must be positive to obtain a fortune including an attractive, sexy mate. That’s the ticket to winning friends and influencing people profitably. Think negatively and suffer the consequences accordingly: live in poverty alone or with a broken-down old nag or an abusive, beer-guzzling football fan. I am feeling more positive now that I think of it. Let people be miserable if they want to be, and then maybe someone will come to comfort them, but don’t depend on it in our grasping society, where so many people have only Jesus for a friend.
Yes, I am getting into a better mood at this place in our living novel. I feel like crawling completely out of the disheartening dumps I’ve been in. I’ve turned off the television and have picked up Stacey Flagler’s notebooks. Although she finally negated herself, there is something very positive about the way she felt. If she had kept the faith for another year or so, I believe she might have lived her dream, perhaps even be blessed and graced by the likes of Oprah Winfrey.
“I have faith in the Law of Attraction,” Tracey had written large on a page in a brown spiral notebook, “and I make myself the focus of my energy field. I have a sense of connection to it no matter what or where I am. I need to be a vibrational match to be wealthy and to attract a true mate. I would experience the joy I am seeking if I were involved with someone who is somewhere within my vibrational range. I need to feel good, and know that there is enough security, connection, and stability.
“Getting stuff and mates is not about getting what you deserve. Fame and success is not about talent –it is about the alignment of vibrations. Nothing is about getting anything – it is all about vibration. I shall be a vibrational match to whatever I want, and attract it right to me. I shall pretend that my vibrations attract a wealthy mate and that he matches my vibrations and buys me an amazing home. I shall focus connecting energetically to what I want and receiving it. The more people caught in my web the better, as long as I put myself first.
“Abraham says just get happy and all things will flow into my experience. The universe loves me; the only thing I have to do for the universe is be as happy as I can be: that is the trade and the exchange, I feel swept away into a current because it feels good to connect to the energy stream. It is fun to be in the freaking energy stream! I want the energy connection. Oh, magic is afoot! I feel such excitement about the thoughts I’m thinking! It’s all about my imagination as reality. Imagination is the great launching pad!
“I feel money flowing now. I feel myself being in the top 5% financially. What is it that I love so much about money? I love it for the flow of energy and stuff that it makes possible, for being able to buy things that help to make it the energy flow, to put out great vibrations that attract people who love me. Some man is going to get a great girlfriend who loves sex, who knows how to have fun and focus on the best, on the most excellent things, on sensual and spiritual things.
“I love the name of the book I am writing about this stuff, Intentional Genius. What a marvelous title! I feel my energy flowing in that project. I feel I am on the brink of success! My vibrations will attract wealthy geniuses from all over the universe. And I love doing channeling too, relaxing and lowering my vibrations so my mind can be the medium for Abraham, Immanuel, Seth and the others. I do love my own energy so much, the energy flowing from myself, in pulses that say ‘love, love, love, love.’
There you go. I am feeling cheerful now, so I shall give Stacey’s memory the benefit of the doubt. She might be immortal after all. Happy Holiday, Stacey, wherever you are! We love you! We love you! We love you!