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Entry date: 9-8-2023 – Happy Just to Be Alive – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

Later today, Bobby, Michael, and I will be going into the studio to record Christopher Blue’s “Happy Just To Be Alive” and another song, “The Happy Song” by the Peter Sivo band. These are two songs that we would probably never in a million years have thought to record, but our Fervor Records brethren asked us to do them a solid. I think y’all will be pleasantly surprised and/or weirded out by them.

It might be a long day, but Fridays are typically fun at school. The kids have good energy and it’s usually easy to celebrate the hard work we have done all week. I wish I could honestly share that we did good work this week, but it’s been something of a trainwreck.

No matter, though. I’ll keep picking up the carnage and sweeping it under the rug.

Speaking of carnage…


Marcy grabbed the DVD box from where she had stashed it in the pantry. She knew Paul and the kids would be home within a half hour or so, but that wasn’t much time. It had to be done, though.

As she pulled the DVD down from the shelf, she noticed that something was different about the cover. While the front was the same as it has always been, the back was noticeably different. In one of the pictures, she could see Jonathan.

Marcy screamed.

It wasn’t a blood curdling scream, but it was definitely a scream. If Paul and the kids had been a few blocks closer, they would have heard it.

Marcy backpedaled out of the pantry and bumped into the kitchen table hard, but she didn’t realize it. She ran into the living room, thought better of it, and went to her bedroom instead. She fumbled a bit turning the DVD player on and shoved the disc into the player when the tray slowly slid out of the machine.

She was beginning to hyperventilate, but she couldn’t tear her eyes away from the picture of Jonathan on the back of the box. The movie began to play and Marcy knew right away that things were different.

When all the actors were listed during the opening credits, Jonathan’s name was listed at the end like this:

And introducing Jonathan Bieliewski as “The Zombie”

It was time to tell Paul what was going on, she thought. It hit her consciousness like a hot poker being shoved between her eyes. The pain was real. Where grief had been, self-loathing and fear filled her chest like mustard gas. She didn’t know how she was going to say the words she needed to say. It was more likely they would choke her, but even that notion seemed too merciful at the moment.

Marcy grabbed the remote and hit the fast forward button a few times. Her DVD player would move through the scenes at different speeds, so Marcy found one where she could follow the action well enough without missing anything. She scanned the screen for Jonathan.

About the 38-minute mark, she saw him. It took a second for her eyes to adjust to the movie at regular speed, but there he was. She hit the rewind button to see how the scene started.

She looked closely at the screen. An orderly was pushing a body on a gurney in the hospital where much of the movie took place. Something about the orderly was all too familiar. She paused the film, wishing she had that thing Harrison Ford had in Blade Runner where he could blow a still from video up to examine it more closely.

Was that Damon, she wondered?

“Fucking Damon is in the movie, too?” she said aloud.

She hadn’t bet Damon anything. He was just some weird guy who talked to her tits instead of her face. What was doing in Jimmy’s Brain?”


See you tomorrow.

Fun evening on the lake. It was almost cold that night.

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