All posts by alf

Yes sir, the sun revolves around the earth sir

I hate beating a dead horse and I feel like we’ve shown the problem often enough, but here’s one that caught my eye:

Nobel prize winner James Watson stripped of titles after suggesting genes make black people less intelligent

Purged from academia. He spent a decade apologizing for his heretic remarks. No use.

Religious oppression is increasing, and the speed of the increase is increasing as well. That’s oppression by the ruling religion; just as the story goes that Galileo had to apologize for suggesting the earth revolves around the sun, so Watson had to apologize for suggesting genes make black people less intelligent. But in either case, once a heretic, always a heretic. Nassim Taleb at least got the memo.

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Miss Alf returns!

As I was sipping on my pipe in front of a crackling hearth, overthinking the complex problems of life, my girl came close and poured me some tea. She told me she had written another post for my blog and that she hoped I’d publish it. Naturally, I slapped her across the face, for a woman should not speak unless spoken to. But, as I returned to my pipe sipping and complex thinking, I surmised that even for a woman, at select times, self-expression has beneficial effects.

… I kid, I kid! Except for the new miss Alf post, whom we’ll call Mai from now on. It is quite a special post, and she has quite the news to share, news which I was not sure when or how to share, but I think this is as good a time as any.  Take it away Mai…

 

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pregnancy, motherhood and socks

I guess it has been half a year since my last blog, and a lot has changed. First things first, I am pregnant. I hate saying that, but I love being it. It sounds like you have some kind of illness. I think there’s such a negative connotation around pregnancy. People act like if your good life will come to an end and will have to make place for a restrained life with sleepless nights because you cannot even poo without a slamming child on the bathroom door. They say you have to do everything before you have children, like travelling the world and having a career.

When I wander the internet, all articles about pregnancy I come across are most of the time negative and the comments are always the same: ‘Why fuck up your body if you can have cats.’ Those commenters actually believe that a delivery is a case of living and dying and your body will forever be like a deadly, incontinent car accident. They literally compare children to dirt and vermin and will get very angry if a loving mom comments something like: ‘A delivery is not that bad, I love my children even though they can be a burden’. I am not even exaggerating. However, I feel great both physically and mentally (despite the hormonal stuff). I still work-out, my boobs are amazing and I’m fat, but the pretty kind of fat.

I think it’s the beginning of a new chapter, and I want nothing more for my baby to be proud of me. My business is developing, however not yet booming, but it will be by time (my boyfriend says so, and he says he is always right and I can’t disagree because he ís annoyingly often right). At first I found it very hard, but lately I am realizing that I have to persevere to make my business a success for my new family. I want to be successful for them, and that needs a successfully and happy me.

You do not fill a void by having a child, you do not start a new awful life by having a child: I believe it’s just natural. It’s just life. You love somebody, you want to spend the rest of your life with him/her, and you want to have babies. There’s a reason why most women want to have babies, because they are made to have babies.

I mean:

Women have periods. Women have a womb. Womb grows baby.
Women have boobs. Boobs produce milk. Babies love milk.

And it’s not like women only are baby-factories, it’s because it’s fucking beautiful.

I’m not saying being pregnant and having children is all about feeling like you’re on that last tiny bit of ecstasy and like you are exploding of love, but it really sometimes does.

It’s not like I never argue with my boyfriend anymore. I mean, his socks still lie on the ground through the whole house like he’s expecting them to magically disappear in the laundry basket. I’m also not saying it’s not going to be hard and that I am not scared at all. Of course it’s going to be hard. Of course we will have fights and sleepless nights. But what does it matter? I love my boyfriend everyday a bit more and I can’t wait to see him as a daddy to our boy.

Get your shit together team

I didn’t plan on doing this, but I guess I have to.

Have you ever had one of those moments where you’re not exactly sure if your team is on the same page, but the others are like: ‘eeeh don’t worry ’bout it we got this’ and you figure ‘I guess they might got it’ but then it turns out they totally don’t got it? Yeah that happened to me.

Where to start? Let’s start here:

Schermafbeelding 2019-01-13 om 16.59.06.png

Scientism makes an excellent point: we do need theory. Without theory you get a bunch of loudmouths shouting for whatever free stuff they can grab, and lo and  behold, that is exactly what is happening in France. That BAP, of all people, does not get this, for me was one of those facepalm moments.

You NEED theory. Of course, I will meet BAP in that you need the right theory: if you’ve got everybody theorizing, everybody’s going to theorize that their theories are holier than the person next to them and you end up with a load of nonsense, i.e. all of Western philosophy since Nietzsche.

So, you need to attain the right theory from the right guys. Well waddyaknow, we have that theory: it is called Neoreaction, Reaction, the Dark Enlightenment or whatever you want to call it. It’s there, most importantly: it’s done. Well, the most important parts, the parts that we need right now anyway. For an excellent summary, please check Jim’s blog. IT’S ALL THERE.

Way too many guys on the right are re-inventing the wheel: instead of saying ‘hey this guy is pretty good at theorizing, perhaps I should copy his theories and focus on what I’m good at’ they go: ‘hey this guy is getting attention for his theories, I want attention for my theories!’ It is stupid and greedy. If an ally of mine is better at cooking up theories than I am, I say that out loud and I cooperate with him to strengthen his theories instead of stealing his stuff and passing it off as a failed version of my own. THIS IS COOPERATION 101.

If you don’t have the right theory, you’ll find that you have to re-invent your politics everyday, because you have no theory. Consequently, you’ll find entryists and leftists at every corner, sucking up to you, imitating your language and inserting Marxist ideas in your movement. Don’t like Marxist ideas? Well too bad because you refused to listen to the guys who could keep the Marxists out.

Essentially, BAP is saying: ‘a car? I don’t need a car! I prefer über, I like the spontaneity.’ Good luck with quality control: you will, mysteriously yet inevitably find yourself being übered by people who pretend to like you but in actuality hate your guts.

I’m saying you need a car. In fact, I’m saying you need the best car around: a Ferrari? BMW? Lambhorgini? You name it, we’ll have it delivered. We deal in the best cars. So you can focus on the stuff you’re good at, without having to hike a fucking ride every day.

Delegation frees up energy and allows for specialization according to people’s talents. Jim has the best theory: listen to him.

Of course this problem is not confined to just BAP. Very smart intellectuals suffer from the similar problem, where their ego does not allow them to admit that someone else’s ideas are sufficient for our situation, sufficient to fight our enemies and beat them. For instance, when intellectuals debate the future direction of the right, they are amazing at coming up with the most long-winded, beautifully complex ideas. We need border control! Ethnicity! Re-define conservatism! Populism! God-Emperor! Etc etc etc.

If your theory cannot be summarized in 1 word, it is a bad theory, and if that 1 word does not cut reality at the joints, it is an even worse theory because it will be hijacked by entryists. Conservatism, thus, is a dead word, for it has been hijacked by entryists like Ben Shapiro who pretend to espouse it but in fact are controlled opposition. So what we need is a new idea, a new theory that is summarized in 1 word, and that that word cuts reality at the joints. That word is Jim, Jimism, or Jimianity.

This is really not the first time in history that the ideas of one man shaped a society. Perhaps you can think of some examples in the past? Maybe some Jewish guy, some 2000 years ago, perhaps? Maybe dozens of others? The formula works.

If you say you are a Jimian, there is absolutely no mistake on what your ideas are, on what you stand for and what you fight for. It cuts through the crap. It puts a stop to the entire twitter diarrhea, which often boils down to one intellectual saying to the other: ‘I think I am more important than you.’ No, what counts is the best idea, and we already have the best ideas. Get your ass in line, stop reinventing the wheel.

So I guess I also have a bone to pick with Hestia, who stopped linking Jim. I was blinded for liking Nick B Steves, but I’ll rectify that now. See, Hestia’s given reason for not linking Jim is that he is a ‘dangerous man’ and that they would rather not risk getting into trouble for linking him. NO SHIT. You want to topple the deep state, WHAT DID YOU EXPECT? ‘yeah guys we’re writing samizdat, we’re being edgy, but not so edgy that we could lose our jobs!’ Really??

I mean, I get it, I do. Not everyone has to be a hero. But have some goddamn balls. We need heroes, we need those people to be leaders, we need them to set an example for others, to inspire others. If everyone is pussying out, how the hell do you expect to accomplish anything? You are setting yourself up for failure before the fight has even started. Look for people who are not scared to lose their jobs.

Look. I’m not saying put on a white robe and go to Times Square preaching the gospel of Jim. What I’m saying is, stop leaving your flanks open to enemy theory attack. When political theory stuff comes up, ask yourself: ‘what has Jim said on this subject?’ for you may bet he has said something on it and you may bet that it is sufficient to deal with the conversation. What I am saying is: delegate the responsibility of theorycrafting to Jim, so that you can get on with stuff you are good at.

That’s all. I’m not even gonna proofread this one.

Book update — it’s coming!

Short book update: it takes a bit longer than expected…

The book itself is done, from cover to conclusion. BUT, the editing takes longer than expected. I want to sell in pdf, epub and mobi format, each of which requires lots of editing, html code and error fixing. I am now halfway through the epub version. But, it’s coming!

Toxic Masculinity

Just wanted to give this some attention: the American Psychological Association releases guidelines on dealing with Toxic Masculinity in boys and men, of which the main thrust is… Well, as they themselves say:

“The main thrust of the subsequent research is that traditional masculinity—marked by stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression—is, on the whole, harmful.”

This valuable information will be taught to university psychology girls around the West, for which they only need to pay a huge sack of debt. In return our gals get to preach to beta men that their wives left them because they weren’t nice enough, as well as possibly getting fucked by criminal men who laugh at their their clown world theory.

Such a strange world.

Anyway. Time for a joke.

Jordan Peterson, Nicolas Taleb and a male SJW are sitting in bar.

‘Have you heard about this new legislation?’ says the SJW. ‘Toxic Masculinity is now an official disorder.’

‘Yes it’s ridiculous’ responds Jordan Peterson. ‘Absolutely ridiculous. Let boys be boys, I say. That is of course, unless they flirt with women. Flirting is absolutely forbidden because it could be mis-interpreted as sexual assault and every woman’s story of sexual assault should be believed. But otherwise, ridiculous!’

‘Nonsense!’ says Nassim Taleb. ‘The legislation is ridiculous but for completely different reasons. You see, ‘masculinity’ is actually a pseudoscientific swindle which at best only explains 13% of men’s behavior. How can you base policy on something you can’t measure!’

‘You’re both wrong’, says the male SJW. ‘In fact you’re both obviously toxic men and you will be shot by death squad at dawn, as will the teller of this joke, for assuming my gender.’

How to git gud wit men

Alf I ain’t no gay why should I read advice on dealing with men?

Because you need friends. Listen up.

While I used to be of the opinion that I was a lone ranger, a Wolverine, I have come around to the fact that men are a lot more powerful in groups than they are alone. You stand alone, you stand weak, which is exactly why they want you atomized.

We are social creatures.

So, how do you deal with men, e.g. make friends?

Friendships can either be 1-on-1 or in the context of the group. 1-on-1 is rare, in the sense that both friends need to have something exclusive in common that cannot be found outside that friendship. Group dynamics are very healthy in curing weird male ego things. Think of it as social proof: in a 1-on-1 relation the other person is apt to make himself more important than he actually is in relation to you, while in a group he will often be reminded of his actual place in the hierarchy. Therefore, to have a good intimate friendship without group dynamic, both friends must have healthy ego and share a natural connection.

But here my focus is mainly on men in groups, where the greatest power lies. Groups of men get wonderful stuff done that no one else can, like building a civilization or putting a man on the moon or getting VR porn to work. Being part of a group of men can be a very satisfying feeling, a hard to describe, top-of-the-world feeling. Jim sometimes says that we overestimate the power of the government, and with a group of friends it does at times feel like you are your own powerhouse, that the government has no say over you, that your group decides what is just in the world. Such feelings especially arise after you do manly things with your friends such as to building a street fire on New Year’s Eve and drinking a beer around it. Such events raise the testosterone of all the men involved and increase the love of all wives watching. They are functional mini-societies.

So, how to deal with men in groups?

First and foremost, men in group test each other’s strength. As women love to remark, men in groups are one ‘who has the biggest penis’ contest, where biggest penis is a metaphor for… ‘winner’, I guess. Who is the biggest winner. A fluid hierarchy is built from biggest winner to biggest loser, and that’s about it. So, the easiest trick in getting along with men is to be a winner, to build and display strength. People love the strong horse.

It used to be hip to call a group of friends ‘Männerbunds’, but I think I’d rather call it a group of friends. After all, such a group presupposes that only men are in it, since any group of friends which includes women is no group of friends, just a disaster waiting to happen. Therefore, if you want your group of friends to last, put the women in their place. This requires some tact, not in putting women in their place (if you know how to deal with women this is actually the easy part), but in putting white knights in their place. Any group will have white knights. Pick on the biggest white knight in the group, ridicule him for his stupid behavior with women. Such things work great.

Similarly, must ridicule leftist behavior, e.g. the guys who behave like women themselves. Personally I do not believe in pre-emptively throwing leftists out of the group; I think it is unjust and unpractical. Better to let them throw in their own glasses by doing what leftists always do, namely stupid shit that ruins their reputation. Either their reputation will drop to the point where they leave out of own volition, or they drop a healthy few spots in the hierarchy but remain a net positive for the group.

Now, building a group of friends is different from building a corporate career. Many traits that serve your corporate career (ass-licking, dishonesty, disloyalty) will undermine the building of a group of friends, which is more free-flowing, honest… honor-based. In business you win by screwing over the right guy at the right time, in a group of friends you win by being cool. Sometimes they overlap, often they don’t.

Different people have different talents. Some people are leaders, some people are jokers, some people have ideas, some people are connectors, etc etc. Since the rules of power always apply, it tends to be useless to peg people in different categories. Instead, what tends to work is to amass power for yourself and use that to the best of your abilities. Enlightened egotism always works better than any kind of masterplan, since any kind of masterplan is apt to map poorly on reality.

Cooperation is key. People tend to be poor at cooperation, because they are poor at putting themselves in the shoes of other people. I find that what works well is not that I get along amazingly with person B, C and D, but that I can cooperate with all of them. For instance, perhaps person B gets along with person C much better than me, but person B can not get along with person D at all. Then, even if person C likes person B better than me, he sees that I can cooperate with person D, while person B can not, and consequently my status rises. Such situations happen more often than you’d think.

Cooperation also means the ability to make decisions. The ability to make decisions necessitates the ability to follow. This is always a hang-up, because every guy thinks he knows better than every other guy. But again, after initial storming men always settle on a hierarchy and the hierarchy is what allows the group decision-making, is what allows them cooperation. This means that no decision is ever made from weakness; very rarely does the virgin who raises his hand and tepidly says ‘hey guys perhaps we should do this?’ get his idea through. instead the Chad who loudly says ‘hey guys lets do this!’ gets his idea through, and 9 times out of 10 Chad indeed had the better idea.

Goodbye to the giant whose shoulder I stood on

Nick B Steves has put an indefinite end to his infamous This Week in Reaction series.

Now it happens to be a well-kept secret that I have acted as Nick’s minion for TWiR for a while, and by ‘a while’ I mean for about three weeks, tops.

I don’t know how it came about, likely a random comment here and there, but I do remember asking Nick instructions on how to assist him. ‘Here’s a list’ he replied and he sent me this Excel list with, I kid you not, upwards of 200 blog links. ‘Just see whats newsworthy and summarize it’ he helpfully added. I spent an evening plowing through the list; a quarter was defunct, a quarter had not been updated in a year, another quarter was unintelligible and not newsworthy, and the final quarter might be intelligible, might be newsworthy, but damn did it take a lot of time to make that decision. I must’ve spent about 2 hours on sorting links for just one week after I realized I’d only gotten through the first 50 links or so. Nick does this every week?

So, in short, I do not blame Nick in the slightest from taking a break, though I will definitely miss my free promotion. No doubt that the disappearance of TWiR leaves a gap in the spread of anti-establishment propaganda, but what’re you gonna do. Maybe publish a monthly magazine with only cool people writing in it? Say you’d have a roster of guys like Spandrel, Jim, Steve Sailer, Weev and BAP writing for one magazine. Wouldn’t that be cool? Perhaps. Just an idea.

Back to the imitable Nick B Steves: thank you for all the work you put in. All the best.

How to git gud wit women

‘Life’s Game’ will soon be for sale. As I’m putting on the last touches I realize there is still some extra content to write. This is some of that content.

As time goes by, my charisma with women increases. Part is that women like older men, part is me racking up experience with my girl. Then again, plenty of men age with girlfriends, yet their charisma only decreases over time.

Often there’s things outside interacting with women that may increase men’s charisma, like increasing their happiness, strength or testosterone. But, if you want to be a good golfer, your main focus should be to practice golf. So it is with women.

There’s 2 big secrets to gittin gud wit women.

The first is, quite stupidly, to look at women with nonjudgmental eyes. Observe women as they are, not as you think they are. This is the number 1 mistake men make: they have an idealized image of how a women should be and never change this, instead forcing women to fit their image. CRIMESTOP plays an important role in this. For instance, I have long accepted that women purposely misbehave and yearn to be corrected, if need be with open palm. Similarly, I have accepted that women need love from unapologetic men, love for which no permission is asked, which is given without explanation because you sense it makes women happy.

CRIMESTOP prevents men from accepting these simple truths; they will tell themselves all kinds of nonsense such as ‘my girl is not like that’ or ‘only damaged women are like that’, which is opposite from the truth because their girl is like that and they are damaging their girl by wanting her to be someone she is not. Of course, with open eyes truth can always be steadily observed and so we see these men are inevitably rewarded with unhappy women and no sex.

CRIMESTOP indoctrinates men to think it is normal and healthy when their women is away for 50-hour workweeks, just as CRIMESTOP indoctrinates their women to think babies will kill them, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. In order to git gud wit women, must drop the CRIMESTOP filter, must trust your own eyes and learn to see what is in front of you.

Second is passing shit-tests. Wait I had a meme for this…

shit-tests-shit-tests-everywhere
there it is

Women are wired to cause trouble. It’s just what they do. But the beautiful thing is that women cause trouble because they want you to solve it, and indeed will love you if you solve it. They are causing trouble to test you. Hence, shit-tests.

There is no quick guide to mastering shit-tests. Passing them is a matter of open eyes and practice; shit-tests are valuable lessons about life. The best secret I can give about shit-tests is that they are the easiest to pass if you follow the Fight Club rule: only when you are prepared to let everything go, are you free to do anything.

Women are experts in designing shit-tests, as well as in hiding the nature of their shit-tests. Even I am sometimes still surprised by a sneaky shit-test. But, with practice, the majority of shit-tests can easily be recognized.  Markers tend to be:

  • she suddenly changes her opinion (several times)
    • you fail the test if you change your opinion every time she changes hers. Stick to your guns and you will pass.
  • her mood suddenly changes (e.g. she is angry out of nowhere)
    • you fail the test if you try to appease her. Ask yourself: is there a good reason for her mood change, or is she acting like a child? If she is acting like a child, which she is apt to do, tell her so, and you will pass. 
  • she makes a decision she knows is yours to make, not hers
    • you fail the test if you go along and say ‘of course honey’, especially if the decision is different from what you originally wanted to do. If you decide differently, do so and tell her. She will cause a ruckus (women love the occasional fight, give it to them) but stick to your guns and in the end you will pass. 

That kind of stuff. It’s really all around us. It’s of course also the main reason women in the work office tend to be insufferable, for they will set up shit-tests that are impossible to pass: in your house you are the biggest alpha, in the office there is always a bigger alpha she’ll run to. But, in your house you can be the biggest alpha.

Every playa knows the easiest way to seduce a woman is to solicit her shit-tests and pass them. Hence peacocking: attract attention, attract shit-tests. Pass the shit-tests, observe legs opening. It’s a simple, effective formula. That’s why loud and obnoxious guys tend to do well with women: they attract shit-tests.

Of course the shit-testing doesn’t stop after seduction. Your woman will test you ’til death do you apart. I think of it as my girl’s way to keep me sharp.

Carol’s Christmas (final part)

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Then, the house started shaking. Cupboards shook open and plates fell on the floor. The light flickered on and off. Yet Carol knew this was not an ordinary earthquake. In front of her, black smoke appeared intermingled with dancing shadows, and from it, a pale woman stepped out of the shadows, so decrepit and boney she might as well have been a skeleton. Pitch-black eyes gazed upon Amy from above a pointed nose. Carol was taken aback by this ghost’s appearance. ‘Are you… the ghost of Christmas Future?’ she asked.

The ghost merely nodded and extended its hand, comprised of long clawed nails. With some hesitation, Carol took them. Around them smoke and shadows appeared in loud, crackling waves, surrounding them in blackness.

The blackness rolled back and they were sort of standing in the house Carol was supposed to be that evening: her mom’s. But it was not like Carol was physically there; it was like she was watching a dark red movie with twists of smoke erupting from everything on the screen. Perhaps there was something about the uncertainty of the future that made everything so blurred? She could vaguely make out the company at the table: her mom, her sister, Eric, her uncle and his wife… And Carol in the near future, looking as stunning in the cocktail dress as Carol had hoped. She couldn’t make out the conversation, just shreds of it…
… So good to see you, how ARE you?…
….So the intern says: 500 mg of Eplerenone right? So I say: exactly right… If you want to kill him that is!’…
… *laughter*…
… More wine please…
… Isn’t Mason growing up fast!…
… Haven’t you had enough wine?…

Black waves engulfed the scene, then subsided again. They were in their mother’s bathroom. Eric had just flushed the toilet and was clumsily washing his hands. The door opened. Carol entered. She locked the door behind her. A vague sound in the distance: I don’t know if we should… Then, the sound of kissing, moaning. The sound of a zipper. A groan.

Eric appeared in the living room, hands in front of him, red lipstick on his pants. Then, the dinner table with its guests: shocked, in denial. Back to blackness.

Where were they? Must be Amy’s house… She could Eric and Amy… Amy was shouting… ‘how COULD you? With my sister for god’s sake!’… The sound of breaking plates… ‘Honey I don’t know I was drunk it happened so fast I really had no intention to’… ‘NO I’M SURE YOU JUST TRIPPED AND OOPS YOUR DICK FELL IN HER MOUTH FOR FUCK’S SAKE HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO US’…. More breaking plates…

…Amy sitting on the toilet, head in her hands. She is crying. In her right hand lies a pregnancy test. It is positive…

… Eric leaves the house with suitcases. Before entering the cab he turns back one last time… ‘how could you be such an idiot’ he mutters to himself…

Now where was she…? Oh she recognized this place al right; Saint Jude’s Hospital, in her medical office…. Future Carol sits behind her desk. Patients come and go in a blur, years fly by, Carol never leaves. Carol sits, listens, prescribes medication, all with a cold gaze in her face. Years go by in seconds, wrinkles appear in her face, her beauty fades and is replaced with an emotionless stare… Carol is now in a wheelchair. She is now in a nursing home. And next to her stands present time Carol, with red lipstick still on her lips.

And suddenly there was no more smokey red blurriness. Everything was in full color and sharp image; Carol was physically in the nursery home. It was so… Quiet and peaceful. Sunlight shone through the big glass windows. Birds tsjirped. Carol was standing in front of… Herself. Her old self, in a wheelchair. Old, wrinkled Carol. Young Carol hesitatingly dropped to her knees. She waved her hand in front of Old Carol. No sign of response. Then, Old Carol coughed, looked young Carol in the face and with venom in her eyes cracked: ‘whatdo you think you’re doing? Leave me alone you hag!’
– ‘I… I didn’t mean to…’
‘I don’t care what you mean, get lost, whore!’
Shocked, Carol stepped back, but just as she was about to turn around and run she felt a hand on her shoulders. It was a nurse.
‘Don’t worry about it, Ms. Andrews is quite the personality!’
– ‘Ye… Yes, I guess she is.’
‘Don’t fret yourself, it’s nothing personal. She’s like that to everyone.’
– ‘Is she?’
‘Afraid so…’ The nurse’s voice dropped to a hush: ‘life has a way of turning some people bitter and angry. Ms. Andrews is a prime example.’ She smiled. ‘Don’t worry though, we take good care of her! Are you related?’
– ‘Something like that, yeah…’
‘How nice. She hasn’t had a visitor in a long while! Last time was over a year ago, I think it was some patient whose life she’d saved, but he left in a rush after she started shouting at him. Such a shame.’
– ‘Yeah… A shame…’
The nurse observed Carol closely. ‘Well it seems you have a lot on your mind, I’ll leave you alone for now. If you need anything I’ll be at the counter.’
-‘Ok…’

Back came the shadows, eating up the nursery home. They receded to reveal a cemetery. Carol now stood in front of a gravestone. On that gravestone was etched: here lies Carol Andrews. Nothing else. No beloved daughteror beloved sisteror beloved mother.

Why would there? She was none of those. She had only brought pain to those around her.

And as Carol fell to her knees, everything she had been through finally caught up with her: she cried. She cried like a baby, her entire body shaking, until all her carefully applied make-up was irreversibly ruined and she had no more tears left.

Next to her the ghost of Christmas future silently watched. Carol looked up to her and pleaded: ‘I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I want to make things right. Please tell me I can still make things right.’ The ghost said nothing, but extended her hand. Carol took it. The cemetery disappeared. Carol found herself back in her bedroom. No sign of any ghost. On her make-up table lay the lipstick. She picked it up and took a long look at it. Then, she looked at her run-out face in the mirror. She laughed. She laughed louder and heartier than she had in a long time. There is still time to make things right.But I can’t show up looking like this! Carol rushed into the shower cabin.

Amy curiously inspected the pan with poaching pears. ‘Looks good mom!’ Mother lighted up. ‘They do, don’t they? We’re almost ready for the first dish!’
Amy looked around. ‘Yes, once Carol has arrived. It’s nothing like her to be late.’
– ‘Don’t worry, I’m sure she’s just around the corner.’ The bell rang. ‘Ah’, said mother, ‘if you’re talking about the devil…’
Amy opened the door and there was her sister, dressed in jeans and a green Christmas sweater with built-in lights. ‘Oh my god Amy it’s so good to see you’ Carol blurted out, and Amy was given a long hug she had not expected. ‘Yeah it’s good to see you too sis’ she meekly replied.
When Carol entered the living room she was all smiles and warmness. ‘Hey Eric, hello uncle Will, hey mom, heeey little Mason how are you doing big man!’ Amy was very surprised; her sister had never taken an interest in their son but now she was kneeling next to him, playing with him! Amy joined them. ‘… Is everything okay sis?’ she asked.
Carol giggled. ‘yes everything is great actually. I think I realized that my priorities in life have been slightly off… I want to spend more time with the people I love.’ Amy was stunned. ‘… Has… Has something happened at work?’
– ‘Let’s not talk about work. Work is overrated anyway. I work way too much. I’m going to work less. Let’s talk about fun stuff!’
‘Who are you and what have you done with my sister??’ Amy demanded.
Carol laughed. ‘Come here sis, I want to give you a hug’ and she pulled Amy close. As their upper bodies were interlocked, Carol said: ‘I’m sorry sis.’
– ‘sorry for what?’
‘For everything… For not being there for you, for being a bitch… I’m sorry.’
– ‘…’ Amy’s eyes teared up. ‘I don’t know what to say.’
‘It’s okay.’ Carol closed her eyes. It was only after a minute or so that they separated. ‘By the way’ said Carol in a conspiratory tone, ‘I have a feeling Mason won’t be only child for much longer…’
– ‘What?? What makes you think that?’
‘I don’t know… Call it feminine intuition.’ Carol winked.
Their mother’s voice sounded throughout the room: ‘everyone, to the table, first course is served!’ Happily, everyone acquiesced.

And so it was that the family Andrews, for the first time in a very long while, spent Christmas eve together in laughter, joy and love.

The end

Carol’s Christmas (part 2)

Start

As Max was enthusiastically munching away, Carol made a mug of tea and absentmindedly sipped on it. Her thoughts were with that Christmas eve so many years ago. Looking at that evening, so many years later, she had to admit she was being a bit of a bitch, even if she had all the reason in the world. But then again, that was such a long time ago… And besides, whose to say that that ghost wasn’t making her misremember things? Whose to say the ghost was real anyway?? She took a sip of her tea when, suddenly, the cabinet doors started to shake and the kitchen lights flashed. While Max continued eating as if nothing was happening, Carol, terrified, dropped her mug on the floor where it broke into ceramic pieces. In the middle of the kitchen a black hole formed and grew until it turned into a human form: a beautiful blonde woman in a white dress showing only the slightest hint of transparency. And of course, there was the fact that she was floating above the kitchen floor. Carol blinked.
‘I’m sorry my dear’ the apparition said, ‘I didn’t mean to scare you. My predecessor told you I would come, right?’
– ‘… R-right.’
‘Ah good to hear! Shame about the shards on the floor, but you can clean them when we return. I am the ghost of Christmas present. Come dear, we have places to go.’
The ghost of Christmas present took Carol’s hand and suddenly Carol felt light as a feather, in fact she was shocked to find that they were rising up in the air. Her dog did not seem to mind a bit and before Carol could say goodbye to him they flew throughthe ceiling into her (never used) guest room, and again through the roof into the open air. Strangely, Carol did not feel cold.

 Higher and higher they soared and Carol gazed with wonder at the city lights below; how beautiful and small everything was from up here! Even the skyscrapers looked like Lego blocks from up here.
‘Where are you taking me?’ Carol asked.
– ‘You’ll see.’

They soon left the city and followed a road far beneath them, which, lighted up by car headlights, reminded Carol of a yellow writhing snake. She marveled at the scenery, with its green pastures, tiny houses and intertwining roads. Soon enough they lowered altitude to arrive at a village. Lower and lower they went, and as the houses regained their normal size Carol realized their destination: ‘this is where my sister lives!’ she cried.

‘Indeed it is’ the ghost of Christmas Present said. They landed on the front lawn of Amy’s house. ‘Let’s see what your sister is up to, shall we?’ she said as she opened the front door. ‘Don’t worry, they can’t see us.’

Carol entered the living room, which was decorated with lights and garland and evergreen foliage. Next to the gas fueled fireplace stood a beautiful Christmas tree. Carol’s own house had no decorations at all – not that she had the time for such frivolities anyway. Yet she couldn’t help but feel a pang of jealousy at the coziness she saw here. Mason sat in front of the TV, watching some children’s Christmas special. From upstairs she could here muffled voices. They sounded angry. This, Carol wanted to investigate.

 As she walked up the stairs, she distinctly heard Amy’s voice:
‘… and you bet we’ll have to discuss her ‘blooming career’ as a cardiologist for hours on end!’
they were talking about her!
– ‘honey I’m sure it won’t be that bad’ responded Eric.
‘of course it will! It’ll just be hours of her telling stories about this patient she saved and that patient she cared sooo much about. Like she’s an archangel. She does it every year!’ Amy was aggressively sorting the laundry.
– ‘well maybe a bit, but her career is kind of impressive…’
‘And you know what’s the worst about it? I don’t think she even likes her career!’
– ‘well honey I think that’s a bit…’
‘No really! I know my sister. I know when she’s happy and when she’s unhappy. The way she talks about her career, I think she hates it. But she won’t admit it, nooo no. Instead she’ll just talk about it evenmore, like she’s trying to convince herself she really does like what she’s doing. And mom loves having a doctor in the family, so she won’t say anything.’
– ‘Hmmm, I don’t know, we shouldn’t jump to hasty conclusions.’
‘But you know, I could get passed all that’ Amy huffed, ‘I really could, if it weren’t for the fact that every year she so obviously flirts with you.’
Eric turned red. ‘Ho-honey, I don’t know what you’re talking about. She’s just being friendly.’ Amy turned around, her eyes fire: ‘just like she’s been ‘friendly’ with every ex she’s ever been with.’
– ‘Babe you’re overreacting. Really, there’s nothing going on. You’re acting crazy!’
Amy lowered her eyes and shoulders. ‘I dunno. Maybe I am. I just… I want us to be a happy family…’ She walked up to Eric and rested her head on his chest. ‘I just want to love my sister. Why does she have to make things so difficult?’
Erik stroked her hair, overcoming his confusion. ‘Hey hey, I’m sure things will be fine.’
‘OK,’ repeated Amy, ‘I’m sure things will be fine.’

Carol witnessed the exchange in silence, but inside she was screaming. How dareher sister talk about her in that way? How dareAmy suggest that she didn’t like her job? Was her sister thathateful? After all, Amy was only a receptionist while she saved lives. Yeah, that probably was it…
‘But willthings be fine?’ The voice of the ghost of Christmas present shook Carol out of her thoughts. ‘What?’ she stammered.
‘What I just said: will things be fine?’
– ‘Well… Yes… Of course. Although I am disappointed of how jealous she apparently is of my career.’
‘Oh, she’sthe one being jealous? What about her accusation of you flirting with her husband?’
– ‘She’s exaggerating. I’m a natural flirt is all.’
‘I see… Well, we’ll be heading back home. The final ghost will be visiting you soon.’ She took Amy’s hand and soon enough they were flying miles high, back to the city. Amy said nothing.

Back in her own kitchen, Amy absentmindedly swept together the mug shards while Max sniffed the floor besides her. The ghost of Christmas present had disappeared, but her remarks lingered. Was she the one who envied her sister? Who would want to be a receptionist anyway! Or perhaps that wasn’t what the ghost meant… But whatever the ghost did mean, Amy was unable to put it into words. Perhaps… Perhaps her sister was not as lonely than she was. Perhaps there was some truth in that. But a successful career demanded sacrifices, and it wasn’t like those sacrifices were a problem for anyone but her, were they?

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