Sunday, January 9, 2011 4:24:00 PM
A man dies suddenly and becomes a ghost. He walks out from under an overturned truck and feels unharmed, but nobody can see, hear or feel him. He sees relatives bury his disfigured remains in a sealed coffin. He shouts into people's ears that he is alive, but nobody notices. His wife goes to sleep in tears on her usual side of the bed, unaware that her husband's ghost lies next to her, unable to touch her.
Time goes by, and life continues without our hero. His job is taken by a new employee, and the protagonist is shocked to realize that this guy doesn't have half the experience it takes. His belongings goes to the heirs, and they start selling the things he valued so much. His wife paints the walls in the living room a color he would never have picked.
A year has passed. Although a ghost doesn't need to eat or sleep, our hero still goes to his side of the bed every night, eats breakfast together with his silent wife, and spends the days watching his relatives, friends, colleagues. He passes through walls and doors of homes and offices and sees everyone move on, everyone but him. Our hero starts feeling desperate.
That jerk who was hired in his job often gives the wife a lift home. What could she possibly find in him? This so-called “journalist” can't put two words together. One night our hero comes home after a long walk and crashes into the bed without looking, but notices something strange. In a moment, he is terrified to realize that, being incorporeal, he has lain down into the space occupied by the peacefully sleeping semi-literate journalist lying next to his wife!
The protagonist rushes out of the bed, jumps out of the window without breaking the glass, and doesn't get hurt from falling eight stories. He stands on a road in front of a bus, but it goes through him, followed by trucks, cars, motorbikes… He runs down the subway and jumps in front of a train, and, of course, that doesn't hurt him either. In his last desperate attempt, he reaches the crematorium and lies down into a coffin. The flame that melts metal doesn't even make him warmer. He sees no point in moving anywhere and, depleted of all energy, he falls asleep right in the cremation chamber.
He wakes up because someone is shaking his shoulder. It's the first human touch he feels since his death. The stranger is another ghost. It turns out there are many like him, and it's not the first time a desperate one ends his run here, in the crematorium.
The new acquaintance brings our hero to a meeting of the Apparitions Anonymous. Ahead of him are twelve steps of spiritual rehabilitation, and the first step is to admit that you have died and cannot return to life. While walking those steps one by one, the apparitions anonymous learn to forgive, to accept, to let go, and their connection to the material world fades away. Together with them, our hero realizes that life is for the living, and that the dead, instead of clinging to the earthly existence, are to leave this world forever. Having walked the entire way, most stop being ghosts and and leave for eternal piece outside of space and time, but the protagonist decides to stay and become a mentor for other such ghosts as he once was.
По-русски: Общество анонимных привидений