An American Demon

A Memoir

by Jack Grisham

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781550229561
  • 9781554909568
  • 9781554909506
The most successful serial killers are always the boys next door— gentle children of summer, flashing smiles like soft breezes through a park, sharpened knives wrapped in grass-stained Levis. I was akin to these monsters. I was camouflaged and deadly, a viper smiling in the dark. To be a truly great demon you’ve got to be attractive—no one sensible gets taken in by a goon. I was born with summer-blond hair, a soft evening smile, and the sweetly dark taste of defiance slashed across my lips—a scrawny, scuffed up teddy bear with a voice that could string words like lights across a carnival midway. Believable, that’s what I was: a perfect distraction for the careless mark. They never saw me coming. Some of the evil fucks I later ran with were way too ugly to be of any real use. The cops read them like a beacon flashing on a street corner. But not me—the code of the demon, my code, was to fit in, to move from the inside out, to slide into their world, to lodge myself against their love, and then to attack from beneath the skin. When people refer to demons, they invariably claim we come from the underworld. God, I hate that cliché. It makes us sound like we’re all hanging around in a bondage cavern, trying on leather gear and waiting for tricks. And while I do love the smell of leather and I thoroughly enjoy caves, I tortured people for fun, not profit. The concept of a demon coming from underground is pure shit. If you want to know where demons truly come from, I’ll tell you: we’re from right here. We exist in a shadow that lies over your world—a kind of transparency of evil that some demented teacher laid out on an overhead projector. We move around you, through you, in you. We are your fathers, your sisters, your lovers. We are your next-door neighbors. We come and go as we please—although it’s a bit harder to leave when we’ve taken residency in a body. The old Hebrews used to call their angels "Those who stand still," and the name they gave themselves was "Those that walk." If a demon was ever called anything, it was usually prefaced with a very terrified "Oh my God!" I I II think, before we go any further, I should take a moment to clear things up. This is a memoir, not a biography. If you want facts, I suggest you call the local authorities—they’re loaded with trivial information on my human form. If you’re looking for a discography, or yet another failed rocker’s tale, then grab your laptop and pop my name into your search bar—I’ve left a trail of electronic dust from here to Mars. I’m not going to give you those things or comfort you with what you think is the truth. This story isn’t for you—the voyeur feeding on the destruction of a man. This is a story for those that find themselves too far from home, a traveler’s tale of monsters and bad ends. It’s a story for those that think there’s something golden at the end of the road—when there isn’t. I I II stepped onto your world in the Bay Area of San Francisco in 1961, but I didn’t stay there long. I was quickly shuttled down to Long Beach—a working-class town chock-full of blue-collared laborers, retired navy men, hustlers, homosexuals, and squares. My human father was in the military so they’d moved often. He was a junior officer with, at the time, three other children—two boys and a girl. Biologically speaking, I was the sport: a spiritual mutation that crawled out of hell into humanity. I remember the way my father smelled in his khaki clothes: sweat, grease, and the lingering stale mint of a menthol cigarette clinging to his hands. Often his breath carried the strong smell of alcohol and desperation. My father was a worker, one of those cats with that crazy "do anything you can to feed your family" ethic—something, to this day, I still can’t understand. If I was in his shoes, struggling like he did to pay our bills, you want to know what I would’ve done? I would’ve split; I would have headed off to Mexico and left us to fend for ourselves. You know, fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke. I later found out that my father’s dad had run out on him and his siblings. Maybe that’s what influenced his sense of family duty and honor, but if that’s the case, my father took care of us out of resentment, not out of love. It was more like a "fuck you" to his old man, than a "love you" to us. No wonder he was always stressed out. My mother—bless her shaming heart—was another product of a failed marriage. One day I checked the statistics on divorce in the 1930s, and I discovered that people were fifteen times more likely to kill themselves than they were to walk out of a fucked-up marriage. What does that say for my parents? Their moms and dads must have been beating the living fuck out of each other if divorce was a better option than death.

  • ECW Press; May 2011
  • ISBN: 9781554909568
  • Edition: 1
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure ePub format
  • Title: An American Demon
  • Author: Jack Grisham
  • Imprint: ECW Press
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781550229561
  • 9781554909568
  • 9781554909506
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781550229561
  • 9781554909568
  • 9781554909506