Conversations, excerpts, and edits — The Dead Enjoy Eating, Too — 05: Characters: Felix Gunther

Conversations, excerpts, and edits — The Dead Enjoy Eating, Too — 05: Characters: Felix Gunther

Down the path to nightmares

Felix Gunther

Felix is the most deeply wounded of the three major characters. He is plagued by demons conjured up during and after his abusive upbringing. His father battered Felix’s mother and accused her of having affairs “with every swabby in Yokosuka Navy Base.” His mother is driven to suicide by jumping off Bixby Creek Bridge in Big Sur, California. The nine-year-old Felix watched her fall to her death.

Transfixed as if by a vision, he watched her tapping her hand on the stone surface. With the gracefulness of a ballerina, she climbed over the barrier and stood with her arms spread wide opened, like the wings of angels on the Holy Cards he kept tucked into his catechism. She leaned forward and fell downward and, like Satan, tumbled down, down, down until she became swallowed up in the fiery furnace of Hell.”

Felix falls deeper into psychological hell when he is sexually abused by a Catholic priest.

“Now, lad, you must go to sleep.” Father Joe unraveled Felix’s arms and pushed him back on the bed. He pulled the covers over the boy and kissed him on the lips.
This time Felix thought he felt Father Joe’s tongue push ever so slightly past the lips. A peculiar sensation rose up from his stomach. Love. Oh, God, how he loved Father Joe.

Father Joe explores Felix’s body with probing hands until one evening he brings Felix to a climax. From that moment, Felix begins his descent into madness.

Because his mother was Japanese, Felix moves to Yokohama in a desperate effort to rid himself of the demons, but they remain inside his head. He prays fervently for the soul of his mother. “Where are you, mommy?” “I am with you, Felix.” Father Joe in Felix’s delusional moments torments him. “Your mother is in hell with me!” The thought of his mother’s soul burning in the company of Father Joe for all eternity drives him to exorcise the priest. In a deranged moment of rage, he tosses Father Joe into the fiery furnace of hell. But in doing so, he endangers the lives of Kirk and Cecil.

Woman in the Void
Felix’s Mother in Torment




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