I just read where the Federal Reserve cut their monthly bond purchases – an alleged indicator of a strengthening economy and I also just read how Intel is cutting jobs due to faltering PC sales. I also had a conversation today with a colleague – a Ph.D. in English who, despite major efforts to find something other than the low-paying, muck-raking adjunct jobs we have in academe – has come up with nada. Likewise is the plight of her Ph.D. in history husband.
Every time I hear the latest stats, I grind my teeth and clench my jaw with angst. I am convinced all the ‘good news’ about the economy is a government plot to goad us all into ceasing all job-hunting activity to make the numbers look good. Just think – if the economy is doing great, all these people are getting jobs, and I’m not, well, what would you do? Crawl off into the sunset and wait for Social Security to kick in, if it lasts that long …
She was my friend and now I am reading a book written about her murder. It is surreal. It is surreal because I knew her. I knew about her frustrations with her professor-husband. I knew about her devotion for her dog, Riley. I knew about her love for all things natural and her fierce commitment to keep what should be wild, wild. I knew her as a fellow anti-corporate zealot. I knew her as my friend.
In a city hardened by the report of ‘just another homicide,’ the clock stopped when Christine’s name was read on the news that night in November, her body dumped in one of my favorite spots, ironically named Devil’s Bathtub, a unique geological formation known as a ‘kettle hole’ formed by by a receding glacier. This unique, natural marvel was also one of her favorite spots.
Christine was murdered and body dumped by her husband whose aim was to kill ‘the pack,’ which besides Christine inclded Riley and himself. He got Christine, he tried to kill and injured Riley, and somehow wimped out on killing himself.
Riley survived. Tim is incarcerated in federal prison. Christine is gone but not forgotten.
The tragedy here is not only Christine’s murder, but what was found to be husband Tim’s psychosis. Chilling is the question this raises: how many people are living with their so-called ‘normal’ husbands, wives, sons, daughters? There is a quote on the back cover of Upside Down that captures the terrifying result of such unknowing:
“Trapped in the stygian depths of his psychosis, Wells saw only one solution…”
Today I am obsessed with a developing story here in my town – about a body found in the backyard of a home in a VERY trendy area. Last night a news bulletin was issued for a “Suspicious Condition” which, understandably, alarmed neighbors as well as other city residents. Today, it was announced the home is owned by a psychiatrist and that the ‘condition’ was the discovery of a body in its backyard. The body has been identified as a young man who has been missing since October.
Let me come out of the closet now and admit to being morbid. I mean VERY morbid. I have been like this for my whole life. I obsess and must find and read every gory detail of every horrific event, but my ‘specialty’ is plane crashes and car wrecks. My family and a few select friends are well-aware of my propensity towards the morbid, but I try to keep this unflattering character flaw under cloak.
Back to the body in the shrink’s backyard. The house is kind of creepy looking and the possibility of additional bodies has also been whispered. Already, the primo local psychiatric hospital has renounced the shrink as having anything but very ‘loose’ connections with their organization. Interesting. So, I am obsessed. As another writer colleague and fellow morbid soul-friend said, she was not going to get much work done today.
Let it be known that I am a writer and here is an interesting fact about my work. I don’t frequently swim in the waters of fiction very often as it intimidates the heck out of me. But mind you, whenever I start to write fiction – (right now I am writing a novel that started out to be Thelma and Louise meets One Flew Over the Cuckoos’ Nest but has quite purposefully morphed into One Flew Over the Cuckoos’Nest meets Dracula), it goes from funny and light to ghostly and supernatural all by itself!
Author of Living Well in Froggy's World of Plenty: Sweet Talk to Read Aloud; A Bisl of This, A Bisl of That: Eating Our Way; and Career Success in 12 Easy Steps: A Journal; and Owner of Shenouda Associates Inc., Provider of Technical, Marketing, and Business Communications