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a love story, part six

It was a pleasure to burn. - Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

'Cause Sadie moved like water poured
The shapes she shaped had angels floored
She knew her walk turned wind to fire
A wink from Sadie turned brains to mire"
-Tim Seibles, The Ballad of Sadie LaBabe

Sunday, May 07, 2006

a love story, part six

He began:

You don't know me, but I have watched you for eighteen years. I know as much about you as there is to know. I was hired by your father a lifetime ago. He hated that you left. It tore him up and your mother knew. Hell, everyone knew by the way he was always going on. Your mother knew why you left. She didn't blame you. She was proud of you, because you were able to stand up for yourself. And your parents knew about you, watched you through pictures. They watched the successes and failures of your life.

Your father was always on - playing the role of father to his little girl. But you weren't here. It drove your mother mad. She thought your father was delusional, living in a part of your world and you didn't know it.

I know your father hit your mother. I know he hit you. Your father continued to control your mother with force. I will not try to forgive the behaviors of his life now that he is dead. But I thought you needed to know that what happened here was not about your mother finally defending herself for a lifetime of abuse. This was not retaliation. And your mother did not give into the guilt of having killed her husband by reacting with suicide.

I'm your parent's attorney. I live in this town. Everyone, like you, is thinking this is what happened. But there is something else, something no one knew. You didn't know because you missed your father's expressions of both love and hate through the years.

It was a plan. Your parents won an incredible amount of money and killed themselves.

He looked at me at this point carefully. Don't make that face, he seemed to say. I thought that he must really know who I am. What my problems were. Then, he continued:

A carefully constructed plan. Do not feel guilty, this is not what they wanted. Many options were considered, but this one made the most sense to your parents. It was a plan where everyone would win. Everyone would get what they deserved. They killed themselves and left you the inheritance. It was all your father could do to help, given your current financial troubles.

The End.           [part i, ii, iii, iv, v, and vi.]
posted by jessica at 5:06 AM -   1 comments Comments: Post a Comment

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i recommend

The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss. This is one of my absolute favorite stories. Focusing on prejudice, it demonstrates the silliness of segregating people based on categories (race, religion, gender, etc). The story's strength is that it shows just how arbitrary these categories are.

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. In this classic story, a new mother suffering from what we might today call 'post-partum depression,' sinks into a still-deeper depression invisible to her husband, who believes he knows what is best for her. Alone in the yellow-wallpapered nursery of a rented house, she descends into madness.

Lies My Teacher Told Me (1995) - James Loewen

The Covert War Against Rock (2000) - Alex Constantine

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"Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?" He asked. "Begin at the beginning," the King said, very gravely, "and go on till you come to the end: then stop."

"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." "How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."

(both quotes from Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," available in full-text here.)