Charlie...a worn and weary man?



Is this the face of a dictator of mass murder? 

Does this old man even know the origins and meanings behind that swastika on his brow? 

Are those tired eyes weeping for a wasted life which has gone on, and on, and on? 

Or when he looks into the lens each year in the prison I.D. office, is he wishing he could just jump the photographer and stab him in the neck with the black Sharpie marker he carries in his breast pocket for those impromptu autograph sessions?

Hard to tell, really.

What's even more difficult to wrap your head around is the fact that it's been almost 40 years since that fateful August 9th and 10th and all of us bystanders had grown old too, from the kids we were, who really feared Charlie's crazy eyes in that LIFE magazine, to the adults we are now, looking into those same dark bottomless pools but now seeing only a worn and weary man, not at the end of his beginning, but at the beginning of his end.

Would the A.P. and other media agencies be so apt to publish Charlie's latest mugshot if those kids of his hadn't done such a good and blood-soaked job up on Cielo Drive? And do we have Sadie to thank for our awareness of Charlie and assume she had a heart of gold because she couldn't keep a secret? 

Gosh, Sadie, Thanks, Man!, for telling it like it was and for allowing us into your body-slashing world, so the rest of us could have nightmares for weeks afterward and run screaming from any window with a cut screen. I'm sure 

Charlie wishes he could thank you in person, too, but in private, with that bayonnet we never found...

If we opened up the coffins of the victims on the 40th anniversary of their deaths, would we see skeletons looking back at us, dressed in their mod outfits of 1969? 

Or would those clothes be wrapped around the mummified remains of Jay, Sharon, Gibby and Steve (Voytek was cremated), their bodies too well preserved to properly decay, from all the chemicals contained in all the Wonder Bread loaves they ate when alive?

If Charlie was right and his likeness is only a reflection of what we want to see in him, then maybe, I'm starting to see the decomposed faces of the TLB victims in it. 

Maybe he is becoming the living dead of Rosemary and Leno and the Cielo crowd with those sagging cheeks and those vacant raven-black eyes. Maybe this is how God punishes the wicked - that you take on the likeness of your victims in their graves before your own death is near.

Can't wait 'til Katie and Sadie end up with those Buck Knife slashes across their cheeks, then! I bet Leslie is starting to suffer from lower back pain with all the stabs she poured into Rosemary's body all these 40 years ago. 

And I bet, as time goes on, Tex will find it more and more difficult to breath through his nose if he ends up being vicariously kicked in the face by his own cowboys boots, like was done with Jay and Voytek.

Yep, this is my theory and I'm sticking to it! It makes me feel better and maybe it makes the victims feel better too...

Rock On Charlie! You look marvelous!!!

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L to R: Charles Manson - Charles "Tex" Watson - Bobby Beausoleil - Bruce Davis - Susan Atkins - Patricia Krenwinkel - Leslie van Houten