The Most Asked Question of MsBurb…
Like, “Whatthehell, MsBurb?! ”; “Are you on dope?! ”; “Were you dropped on your head as a child, per chance? ”…
Yep, loads even…sigh…
But the most often sent my way is “Why?”…”Why write on a topic that just gets you upset, that is so close to home? Why put yourself thought it at all, all over again?”
Have, in the past, avoided answering it properly altogether, or hover in silence as the asker waits…and waits…(and you KNOW, if you KNOW ME, that silence in any arena from MsBurb is a feat in and of itself!)…
I write on murder, or death allot in my career, in one way or another…real, imagined, historical narrative, forensic diatribe, the works.
- North Irish descent…went to my first wake at age three!
- Dad for a cop that came home with shop stories on which, I’m sure, I shouldn’t have eavesdropped!
- Family much older than I, so relatives dropping like flies when I was young, funeral became a hobby, going to as many as three a week sometimes before I was 10!
- The stain of the “Suffering Irish” POV on me, that to live is to suffer, we Irish never feeling quite alive until we feel pain…geez, huh?
- The Writer in me…the over-imaginative, over-emotional, over-obsessive, over-passionate me, the one I believe my Father and Grandfather were at heart but couldn’t express for cultural and practical reasons…way back when.
- And accidentally spending a week, and a specific day on a beach in Santa Barbara, at the age of six, from idyllic sand castle making to horrific news-hour telling, in a span of only hours…
A single, solitary moment in time.
Can really change a person, permanently, for the good, or the bad…can’t it?
When you’re too young to rationally digest what it is your ingesting, your fertile, undeveloped mind makes monsters out of mole hills, makes worse what is already horrific, even to grown minds, and it can sit there, unmolested, gelled into the very fabric of your being, for decades to come…and not it a good way, boys and girls!
So, you grow up, forget, repress, suppress, whatever, and then a spark, something little, can re-ignite that flame, the fear from days long since passed, only now, with an adult’s mind, the fleeting images and experiences come back a hundred fold and refuse to leave, maybe until the grown writer in you now has a chance to take that little girl’s hand and WALK her through every single ounce of those days and those scenes, to say, Hey, see, this is exactly how it was, and nothing MORE…you can go to bed now Little MsBurb, and leave that screen window WIDE OPEN if you want!
The Family were nothing then.
They are still nothing now.
And the dead rest as quietly today as they did when they were first buried…no need to be upset anymore, is there?
So, I’m walking, very slowly because Little MsBurb has shorter legs than me, and we’re going, inch-by-inch through those times and those crime scenes, and we’re seeing, for the very first time, people talking, walking, running, leaving blood, pooling blood, groups doing what they did in the Flower Power era, the innocence and the sudden loss of it, the second-by-second pulse of a benchmark in time, ticking by, slowly, to close, for good, because of one little, hairy dude and his rag-tag band of followers…
August 9, 1969 was really no different to many Americans than November 22, 1963.
I don’t know about you, that even despite the fact that I was only an expectant baby for the following ‘64, I can’t watch yet another re-run, black & white or in colour, of that famous White House limousine turning right on Houston, then left on Elm, without a birdie inside my head screaming,
“Wait! No, Mr. President! Tell them to stop the car! Take Jackie and run!”
Some people, oh, no, wait a sec, ME, just want bad things NOT to happen…again, or ever, so I re-watch, re-listen, re-hope, over and over again, that if I make short work of knowing something inside and out, I can arrogantly make Time stand still and stop an era from disappearing in an instant with the report of just one bullet or the thrashing of just one knife.
Yeah, I know, TIME TO GROW UP LITTLE MSBURB!!!
She’s 46 already…it just ain’t gonna happen…
So, I re-examine and re-evaluate and re-assess and re-calculate, and mix all that imperial, unfeeling data in with a good hunk of unfettered, irrational emotion and I write and write and write and write, and the result is me writing a blog on a subject that DOES keep making me upset…it can not do but anything else, can it?
But, maybe, it’s the thing that I and Little MsBurb just have to do…
Maybe not the best answer to this question but it’s the best I can offer.
Information IS power, right?
Power to see what something really is, versus what you thought it was. Power to put something low-life and seedy in its proper low-life and seedy place. Power, maybe, to ultimately put something that has bothered you for a lifetime, to its final rest.
And, the power to inform others along the way, maybe, IF you’re good enough, and lucky enough for that reward to come your way…
Soooo, if you’re still game to take this walk with me, don’t walk so fast, okay? Little MsBurb has stubby legs and is kinda shy of strangers…(tee hee)!