Complicated Game

– … How do you think her body got in the cornfield?

– Who? Sophie Landry?

– No, my sister.

– You’re asking my opinion?

– Yes.

– For me, she was killed in the car, someone stopped by the side of the road, and they carried the body into the field. Do you agree?

– Yes. I think she was dragged there. For a while I thought someone drove into the field then dumped the body, but now I think they carried the body there. But it’s problematic… that’s a long way to drag a dead body.

– Yes, but someone who is determined could do it…

This is me on my cell phone talking to a police detective in Montreal. It’s mid-afternoon, and I’m standing in line at the post office waiting to mail a package. It’s one of those old post offices. Sound reverberates like Notre Dame Cathedral on a weekday. People are starring. I don’t care. After two years of investigating Theresa’s death I’ve dispensed with any sense of decorum…

This is the only time today I have a chance to talk to this guy, I’m gonna talk about whatever I like. I’m sorry, am I disrupting you while you mail a letter to your sister? I don’t care, my sister’s dead.

And, yes, I do relish in the drama of it all. It’s absurd and addictive and I’m getting my jollies.

I’m beginning to question the pace I’ve set for my life. With the birth of our third daughter our lives (my wife and mine) have gone into hyper-drive. I friend of mine who also recently added a third child to his family explained it this way,

“The thought of cramming anything else into my day is an impossibility. At work I feel guilty. I feel for sure someone is going to call me out as a fraud. I’m hanging on by my fingernails, just barely able to focus on my work.”

Yes, that would describe it.

The other day someone marveled at my energy, “how do you do it?”, they asked. I lied. “Well, as long as I keep my family in focus, everything’s alright.” I think it was Dale Carnegie who said, “there’s always two answers to every question; the one you like to hear yourself give, and the truth.” The truth? I’m barely hanging on. If I take on one more project my wife gonna’ relocate me permanently to the couch.

I’m trying to put things together. If I let up for a moment, the whole machine atrophies. My hair is stuck together in matted clumps, it looks like a squirrel’s nest. I haven’t exercised since Christmas. The car’s in desperate need of an oil change.

I call my wife’s hairdresser – no more Supercuts, I ‘m getting something good. I’m forty, I’ve got to start looking like it. And get those teeth cleaned; they’re starting to seal themselves up. My last appointment is the one I should have made first. I really need to call my doctor.

Tuesday evening. Pancake Tuesday. I haven’t heard that in years. We used to always eat pancakes for dinner on Pancake Tuesday. I think it was one of the rare occasions when my father cooked.

I pick up my kids and we go home to make pancakes. They’re thrilled with the idea.

Pancakes for dinner? Dad, you’re a riot.

I let them make their own batch. The kitchen is a mess. There’s batter all over the counter. It’s the way it should be.


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