HOW OTHERS SEE US
My husband, our middle son, and I went to see “Deadpool” recently. For those of you who haven’t seen the Ryan Reynolds movie, it’s about a superhero who is gross in the extreme. All the other superheros think so! His language is foul, his methods are crude, and he is anything but noble.
Middle Son said, “Oldest Son told me to watch your face during a scene or two.”
Me: “Why would he think any of this would shock me?”
Middle Son: “Because he hasn’t read your books.”
Oldest was seeing me as a fluffy elderly woman. Because he doesn’t know the beast inside me, apparently.
It’s true I’m a mild-mannered church-going middle-class woman, brought up in a small town by wonderful parents. It’s true I do my best to be polite. It’s true I’ve been married to Hal for 28 years. It’s true I have three children, all adults, and two grandchildren, whom I adore. I also rescue dogs and have favorite charities.
It’s also true that I know a lot about evil. I understand the effects of violence. I have thought about causing death in at least a hundred ways. Like Miss Marple, I am skeptical about peoples’ motivations and secret yearnings. When I hear a story on the news about a recent murder, I am quick to suspect who committed it. Sadly, I’m usually right.
Every mystery writer I know has this dual personality. I have never met another writer who “acts like a murderer,” whatever that might be. But I think we all have a fund of knowledge that most pleasant people do not possess, and that most pleasant people are very content with that state.
What is it about mystery writers that gives them that secret (or not so secret) propensity for the macabre and the terrifying sides of human nature?
I don’t know. But I have to tell you, I LOVED “Deadpool.” So there, Oldest!