Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Expendable

The wheels roll round and round beneath you. The sun is low on the horizon. You are drinking a soda, one hand on the wheel, and the kids are watching a movie in the backseat.

You look out the window and the wind moves through the grass and there is something else, too. A pronghorn antelope. Standing alone in a field.

You are reminded of a nature show you saw years ago. Another antelope on another continent pursued by a pack of hyenas through a field. The antelope would run and then pause, ears pricked, then cut left and run again. All the while they closed in on her.

The narrator described the scene as it unfolded. His voice was soothing. Somnolent even. She ran and the hyenas ran and it went on like this for a while, until suddenly she stopped. And this is why you have never forgotten. She stood for a moment in a field of golden grass and then she knelt down in the field. Why? The hyenas were right there. The narrator explained that she was disoriented. And you switched the channel then because you had seen all you wanted to see.

* * *

You have been away from home for weeks now, staying with a family. Your safe place. It is not home, but you know you can't go home. At least he won't find you here. That is what you tell yourself.

Three weeks ago the detective said the case would go to the feds in a week. Two weeks, tops, he said. He would call you to let you know it was there. You have been waiting. You are still waiting.

You realize that even this is arbitrary. Once there, the case still has to be processed and charges filed before he will be arrested. Before you will feel safe. But it's something. A marker on a long road.

It almost feels like a vacation, being here, at times you are that relaxed. Sleep ins. Takeaway coffee. The kids all play so well together.

Until the other day they called you into the room to show you the car. It had been idling outside for some minutes, parked just across the street. When the man went to the window to close the blinds, it sped away. But the model and color matched. The out-of-state plates. How could that be a coincidence?

You listen to them describe the car. They are meticulous. They took in everything, down to the spokes on the wheels. You listen and it is like the air has left the room. You feel as if you have been punched.

You make a report, of course. The police take down the information and agree to drive by the house on their rounds. That night you all stay up late and make a plan. You go over every angle. You instruct the children so they know what to do.

The man sleeps downstairs with a loaded shotgun and the woman doesn't sleep at all, one eye always on the children. You lie in bed and stare at the ceiling. You imagine this is someone else's life, because it can't be real. You don't want it to be real.

In the morning you write the detective. You have already called twice and left messages, but there's been no call back, so this time you write. You want to know if the case is at the feds yet. You tell him about the car. You tell him you are afraid to go home.

He calls you back, finally. No, it's not at the feds. He has not even scheduled the meeting. They have been playing phone tag, he says. He says nothing else. There is no mention of the running or the car or your fear. And you can hear your worth echoed back to you in the silence that follows.

Thus it is. And thus it has been. You are an equation that returns a null value.

The next day you prepare to leave again. They ask you to stay but how can you stay? You have become a liability. You consider your options. How many doors have you knocked upon? How many friends have you leaned on?

You are tired. You close your eyes. You begin to think it was not him. It is easier to think it was not him. And in the dull hours of a summer afternoon you make your decision.

You have become so adept at this silent transaction that you can no longer pinpoint the exact moment when it occurs. Safety and the illusion of safety. One slipped under the table in exchange for the other. And why not? The one is more familiar. You slept beside it all those years, quelling the voice so you could rest.

And so you load up the car, you hug them goodbye and they are sorry, so sorry, so sorry. And on the drive you see the antelope in the field, and you remember. You hear the narrator's dispassionate voice as he recounts the hunt. You understand he was never really there, in Botswana or wherever, but rather in a soundbooth on the other side of the world. And when it is all done he will take a sip of coffee and move on to the next reel.

But you know now that he was wrong. The antelope was not disoriented. On the contrary, she saw everything that day with an unmatched clarity. It's just that she was tired. The ground beneath her was soft and cool and she was so very tired.

But it is not a thing to be marked or even grieved. It is not so unusual. It happens every day. Day after day after day. It is simply the way of nature.


31 comments:

  1. I've been following your blog for a little while and I am amazed at your strength. I cannot imagine what you are going through. All I can say is do whatever you need to keep yourself and your kids safe. All I can do is send my thoughts and prayers your way.
    Elissa.

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  2. As I was reading this, I think I actually said this out loud; OMG, he found her!!!
    I hope and pray, that it gets to the Feds soon. So that you can breathe that big sigh of relief, for you and your children. And you can finally get a good nights sleep.
    I have been reading your blog for a while. I just have never commented before.
    But as crappy as the point of this post was, it was so well written. And I truly understand why the antelope laid down.
    Thinking of you and your kids. Stay safe!!
    Erin C from NJ

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  3. Thanks so much, Erin. I praying, too, that the day comes soon. x

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  4. Madmother wrote:

    Is there anything we can do from here? Anything? You have my e-mail, and ph. no.

    Seriously, just ask.

    I am so pissed at the system and the detective. Would he react more if you screamed, begged, cried? What does he want? You to be killed or hurt, your kids broken?
    So very, very wrong!

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  5. Donnameek wrote:

    How can this man not be in jail? What are the cops and the feds waiting for.
    This is terrible and not fair.

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  6. KatieP wrote:

    So beautifully written. And so sad. Sending you love x

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  7. Lady Daa Doo wrote:

    You write so beautifully. It gives me goosebumps. It's unbelievable you have to live like this!! It makes me angry to read the detectives are not doing more and appear so blase! My thoughts are with you.

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  8. Toni wrote:

    Sweetie, VERY CONCERNED. Are you safe?

    xxx

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  9. Steve wrote:

    You are not an antelope, my friend. You are a lioness protecting her cubs and that is a very different force of nature. Thinking of you. Stay strong. Stay smart.

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  10. Photographer Mum wrote:

    I hope you and the kids have found another safe place to stay. I can't possibly imagine the terror you must be feeling. Keep doing what you have to. Hoping the feds get it soon. You can't spend your life running - that isn't fair. You deserve to be safe and to feel safe. Always.

    xxx

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  11. Mum on the Run wrote:

    I don't even have words.
    Just such disappointment, anger, disillusionment...

    Although it;s useless to you - I'm so, so very sorry.
    xxx

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  12. Fiona wrote:

    *hug*

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  13. London City Mum wrote:

    Kristin. Ring the journalist up again. He will make things happen, if merely by threatening to go public with the inefficiencies of the police (again) and the unnecessary danger they are putting you and the kids in.

    Make a lot of noise. Be heard. Don't give up. We are all here for you.
    Lionesses roar - remember that.
    LCM x

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  14. Kirri White wrote:

    Sitting here, not really knowing what to write but wanting you to know that I read and felt your words and like others, I feel sad and a little helpless. Don't ever give up. Have faith and stay safe x

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  15. Roly Clu wrote:

    I'm speechless. Fight back and protect yourself and the kids. Don't give up fighting, make more noise

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  16. Karen at MomAgain@40 wrote:

    Oh, I am full of tears! it is unbelievable! I am so sorry!!

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  17. Jen D. wrote:

    I am sick at heart for you.

    You are still strong. You are still smart. You *can* keep going.

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  18. Cindi Summerlin wrote:

    sending prayers and hugs. stay safe. wish I could offer more... a safe place... a solution... fire under the detective's ass... you are in my thoughts constantly. sending you good voodoo.

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  19. hpretty wrote:

    I have no words Kristin.

    M2Mx

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  20. Mary wrote:

    Twice we had to spend weeks away from our home because of a violent neighbour. I just wanted to reassure you that as a child I saw it as an adventure and felt safe as long as my parents were there. I know this must be absolutely horrific for you and wanted to let you know you are in my thoughts.

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  21. Worth_Waiting_For wrote:

    Oh, my heart goes out to you. I cannot believe things are still so stalled. It's completely unacceptable. I'll spare you the rant I felt bubbling up as I read this post, but please know that I am thinking and praying for you guys. I'll just add that the more the cops continue to neglect your case, the more they are painting a story that I bet the media would love to get their hands on...

    I know you must be exhausted - you have every reason to be completely worn out - emotionally, intellectually, and physically. But it's clear from your blog and the love you possess for your children that you still have a wealth of strength and courage inside you. Continue to dig deep and follow your intuition. You can do this!

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  22. veryboredincatalunya wrote:

    I cannot believe that this is still happening to you. Why? Why? This is just about as disgusting as it gets. What does a man have to do in your neck of the woods to actually get arrested?

    Heart breaking for you, you shouldn't have to be going through this. xx

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  23. Me wrote:

    As I read this the other day I could feel my heart getting tighter and tigher - I couldn't believe that you were having to go through this after all that you have been through. I tried to comment then but was having trouble with my computer. Just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you and hope that you are somewhere safe.
    Love, hugs and positive energy !
    Me

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  24. Sonia@ LIfe Love and Hiccups wrote:

    Kristin I wish my words had more power than what they do and as I read this I realised I really have no words to say that can make anything better for you and I hate that, I hate that you and anyone else is going through this and I have no prwer to make it better, But I am sending so much love and hope that this all stops for you soon. That you can rest and live the life you deserve to live rather than the one clouded in fear. Stay safe hun, xxx

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  25. Middle State wrote:

    We like to think we are above the animal kingdom, that our laws and rules and organized society place us out of harm's way. How disconcerting when we realize laws and civilization only go so far when the predator is hungry and threatened. You, however, have amazing inner strength. You are a survivor and you will continue to be one. I wish you continued strength, wisdom, peace, and I hope very soon, justice and long-lasting sanctuary.

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  26. Kristina wrote:

    I don't even know what to say. I've been reading your updates over the past couple of weeks and for some reason I thought this was a story that had already happened ... I had no idea you were living this in real time. I am so very, very sorry. I don't know what part of the country you're in (did I miss that??) but I'm in the Midwest. I worked at a domestic violence shelter for years and I'm still close to the people there. I can reach out to them, get you shelter, maybe money, lots of support ... whatever you might need. Please let me know.

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  27. Melissa Mitchell wrote:

    I haven't been on for more than a week, I've been sick. Not as sick as I feel at this moment. I felt like the wind had been knocked out of me and I could hear my heart race, blood rushing through my body. I am afraid Kristin. So incredibly afraid right now. I don't know what to say, what to suggest. I want you to leave the country now. I don't care anymore that it might not be 'legal'. I don't care. I want you out. Please. I love you and I know I don't know them but I feel like I love D&A; and I need you to be safe.

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  28. Dorothy @ Singular Insanity wrote:

    I wish we could spirit you away. To safety. The system sucks.

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  29. Kakka wrote:

    Oh my love, I am so sorry that you have been found. I just wish you could fly away, to here. I would send you the money to help, if it was at all possible. But then if you do, he will have the upper hand yet again, and will chase you through the courts. I just can not believe that the police have taken so long, knowing that you and your precious children are in peril. I just wish there was something I could do to help. xxxx

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  30. NewLifeOnTheRoad wrote:

    I am new to your blog so I dont know the full story. But I am sending you lots of good wishes your way. May you all be safe forever xx

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