At a party last Friday, my story about my trip to NYC went off like a bomb. And through the open, dropped jaws of my friends, came the words, “write this down… this is an amazing story….”
I’ve been thinking about how I will do this. The story cannot be published here, it’s far to dangerous to publish. We talked about disguising the story, and then, everyone’s face squints up with horribleness, and we realize, no, this is not an option. The story has elements that make the story, and they are impossible to evade. Nor is it worth the risk to try.
We are referring to my trip on the subway. Of course, we had photos of the faces of everyone involved, which made the whole story even more real.
There was not a single moment throughout the entire ordeal when I was in harm’s way; nor did fear even creep into my thoughts even once. Although looking back, I can see where I should have been terrified just thinking about the way things might have turned out.
I knew, well in advance, at the moment I turned and placed my foot on the first concrete step that whisked me down to the subway exactly what I was getting myself into… I have known for a couple of years now exactly who these men were that I went to visit … and I will just stop there – lest Google starts to connect words and I find that I have put people at risk.
Nothing was illegal… so you put your mind to rest and stop going there with your mind. It was just a story that began unfolding overtime, and it has been “interesting.”
I can remember standing in the kitchen, the very night before my plane left for New York, and I said, “I don’t know about this whole subway visit thing… I mean, I probably just shouldn’t even bother to go… I mean, I’m a really just a ‘mom’ and well… it would be so much less stressful if I didn’t go there.” And one of my sweet son’s looked up at me in disbelief and said, “Mom, yes, you should go. You know, they will be very respectful of you….”
He was right. They all treated me like a princess.
I learned about this dark story one snowy afternoon in November, a few years ago, when I started to do a bit of background research on a specific person I was asked to honor in a memorial speech. The man is honored; practically revered in some circles; yet hated in others.
The information was all there… readily available through Google, which quickly revealed newspaper articles, photos and affidavits. The snow continued to fall, it was about 2:30 in the afternoon, and the boys weren’t home from school yet. All of the boys lived here then. The snow fell, and I kept searching for the truth, to get to the bottom of it, and I then realized no one really knows the truth.
But I met the man who does. I stood with him face to face, brought to him by those who trust me, and him, into his inner circle. This man, shrouded in mystery and years, his gray hair wispy, swirling like an angelic halo around his face. I looked into those blue eyes, and I gripped his hand, and held his arm with my other and said firmly, “I am so honored to meet you.”
He did not smile back. This kind of shook me a little. Usually when someone meets the person who has written about them, they at least smile warmly. If anything, they are a bit surprised by the minutiae revealed in the words that show an introspective insight into areas they assumed slipped by everyone else. That’s what a bit of research will do for you.
However, at day’s end, after I was safely ensconced in my hotel room in Manhattan, I reflected on something odd… At every restaurant that we visited that afternoon, on our whirlwind outing, that man was already there. Not only had he mysteriously arrived before us, but knew where we were going to be before we even left the last place…