Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Childhood Memory #5: Helter Skelter

Do you remember when you found out that it was people and not monsters that were the truly scary creatures?

My first inklings were this conversation I overheard at the Fortinis' house. The Fortinis were the 'rich' family on our block. They bought ice cream. The mom stayed home until the kids went off to school. They had a car that was less than 10 years old. They had 1 1/2 baths and an actual den. Their house smelled like the deodorant soap "Irish Spring."

I remember the mother talking with her sister about a murder. Some man had gone into a beauty parlor and made everyone lie down on the ground and then shot him in the head...for no reason.

I don't know how long it was later that I went to Carla's slumber party...First we danced and sang the lyrics to The Sound of Music. However, as it got much later we took down her parents copy of Helter Skelter and read about the Manson family murders.

It's the sort of thing you sit up and think about when you are a kid: Why? Why? You sort of assume there is some reason intelligible to adults but not to you. You think: Were they mad about something? What was it? Would they kill me? Even if they knew I was a really nice person and didn't deserve to die?

I think this is about the time I switched my main fear from vampires to human beings.


Post a Comment

<< Home