What is the deciding factor when it comes down to which girl will be attacked or raped or murdered, or which one will get HIV or Hep C? It could be fated, or maybe it's just luck. I started thinking about all this last night when for some reason I felt compelled to research the disappearance of two women from my town. And one thing led to another and before I knew it a small obsession had developed and I spent all night creepily scrolling through faces and stories of the disappeared women from the northeast.
One that has kind of consumed me is the case of a girl named Maura Murray. She's obviously dead since she's been gone since 2004, but it's just weird when nobody has any idea what happened to her. I think that's one of the worst things that can happen to a parent; not just to have your child disappear, but to have no clue what happened, no closure. At least if you know they're dead you can imagine that they may be happy, but if not then you must just have all these images swirling around in your head of them in pain and suffering. Maybe it bothers me so much because I can see a lot of myself in this Maura girl. I can see myself getting pissed off at life or whatever and blasting off alone to some remote place with no plans and a shitty car. I can see getting all fucked up and not caring about what I was doing and walking around at night or something thinking I'm invincible.
I've always kind of told myself, "Well, people don't fuck with me because I give off this vibe of, like, fuck with me and you'll regret it," kind of thing. But how do I know that these girls who are dead didn't do the same thing. I mean you always hear people say that carrying a weapon is not always a good thing, they say, "Watch out, if you carry that, you'll end up having it used on you." 'Live by the gun, die by the gun'. But you never read any stories that report 'Girl Murdered with Her Own Gun'. Is that because the type of girls who carry knives and guns are rare, or simply that we are scum and not worth reporting on? And I've personally only begun carrying weapons in the last few years, and all the really risky shit I did before that, so I can't just say it must be the mace around my neck which keeps the weirdos away.
I guess what bothers me about this girl's disappearance is that she seemed so capable. She was smart, she looked strong, she was from a military family and had gone to military school (so shouldn't she have had some defense training?). It also seems like a really fishy story, there are all these things that kind of make you wonder. Like I don't think she actually disappeared from where they said she did. She supposedly got into a car crash on Rt. 112 in New Hampshire but there are all these discrepancies and no one who witnessed the accident ever actually got close enough to confirm that the girl at the crash was her. Okay, I admit I am prone to believe conspiracy theories from all realms, but if you read all the stories you'll see what I mean. Also, a few years back some guy came forward saying that he thought his brother may have been involved in her disappearance and he produced a knife he claimed was connected, and then you hear nothing else about it. I couldn't find anything about the case from recent years, other than pieces about the family and how the Dad still searches that area for what happened. It's just so creepy.
I used to hitch hike all the time. I used to go all over from Burlington, Vermont to Boston, Mass. hitching rides. Most times though, I had my little dog with me. He's not that little any more and he always looked like a little pit bull, and I'd always have him sit between me and the driver. Most of the time it was cool, and nothing awful ever happened. There were some people who were more odd than others. But why was I so lucky, you hardly ever see little girls hitching rides these days; so I put myself in dangerous situations and was fine and some people just aren't. One guy drove me around in circles for hours, I guess I'm an idiot because I didn't start to get nervous for a really long time. And to this day I think he had planned on something fucked up but changed his mind. I don't know why, just a feeling I got that day. Was it because of my dog, or was it just because I was nice and didn't flip out. I was definitely relieved to get out of the car, even though he dropped me off barely five miles from where he picked me up.
I can just recall all of these situations when I could have encountered a terrible fate, but I was so lucky. I drove back from Montana one summer alone with just my dog, Seneca, in this 1981 baby blue Cutlass with the whole from grill gone. I used a whole case of oil to get back to Ipswich because I was in love with this stupid boy. I slept at rest areas and kept seeing the same girl every night who had a sign in her window, 'Pregnant. Need money to get home. Will trade massage therapy.' I never talked to her, though I'd pass her at least once everyday. I rode a bus to Utah alone when I was seventeen and I had a twelve-hour layover in Denver. I was sleeping on my huge metal-framed backpack and I woke up and this older woman was leaning over me and squeaking at her husband, "Is it a boy or a girl?" I must have had a hood over my head and I was all curled up, but I still think it should have been obvious I was a girl. I've had cops tell me time and time again, "You know they shoot people around here when they look like you", whatever the hell that's supposed to mean. And I've gotten in plenty of fights over drugs and had people threaten me but I never really believed them. Maybe that's the key, the power of positive thinking. You have to tell yourself, "Yeah right, like this joker's gonna do anything". If you get all freaked out you are just setting yourself up for failure. Perhaps murder is like self-esteem, you have to envision yourself the way you want to be: Alive. Sorry if that sounds harsh, I'm obviously joking. But at the same time I suppose I do think there is some credibility in the strength of positive thought.