Review 2007: Home

O. Dear on the Chicago Suburbs

Dear Stacy Peterson,

I never met you. Although, I don't know, I might still have a chance. The problem is, no one knows where you are. I mean, you do. You know where you are. But there are a lot of people wondering about you. How does a young mother go missing? How does someone leave their house and never come back?

I'll be honest, when I first heard about you, I was watching the local news and I didn't think much of it. You were just someone I never met, who had just up and disappeared. Let's be honest, alright? There's no use pussy-footing around here. We have very little in common; we would not have been friends. We wouldn't have been in the same classes in high school, nor the same extended group of friends. I would have said mean things about you being white trash; if there had been a rumor about you and a married man, I would have called you a slut.

When the news trucks started coming off the highway and settling on your quiet suburban street, I was confused. A local mother had gone missing, newsworthy, sure, but what is Fox News doing here? I can practically hear the hum of the generators from my house. Generators powering the trucks, helping spew speculation across the globe. There is a smell in the air from it; the unending stench of a nation so plugged in, so connected, that constant, renewing information is an absolute necessity.

And to chase you, they have come here. They have trampled your neighbors' lawns. To dissect ever moment of your life, every second of your marriage they have clogged the streets with satellite trucks. They are fascinated with you, your last seconds before vanishing off of the end of the Earth. They feign troubled expressions while describing your husband. They want to talk about him, him, him.

And I wonder about you. The things I fished out of the moving river of information disseminated about you doesn't paint a pretty picture. It shows me a little girl who's parents were unreliable caretakers, who grew up to be a rebellious teenager, fooling around with a married man 30 years older. I see dark eye liner and low self-esteem. I see endless days of cashier jobs. I see someone who wasn't ever loved by the people who were suppose to love her, who latched onto a lecherous man because he meant the holiest of holy things: stability. No, no, I'm not insinuating that you were lured. Or that you couldn't think for yourself. I believe that even at 17 you could make decisions for yourself - you'd been apparently doing it for a while. I just don't think you even had a chance to make a good decision. To you, this man, this life you had with him, was a good decision for you and the baby that was swelling your stomach. Your life had been full of houses, this was your chance to have a home.

The newsmen can prattle on and blaze up the snowy Chicago sky with their flood lights. They can theorize and broadcast and theorize and broadcast and Back to you, Tom to infinity. They are missing the point: You were always missing, and now, you're gone.

O. Dear writes To Whom It May Concern.

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Half-Redneck said...

Wow. I read most if not all of O. Dear's letters and all I can say is wow. I wish I could put my thoughts into words as brilliantly as she does.

Ima Wurdibitsch said...

O. Dear,
You have a way of reaching in past the bullshit and pulling out truth. Your insights into yourself, tights (patterned or not), fellow commuters, television shows, and now, Stacy Peterson never fail to move me. The result may be laughter, shared anger/angst, or sadness. Thank you for inspiring in so many ways.