Is it telling or just endearingly morbid that my favorite book is In Cold Blood—that I devour pages of familial massacre and woebegone culprits almost on a yearly, sometimes monthly, basis and that I wonder equally at the inhumanity of the true crime as I do at the poetic insight and meticulousness with which Capote wrote it? Telling of what, I don’t know, but I didn’t realize that revisiting the book, as I have done secretly for years, meant that it was my favorite. Paul, my very best friend, enlightened me on his latest visit when I literally confessed my fascination, that favorite was indeed the word to use. He’s absolutely right, as he so often is. It’s an abused book with dog-earred corners and giving pages. Because I have always been one to spill, the cover rolls up at the bottom right corner having dried in an awkward but most welcoming flit. I struggle with this revelation. I struggle with the fact that the story actually happened, the Clutters were actually murdered in their home; that is certainly a facet of my interest and I fear makes me a looky-loo of the highest and most grotesque order.
And then I rediscover a passage like this:
But neither Dick’s physique nor the inky gallery adorning it made as remarkable an impression as his face, which seemed composed of mismatching parts. It was as though his head had been halved like an apple, then put together a fraction off center. Something of the kind had happened; the imperfectly aligned features were the outcome of a car collision in 1950—an accident that left his long-jawed and narrow face tilted, the left side rather lower than the right, with the result that the lips were slightly aslant, the nose askew, and his eyes not only situated at uneven levels but of uneven size, the left eye being truly serpentine, with a venomous, sickly-blue squint that although it was involuntarily acquired, seemed nevertheless to warn of bitter sediment at the bottom of his nature.
This man is a murderer, but beautifully described by a genius.
I read, and reread, and in my spare time doodle sweaty guys in robes for a laugh.
My oldest brother thinks I’m depressed.
Here’s a drawing of my cat: