Finally, something worth reading

Rand found this in the LA Weekly and told me to read it. It's intriguing, insane, human, and shocking. Journalism at its best.


The Life and Death of Jesse James by Josh Olson

I met Audrey back in the nascent days of the Internet, when we were both on AOL, regular contributors to a message board devoted to screenwriting. I was just starting out as a writer, and might have optioned one or two things for a few hundred bucks (if that), and Audrey was someone who enjoyed the witty banter of writers. Her posts were funny, acerbic, unsentimental and smart, and one of the many things we bonded over was our enormous admiration for author Harlan Ellison.

Eventually, Audrey (one of two people and a dog whose names I’m changing here) and I met in person, and found that the friendship we’d had on the Net translated well to the real world. She and her boyfriend Simon (the other name I’ve changed) became good and regular friends. Simon’s a nice guy — British, and a little distant and shy, but I always liked him. They were good friends to each other, but they made no pretense that it was about love. When they got married, it was more for convenience and legal gain. Simon always seemed like someone to whom love was a sticky joke, something to be avoided. And Audrey always claimed she liked it that way. She’d been through a lot of shit in her life, been married once a long time ago, and was happy with the arrangement. “He doesn’t bore me,” she’d say. “That’s better than love.”

As well as I knew them, I was dead certain about one thing all along — no matter what she said, or how much she stressed what a great arrangement she and Simon had, she was not happy. She loved him, or, at the very least, wanted love from him. She wanted what we all want — someone who doesn’t just understand us and laugh at our shitty jokes, but someone who’ll be there to hold us in the cold, dark nights and help us cope with the indescribable loneliness of finite existence.

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