Letter From Home “Hardy Boys Investigate ‘My Murder'” 10/12/11

While walking downtown in my hometown last week, I stood in front of the public library.  Though the location was different from when I was a boy, there were doubtless many of the same books stacked on the shelves.  As I was looking around, two very recognizable guys ran up with knowing smirks on their faces.

I reflexively reached out my arm and gave Frank and Joe Hardy a firm handshake.

“I have not heard from you guys since I was in 7th grade–when I think every one of your cases was piled along the bed for night-time reading,” I blurted out in my excitement at seeing the crime-fighting duo after all these years.  “What brings you out to greet me?”

Frank stood with his eyes shaded from the sun while his face took on the look of concern that I knew so well from decades ago.  “Some insidious falsehoods are  being spoken about you and we think that you need to be aware of them.”

My face must have asked all the questions since Joe, as if on cue, offered the information that had compelled them to come out on the street to chat with me.

“Someone is spreading garbage that your better half is going to murder you for the estate money that you are to inherit from your dad.”

“WHAT!” I exclaimed, causing a passerby to stop and look with a turned head at my one word response, given with such a hot burst of emotion.  “That is the craziest thing I have heard, and I have heard plenty.”

“We know, and agree that there is no foundation to this,” Frank offered with almost an apology in his voice for needing to convey such over-the-top news, “but we thought you needed to know.”

“How did you find this out”? I asked.

Almost in tandem, they harmonized, “Sidewalks have ears in small towns”.

“Has anyone ever tried to murder you?” Joe inquired.

“Well in high school, a couple upper classmen thought they could smother me by stuffing me in a locker, but the brainiacs failed to notice the air vents on the locker door,”  I recalled.

With a smile I ventured on about the other possible murder attempt when over-sized goonish types used a dodgeball in high school to aim for my crotch in gym class.

Joe threw his head back in youthful style while laughing and snorted out, “You could have become a monorchid!”

 I chortled.

The sun was setting and there was more of the town that I wanted to explore so I again shook their hands.  “I will make sure this information is passed along to the appropriate person”, I assured them.

“Thanks for the news”, I said with a smile, “but if my partner of eleven years can put up with Dwight Yoakum on the stereo blasting through the house without killing me, I think I am very safe.”

“We know you are” Joe said. “Everyone who knows you two sees a very strong and healthy relationship.”

Without pausing Joe added, “From our experience it seems to us that this is just the reaction of a very jealous person in a loveless relationship with no future who is striking out at someone who is happy and living a fulfilling life.”

“See you on the bookshelves” I said while waving and walking down the street.

As I neared a pile of leaves I kicked them and thought again about those truly crazy people who would be out there spreading vicious lies and rumors about me. 

I was reminded of something a new friend told me recently:  “Any smile you see on those people’s faces is stolen, taken from someone who seemed to them to be happy when inside they themselves are rotting.” 

My friend is so right.

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