Ok it's been 6 years and 6 weeks since the murder. I'm mostly back to normal. But with glitches. Charley fell down the other day - slipped on some slopped dish water on the kitchen tile. He's sustained some bruises and for some reason felt that an elastic bandage might help the pain. So he walked over to CVS and bought one. So far so good.
Well, he didn't actually use it, he just left it on the counter. Enter me, early morning groggy, to find an elastic bandage box on the kitchen counter with a picture of an entire leg wrapped up ... like ... a ... mummy.
Suddenly I am transported back 6 years and I'm sitting on a hard pew in a courtroom. This isn't memory, it's a sci-fi flashback. I could feel the hard wood beneath me. To my right and up a few rows is a very sullen Richard James Kasparson. A few minutes from now, there will be a break while the jury deliberates and he will turn an glare at me without blinking for several minutes. Glaring with hate and menace in his eyes as if I am to blame for the fact that he is sitting there, awaiting the verdict of his peers for the charge of murdering my father. I don't blink either. When the jury comes back, several security guards with lots of weapons will enter the room. Two of them will stand near me. The night before Kasparson had bragged that if the jury said he was guilty he was going to "make a break for it." I will feel safe with these burly commandos standing near me.
But right now the prosecutor is doing his summation. "15 minutes. That's how long it took for Charles Repenning to die. 7 minutes of seizures before he became unconscious. I am going to talk to you about that death for 7 minutes so you can understand what the defendant put Mr. Repenning through." And for 7 minutes he gave detail after detail of the my father's horrible death while huge slides flash on a wall of the courtroom. Slides of the murder scene. Slides of the lesions where he was bound with the telephone cord. Slides of the bruises on his neck where someone tried to strangle him. Slides of his body, naked except for boxer shorts and the elastic bandage wrapped over and over and over around his neck and face and mouth and ears and eyes and head.
It was the longest 7 minutes of his life and probably mine.
Six years ago I came home and threw away every elastic bandage I had saved over years of repeated sprained ankles. I knew I was being crazy, but they looked to me like murder weapons. Dangerous things to have in the house. I gave myself permission to throw them away because, I reasoned, I was in shock. I have walked carefully and refrained from high heels ever since so that I do not require another elastic bandage. I haven't really thought about it since. If I had, I probably would have thought that I was "over" that particular phobia. I mean, really. It's been six years. Life goes on until you are murdered. You have to move past the rough spots. Right? Apparently not. Some things have changed about me permanently.
My reaction to that box yesterday was the same as it would have been if I found a rattlesnake in the kitchen. Namely: don't panic, think calmly and protect your family by carefully getting rid of the dangerous thing.
I apologized to Charley and threw it away.
I feel much better, and foolish.