Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Waxing philosophical

For 10 years, one man, along with his brothers, kidnapped and kept captive 3 women in his home. Two of them were girls, really -- 14 and 16. A few days ago, one of them broke free and helped the others get out. The story is making headlines. News accounts say there is a reason why they aren't showing pictures of all 3 women. They were found severely malnourished, but that's probably not the reason why. One unnamed source described the basement where the girls were kept most of the time, tied in "stress positions," dog leashes hanging from the ceiling, chains on the walls. The source said that when Ariel Castro left the house for a longer period of time, he would duct tape the girls' faces, even their eyes, leaving only room for them to breathe. When he would return, he would just rip the duct tape off, taking out skin and hair. Castro would starve them, then eat in front of them, or feed one in front of the others. Apparently one girl was treated slightly better and allowed to live upstairs. Maybe because she became the mother of his 6-year-old girl. The others must have gotten pregnant too. By news accounts, they were kicked repeatedly to induce miscarriages. In this horror story, one thing I wonder: How many times in those long 10 years did those women wish themselves dead? And how do you come back to life after this experience? And then I think about the rest of us women, some so much luckier than others, living our humdrum lives, concerned about kids' schedules, what to wear to work, what to make for dinner. Worrying from paycheck to paycheck. Envying others who are thinner, prettier, better dressed. Working hard towards a goal or drifting through life looking for a goal. Going on holidays. Laughing, talking with family and friends. Living. And I think about our need to believe that we are so much more than animals. But we aren't, we aren't. And I wonder about a god, how so many people need to believe he or she exists, that we are being looked after, unto each life a little rain must fall, all our little tragedies will be overcome, and everything will be okay. Nothing is going to be okay for those three women. And there is no god.