My mouth was dry as cotton and my head hurt like hell. I tried to lift it, and the effort left me shaken and nauseated. I satisfied myself with just shifting my eyes around. I thought of all the books I'd read, all the mysteries. Spencer wouldn't have ended up this way. Neither would Kinsey Milhone. Or Henry O. Or Stephanie Plum, Well, yeah, maybe Stephanie Plum.
Theatres are curious places, magician's trick-boxes where the golden memories of dramtic triumphs linger like nostalgic ghosts, and where the unexplainable, the fantastic, the tragic, the comic and the absurd are routine occurences on and off the stage. Murders, mayhem, politcal intrigue, lucrative business, secret assignations, and of course, dinner.
The desert and the ocean are realms of desolation on the surface. The desert is a place of bones, where the innards are turned out, to desiccate into dust. The ocean is a place of skin, rich outer membranes hiding thick juicy insides, laden with the soup of being. Inside out and outside in. These are worlds of things that implode or explode, and the only catalyst that determines the direction of eco-movement is the balance of water. Both worlds are deceptive, dangerous. Both, seething with hidden life. The only veil that stands between perception of what is underneath the desolate surface is your courage. Dare to breach the surface and sink.
But perhaps there are in us forces other than mind and heart, other even than the senses - mysterious forces which take hold of us in the moments when the others are asleep; and perhaps it was such forces that Melchior had found in the depths of those pale eyes which had looked at him so timidly one evening when he had accosted the girl on the bank of the river, and had sat down beside her in the reeds - without knowing why - and had given her his hand.
Perhaps this is the purpose of detective investigations, real and fictional -- to transform sensation, horror and grief into a puzzle, and then to solve the puzzle, to make it go away. 'The detective story,' observed Raymond Chandler in 1949, 'is a tragedy with a happy ending.' A storybook detective starts by confronting us with a murder and ends by absolving us of it. He clears us of guilt. He relieves us of uncertainty. He removes us from the presence of death.