As I enter phase 3,591 of the Seoul Murder Story, I decided that I needed to capture the heart of the matter—a guide for how the memoir about a mermaid and a murder will unfold—in a few short sentences.
What is it I really want to say about the experience? Why has the conflict that raged in Seoul back then lingered to this day? What is keeping me chained to the story beside the fact my friend’s killer is free? What does being a mermaid have to do with any of this?
I think back to when I was 8 years old, and I snatched a blue ribbon from the judge’s hand while he was comparing what the timers had recorded for the swimmers in each lane. I didn’t have time to wait for him to figure out what I already knew. I had won the race. And I still had more victories to amass that day for my bulletin board at home.
Before bed every night, I stared at my collection of ribbons, medals and trophies, and wonder how many I needed to be happy for more than 20 seconds. I figured it would take 100 swimming awards to make my life on land perfect. Only then, would I feel like a true victor. Besides, Jodi Burchenal had way more than me. Would I ever catch up to her?
Guess what? I wasn’t happier by overcoming Jodi’s collection and reaching 100. I needed more races, more ribbons, more trophies. I became a Florida State Champion. I was part of a national championship team. I was inducted into University of South Florida’s inaugural athletic Hall of Fame. Still not satisfied. I can’t swim anymore, so it’s books that need writing. I will replace each trophy with a story. And there’s one big one that needs to be won.
Now I shall pause from these effects, to be merry merry and not so contrary.