By Dinah Lenney
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Extra info for Bigger than Life: A Murder, a Memoir (American Lives)
This, she says before she hangs up, is the kind of thing that happens to somebody else. Poor thing, in her case, somebody else just happens to be her sister. My husband comes home with the children, who disappear into their rooms before I whisper to him what I know, what I don’t. I wait by the phone. My sister calls the next morning to say it’s all over the television. The ;7>, brought in because my father’s car has crossed state lines twice according to the automatic toll taker, and perhaps, too, because my father was a political ﬁgure in the ’s, assigns an agent to interview me on the telephone.
I started to laugh, bit my lip, took the money off the table, and walked it over to the kid, who handed me the hat in return. ” Eliza squealed. ” “Time’s up,” Eddie said, glancing at the clock on the wall of an old shed behind the far pool. He was folding the bill into a square the size of a postage stamp, promising her more rings next week. He held the green square in one ﬁst just out of the water, and I wondered when he would get out of the pool and put it away. His hair was ﬂat on his head, a color somewhere between brown and green, shiny like tinsel from all the chlorine.
He’d been sitting in an overstuffed armchair ten years before, perfectly cheerful, with a drink in one hand, when I, quaking in my shoes, turned down his offer of full-time employment at the restaurant for a summer of nonunion stock. I’d cried as I told him, and he’d laughed at me, actually guffawed, disgusted with my tears. ” Couldn’t help myself, couldn’t keep from baiting him, could have done with a roll of duct tape at that point, no question. ” Now wasn’t this what I wanted all the time?