Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Freak accidents...

I am going to be somewhat evasive with this post because it involves someone I know offline.  I don't know this person very well; I'd call her an acquaintance.  I've seen her in person exactly three times and the last time we saw each other was about ten years ago.  We initially met online in 2003 when she commented on some of my writing.  At that time, we lived somewhat close to each other and had the chance to meet in person at a bar along with some other writers.  I initially thought she was funny, charming, and very friendly.  I could see that she was also very popular among others in our group.  For the purposes of this post, I will call my acquaintance Zelda.

From the very beginning, Zelda was extraordinary.  Or, at least she made herself seem extraordinary.  She told me she'd enjoyed a long and prestigious career and claimed she had studied at excellent schools.  At first, I believed her because I didn't know her well.  She is very bright and convincing and probably could have enjoyed a great career had she wanted to pursue it.  And maybe I am wrong when I say that I can't believe she was telling me the truth about her lofty career.  Because once I met her and started reading some of the things she wrote, I started smelling bullshit.  Her claims just didn't ring true to me.  But she remained funny, engaging, personable, and charismatic as well as popular with others.  They all seemed to believe her... or at least acted like they did.

The first night we met, she was positively energetic with extraversion.  Her daughter, at that time maybe about 19 or so, was also there.  Her daughter had the same kind of weird charismatic energy Zelda did.  I have to admit to being a little creeped out when Zelda said my husband was "cute as hell" and fake drooled over him.  Fortunately, he was resistant to her charms.  In fact, he was a bit repelled by them.

Zelda claimed that she'd had cancer for over twenty years and was "kicking its butt", while constantly smoking cigarettes.  She had no teeth and occasionally referred to herself as a "toothless hag".  I had to laugh at that, since the moniker fit.  Over the years, I watched Zelda try to make it as an online writer and/or artist.  Her writing was generally entertaining because she was frequently snarky and funny.  Her art was primitive and not all that inspiring to me, but she had an online "store" anyway.  I don't know how successful that venture was for her, though I do know she was a successful online writer because she had a lot of people reading and commenting.  Even today, though she claims she doesn't write, she holds court online very effectively.

As time went on, I started noticing other signs that perhaps Zelda wasn't who she claimed to be.  When we met in 2003, she had a boyfriend and seemed to be very serious about him.  But then they broke up and she took up with another writer, a man who grew up in the same town I did.  At one point, they were engaged to be married and Zelda had enthusiastically invited people to attend her nuptials.  I noticed she had occasionally started using his last name on the Internet.  Then, maybe a week before they were going to get married, the relationship was suddenly over, the wedding called off, and she was moving.

Less than a year after her breakup, Zelda met and married a European and moved to his country.  She wrote of wanting to renounce her US citizenship.  She posted a lot of political rants about the United States and the United Kingdom.  There was some drama about her being about to be kicked out of her adopted European country over immigration hassles, but somehow that got ironed out.  She claimed that fighting cancer out of pocket drained all her savings, hence another reason she moved to Europe and got married.

I later had the chance to talk to the guy she'd been planning to marry-- the second guy of the three I've known about since Zelda and I met 12 years ago.  I didn't ask too many questions because I didn't want to be rude, but my curiosity was killing me.  I needed to know if my instincts about Zelda were right.  After talking to him, I am convinced they were dead on.  As Zelda's former boyfriend told me a little about the aftermath of their relationship, I said that I thought maybe he'd dodged a bullet.  Ruefully, he said, "Actually, it's more like I got grazed."  She had left him with a big pile of bills to pay.  At the time, I remember being surprised that he knew so little about her and a little relieved that he hadn't married her.

I noticed that Zelda would occasionally get into online flame wars with people who commented on her writing and said they didn't believe some of her more outlandish claims.  I had to admit that I had my doubts as well, but I kept up with her because she was so fascinating to me.  She was very convincing to most other people, but those who disbelieved her were soundly rebuked.  She also made a point of writing very controversial pieces and would become very dismissive, rude, and downright nasty to anyone who was adversarial toward her.  But to everyone else, she was effervescent and witty.  People seemed to love her and no one else smelled a rat... or at least no one else openly said anything about smelling a rat.

For about nine years or so, Zelda has been living in Europe with her husband.  I keep up with her on Facebook.  Based on her posts, she spends a lot of time resting and watching movies because she has some kind of pain disorder.  She would sometimes mention her husband, who apparently traveled a lot.  Not long ago, she posted about wanting to go to Belgium or Switzerland to be legally euthanized because of her pain.  She said finances stopped her from taking the plunge.

The day before my birthday, Zelda posted that she needed help because her husband had been in some sort of accident.  A little later, someone posted that Zelda had gotten some "sad news".  Next thing I hear, her husband has died suddenly.  While I was sorry to hear it, I have to admit that this news arouses my suspicions a bit.  He wasn't an old man and the death is so sudden and completely unexpected.  And Zelda has been on Facebook the whole time, telling people not to try to comfort her with platitudes.  Instead, she has asked for jokes...  and though she claims to be an atheist, there are posts about how her suddenly dead husband is leaving her "signs".  Her tone seems to me to be less of sadness and grief and more of annoyance and inconvenience.  Moreover, over the years I've noticed her enjoyment of money and buying stuff.  

I have to say this.  If Bill suddenly died in a car accident, I doubt I'd be on Facebook.  If I was on Facebook, I would probably be wailing in grief.  At the same time, I understand that people grieve in different ways.  Maybe Facebook is the only way Zelda can reach out in her grief.  Maybe cracking jokes and demanding that people not try to console her with talk of his "being in a better place" is truly what she wants and needs.  And I don't know what her relationship with her husband was really like... but I do know I've been following her for over twelve years and I frequently smell bullshit when it comes to her stories.  And I have to admit this situation is very weird to me and I'm feeling a bit hinky about it.  I have a feeling there's more lying going on.

It will be interesting to see what information comes to light in the coming days.  I feel kind of bad about my suspicions, but I can't deny that I have them.

6 comments:

  1. Do you think there really was a husband? If there was, do you thinknthe circumstances surrounding his death may be suspicious? Did he have assets or a large life insurance policy? This has my interest piques as well.

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    1. I think the husband was real. There are photos and she gets posts from friends and family who know her where she lives. Yesterday, she posted about needing new homes for his dog and their four cats. She has medical issues that prevent her from caring for the animals. She wants to sell the house and move to an apartment closer to the city so she can ride her brand new scooter.

      Today, she also posted about having to buy a coffin even though he's being cremated. Apparently, where she is, you can't keep the ashes. It's very weird. This just happened on Friday.

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  2. Even if you can't keep the ashes, it would seem that a full-scale coffin would be unnecessary. maybe the coffin industry there is in cahoots with ther government. there are other ways to store ashes in facilities without purchasing coffins. i'd be tempted to have hom transported to another state, which might be less constly than buying a coffin, As I hear they're not cheap. Still, she may be trying to fly under the radar and to do anything possible to avoid scrutiny.

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  3. I have an irrational fear of prison. i have bad dreams about being there. I can't watch any movies or programs about it. Even when L & o goes to a prison scene, i have to walk out until it's over. in that multi-episode segment where olivian Benson was incarcerated in attempt to infiltrate a crime ring, i couldn't watch any of it.

    Anyway, one of my major fears is that I'll marry someone and he'll insist that we get life insurance for each other and then he'll die freakishly and I'll be blamed and incarcerated. i'm more worried about being locked up for having killed him than about him killing me, probably because I know he wouldn't kill me and I wouldn't kill him either but I might get collared for it.

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    1. I think prison shows are interesting, but I would never want to be in one.

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