By Lisa Curry
I’m not sure exactly when it started, but at some point in my adolescence, I started developing a strong curiosity for all things macabre.
My first experience with death as I remember it was when my father’s mother passed away. I was seven. Although I didn’t fully grasp the concept, I knew my relationship with my grandmother had come to an end. At the wake, I stretched my tiny little arm up and into the casket to hold onto her cold, lifeless hand. The initial shock of the feeling quickly transformed into a fascination with the reality and finality of death. It was so bizarre for me to think that while the shell of this woman remained, she could not communicate with me.
Within a year of that, the family dog died (more on this another day) and I watched in horror as my new puppy slipped through our fence and ran out into the road where he was immediately flattened like a worthless, diseased squirrel. As I write this, I can still see and hear the incident in all its horror. My dad has always been honest to a fault and along with disclosing the location of my dear friend’s burial, he explained to me that Lucky had to be stuffed into two heavy duty trash bags before being placed into his shallow grave so that other animals wouldn’t be able to smell him and then dig up his tiny body for a late night feast. He also noted that it would be a huge mess, so I didn’t waste any time wondering weather it was to preserve Lucky and his integrity. I was 8, so it was the most appropriate time for me to have all of this information. For months after Lucky’s death, I would go sit next to his grave behind our house, carefully navigating the area so as not to step directly on him and smash him. I wasted away several hours that summer confiding in Lucky and chatting with him as if his little tail were going to poke out of the ground and wag in agreement. Although I had just gotten him, we had become best friends instantly, which would come to be a pattern in my social life that has stuck with me to this day.
Fast forward 10 years through many heartbreaking, unexpected deaths of family members and friends. Fast forward only because I don’t have time to recount them all properly in a blog.
My curiosity of death intensified when I moved to California. Los Angeles is home to some of the most infamous murders and celebrity deaths in United States history. From the gruesome Manson Family murders to the more mysterious deaths like that of Elizabeth Short, better known as the Black Dahlia, there is no shortage of the sick and twisted to satiate my taste for the tasteless.
Now, on nights when I need to clear my head, I go for a drive…past the house that Marilyn Monroe died in. Or I cruise through Brentwood to inspect the peaceful block where O.J. Simpson stabbed Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson to death (nearly cutting off her head, I might add). Its really quite relaxing. I’ve even taken people on tours, complete with all the gory details of the events.
My propensity for the darker side of life doesn’t end with high-profile murders. I’m also completely obsessed with war, especially the Vietnam war. I could literally talk about it all day and without becoming bored. But again, more on that another day. And yes, I’m available for parties. Oddly, I have no interest in gory horror movies. Knowing that the events didn’t actually take place totally ruins the fun of it.
…Which brings me to my reason for all of this: I am elated about the news of a severed head being found in the Hollywood Hills. First, lets get real. Anyone that is getting their head chopped off is very likely a gang member or, at the very least, really emotionally unstable and also a drug user. In other words, useless. Now that you’re all a bit desensitized, lets celebrate this amazing little piece of history. I mean, can you imagine what its like to come across such a great souvenir on your morning hike? I would’ve held it up by the hair for the news cameras, while crying through laughter. Those women are now tied to Los Angeles history forever, without committing a crime or dying. That. Is. Priceless. I envy them.
The absolute guarantee that WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE blows my mind. Weather its in a horrific murder, an unjust war or simply, peacefully in your sleep when you’re 100, you will die and so will I. When you’re frustrated with all life’s uncertainties, just think of that. Comforting, isn’t it?