She was born in 1949, eight months early for the second half of the Twentieth Century. She spent the rest of her life being early so she spent the rest of her life waiting. Waiting for others to catch up – to arrive – to understand.
She walked faster than her husbands. She tried to match her stride to theirs but she could not so she developed the habit of waiting for them at the next corner – at the next bend – the next bench.
She finished her meals before others finished their salads so she had to sit with an empty plate in front of her and wait and watch other people chew. She tried many ways to eat slower – chewing her food forty times like her toothless grandmother suggested – chop sticks – eating food she didn’t like.
She always woke up before the house was ready to stir and she had to tip toe about and do quiet things until the rest of the world was ready for her to make noise and bang pots together and play her loud music and let the dogs bark.
She will reach the end of her life before the ones she will leave behind. She will try to stay with them as long as she can. She will do without cigarettes and alcohol and she will check her breasts in the shower and have bone density tests. She will drink green tea and do yoga and get plenty of fresh air but she will die any way – too early.
Pages 129-130 of Lily’s Tattoo. Jacoby is a DC detective investigating a series of grisly murders. When I started writing this thriller (a new genre for me) Jacoby was a minor character, but I quickly discovered he wanted to be much more.
Autumn had arrived overnight. Jacoby was awakened early Saturday morning by the sound of rain pounding the skylight over his bed. A cold wind blew in through the open window at the head of his bringing the rain in with it. His mood was a gloomy as the weather. Jerry Benson’s call had left him unsettled. The image of a knife-wielding adversary roaming around his city disturbed him. He hadn’t slept well. He’d been bothered by bad dreams including one that featured hand to hand-to-hand combat a samurai warrior who looked a lot like Senator Davenport.
He stumbled to the kitchen and poured himself a cup of coffee. One of his few indulgences was his automatic grind and brew coffee maker. He’d joked with his friends that it was cheaper than a wife. The truth was he would have happily traded his coffee maker for a companion. He just hadn’t met a woman willing to tolerate the demands and the distractions of his job.
Jacoby ducked outside for his morning paper and retrieved a soggy Washington Post from a puddle of water. The front section was unreadable, but the Metro Section was still legible and that was what he was interested in. He quickly scanned the local news and saw the stabbings had been pushed to the back page and there was no mention of the unidentified Tyson’s victim. He tossed the paper in the trash.
Jacoby hated weekends. During the week the demands of his job helped him forget how alone he was but on weekends he missed having a companion. He turned on ESPN just for company and then he poured himself a bowl of Cheerios. As he ate he thought about how he would approach his encounter with Davenport that evening. He was still leaning toward the Columbo technique.