Is It Still Book Week?

trash and treasures, dandenong

I don’t know if I’m too late to the party but in honor of Book Week, you see that paperback I cradled in my armpit? That’s John Douglas and Mark Olshaker’s “Journey Into Darkness.” I got it at the trash and treasure market for half a dollar. It’s not normally the kind of book I naturally gravitate to but my options were very limited. Lunar Drive-ins was having some major renovations done so there weren’t as many vendors last Sunday.

I didn’t think I was gonna read it sooner, either. There’s about three books I’m currently reading on rotation depending on my mood and whichever one’s the most accessible, given my propensity to mould into the couch or bed the moment i get too comfortable.

Anyhow, I read it on the same day I bought it. Mainly because there was nothing else to do in the car while waiting for Raven to wake up and Jeff was out skating. With my Facebook app deleted on my phone, there’s only so much scrolling I can take on Instagram before I start questioning my own happiness.

So I had a bit of a read. And I got hooked. So now there are four books I’m reading simultaneously. Or something like that.

For 50 cents, the book has taught me to be mildly paranoid, and rightly so. My mind has been opened into a terrifying world out there. Our world. The one we’re living in now. The carparks we walk through; the paths we routinely take; our own homes. Nowhere is safe, really. Think big bad wolves, but instead of wolves, it’s serial killers. And instead of princesses living happily ever after, it’s young women and children sprawled on the side of the road after having been brutally raped and/or murdered. The life snuffed out of them by some male-driven need to dominate in order to compensate for their insecurities. No, they’re not insane. Yes, they have serious character disorders. Yes, they may know their actions are wrong but no, they don’t give a damn. They like it.

The scariest part about the book is that it’s not fiction. It’s a narrative of the sordid tales John Douglas, an FBI profiler, encountered on the job and how he and his team uncovered the minds and motives of criminals based on the crime scene and victimology. It’s a tough job that requires a highly creative thought process. For a second I fantasized shifting careers.

Delusion. Noun. an idiosyncratic belief or impression maintained despite being contradicted by reality or rational argument, typically as a symptom of mental disorder.

It has been six days and I’m a quarter of the way into finishing the book. (I’m a slow reader.) My split-second fantasy of becoming a professional profiler is gone but the closest to a crime scene I could get are Jeff’s clothes scattered on the floor so I profile him casually instead. Needless to say, I clean up the evidence, too.

So far, the lessons I took away from my reading are:

  1. If you have a kid and you’re out in public, take a good look around you. Are there other adults around? Be observant. Learn to spot a pedophile.
  2. Never be too trusting. Not only to strangers. Some women were murdered by their own husbands in their own homes. That’s all I’m saying.
  3. Speaking of home, it all starts from there. Majority, if not all, of the serial killers were, themselves, abused as a child.

There are still heaps more realizations that I’m slowly digesting but already, my brain is fried. It’s a lot to take in, especially since I have a vested interested why I’m reading this book: I have a daughter to protect.

Jeez. All this morbid seriousness wasn’t my intention. I went to the market to buy only disposable gloves. I promise.

trash and treasure market, dandenong

Raven brought home a Belle doll with her characteristic yellow dress and a face marked with lines of red pen, most probably the work of the previous child owner. An artist herself, Raven superimposed those lines with ones of her own — in black. So Belle now looks like Mike Tyson but I’m not fussed. That’s the beauty of getting toys secondhand. You didn’t have to rob a bank to buy it so there’s no emotional involvement. You can therefore let your kids be kids and do what they do best: destroying their toys.

The good news is, Belle can still sing. You press a button in her tummy and she’d croon…

True, that he’s no Prince Charming
But there’s something in him that I simply didn’t see…

Reminds me of Jeff, I swear to God. As to what that ‘something’ is, I can only hope it has nothing to do with serial crimes.

trash and treasure market, dandenongtrash and treasure market, dandenongtrash and treasure market, dandenong

If it looks like I was squinting all the time, that’s because I was. Dust and wind aren’t exactly a good combination but they sure joined forces that day. But it was a nice sunny morning, though, as a consolation. Before the rain poured in the afternoon.

“Aren’t you hot?” Jeff asked, seeing me all rugged up.

I was pretty much starting to sweat with all my layers inside.

“I can’t take it off,” I whispered.

“I’m not wearing a bra.” I whispered even more softly.


*raven at 3 years old

2 thoughts on “Is It Still Book Week?

  1. yup, scary place…. especially when we are in a playground, i check the surrounding too if someone is lurking around.. some people in germany are can be creepy..

    1. Unfortunately for me, I can be too trusting with strangers. But the book has taught me to be more wary. It’s a scary world out there, especially for the kids. There was this one line in the book that really struck me. That as adults, it is our responsibility to look after not only our kids’, but other kids’ welfare as well. Sort of along the line of “it takes a village to raise a child” kind of thing.

      Australia has some regulations with regards to taking photos of children in public. But you never know. Some psychos probably still manage to get away with doing it.

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