Never rape the truth. If there is only one rule in life you follow, make it that one. The forceful fuck of raking muck is nothing to be proud of. You might think otherwise though, listening to those so-called investigative reporters brag about their continuous probing to gain access to inside sources and consent be damned.
Terrible stuff, that truth rape.
The truth is something that opens itself to you on its own terms. To prove that you are worthy, it must be wooed.
Imagine you are trying to impress the object of your affections with a bouquet of flowers. You could go to the FTD website, pick a floral arrangement, and be done with it. That might even work, but is it really the best way? Is it not better and more personal to present a bouquet from what you have picked and arranged yourself? It is the same when trying to win over the truth. The only difference is that you use flowers and arrange them into the kind of bouquet called an idea.
I had started with a simple, well-known fact: America has an Uncle Sam. He is a symbol rather than a blood relative, but as a symbol he is an uncle to every American. David Berkowitz, in a similar symbolic way, is known as the Son of Sam. By logical extension, Berkowitz is therefore our American cousin.
This phrase, “Our American Cousin,” holds some significance to theater buffs and even more to history scholars. That was the name of the play Abraham Lincoln was watching when he was assassinated in 1865.
Lincoln was shot in Ford’s theater. What has that to do with anything, you may ask? Nothing, except that Berkowitz was finally apprehended based on witness testimony about the car he was driving. And what make of car was it? A Ford.
Full circle and boom.
After reporting my findings to social media, all I had to do was wait for the other pieces of the puzzle to fall into place. The way I saw it, the truth would come to me in one of two ways.
The first would be getting contacted by the 21st century version of Deep Throat from All the President’s Men. This person would fill me in on the details: Berkowitz’s time machine, the conspiracy to set up Booth as a patsy, all of it. Even though I have no car, I started hanging out in parking garages waiting for him or her to step out of the shadows.
Loitering in a parking garage was also a prime spot for the second option to occur. An unmarked van would pull up next to me. The door would slide open then I would be tasered in the nuts and taken blindfolded to an undisclosed facility. There in a windowless room with an iron table and two chairs, a G-Man with a crew cut would ply me with cigarettes to get me to tell him everything I know.
Even though I quit smoking in 2008, I’d take his bribe because I had the feeling I was not going to live long enough to get lung cancer or emphysema. This suspicion would be confirmed as soon as the agent said “No point in keeping it a secret from you any longer.” I would bear the same story as from Deep Throat 2, only this time it would be followed by my being held down and having my brain stem injected with a hypodermic full of air.
In time, it became obvious that neither of these scenarios would come to pass. I stood in the empty parking garage as the night wore on until a security guard told me to leave. I walked home feeling dejected and tried to take what solace I could from having done my best.
Somewhere there is an FBI file on me and thousands like me who tried and failed to win over the truth. We come from all walks of life, but have been assigned the same code name: Chopped Liver.