In this hour, stories of things past shaping the here and now; the smell and taste of home, whirlwind romance, and finding comfort and kinship in the most dire of circumstances. This hour is hosted by Moth Senior Director Meg Bowles. The Moth Radio Hour is produced by The Moth and Jay Allison of Atlantic Public Media.
Hosted by: Meg Bowles
Storytellers: Talaya Moore, Nikesh Shukla, Andrew Solmssen, Caitlin FitzGerald
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
The I'm here. This is the mouth radio our eye megawatts. Today we have four stories: navigating childhood, surviving loss enduring the trials of love and understanding the thing, the harness most our first story, comes from to lay a more. She told it at the errand Davis hall in new york city, here's to layer live at the mouth. My obsession with brats began when I was eight years old and I was gifted one for my birthday, so it's her dolls kind alike, barbies but better.
They didn't have these unrealistic dimensions? Instead, they stood about ten inches tall with these huge head for lips, curvy physique, and they had the coolest make up and also they had these glory punk rock boot. That I love- I knew I was hooked and I wanted more, but I could not ask my mom for more because we were homeless, we had been homeless for over a year and she had bigger worries. If she had enough money for train fairer food, what borough we would end up sleeping in and if I had clean, uniform for school So I know that if I wanted these dolls, I would have to get them myself. So in the shelter I started selling, paper fans that I made in decorated the guards for seventy five cents and they would.
Me more money because they saw was hustling and I will take their money and all by pains, pencils, moose, leaving candy and sellers, because our school for market price Wish I was good at and I all oh braided, hair in the shelter who, when I saved up enough money, my mom took me to the big toy store on times square. When I arrived, I ran straight to the brat section, searching the shells for sasha social was the brast all that I really want it. I had read about her in a pamphlet from the previous all I got She was this aspiring business woman and she just seen the cool is, and I wanted her. After searching and scanning the shelves and not seeing her acts the cells rap if he had more in the back. He said sorry, kids she's popular hind, a man all sold out and
that day, I left with jade. I was disappointed, but. I was disappointed, but I was still happy to leave would abreast all it had been. Over a year of living and the eau, which was short for the emergency assistant unit and my mother had been waiting for overnight placement, and it was Christmas eve-
And I was sitting there and he was children screaming making noise, and I was tired. I was hungry. I had been there since eight am and it was now going on eight pm and just I was about to turn to complain. They called us to the tree ours window for our placement and as we approached the window, is this thick glass in between my mother and me and the worker, and it kind of reminded me of like a check, cashing place or like corentin and like we were kept away from all things clean and once we receive our overnight placement, we went back to sit down, and then I hurt this uproar like this chairing this chanting from the kids in the rooms next door. So I peeked my head out the doorway to see what was going on like what was the fuss about, and I saw the guards
Dragging these clear plastic bags down the hall, and then I realized that we were gonna get donated toys that it was christmas eve I have almost forgot see. I had been here already. I've been here last christmas and I knew how things when we will all be in one room, called one by one to receive a toy soul as regards are dragging the bags. I notice as clear as say untouched, on wrapped a brat stall, and I knew I just had to have it. But I honestly foley I deserve data had all aids and bees in school. I stay out of trouble even home. Mom fold clothes at the laundromat. So I knew I had to be first in line and when the guards came to my room, I jumped up and they says step right up and I die digging through those bags you weren't even allowed to do that. So yours, post, just step up, get one toy and keep pushing but
These were the same guards that will buy my paper fans and it was cool enough to let me search and as I'm going through the third bag. I'm digging and I still got outline of that brat saw that box. I feel it and I pick it up and there she was Sasha I held her up like they did underlying its hears of joy. Ran down. My cheeks saw- was wearing this ice blue princess gown, the tiara to match she looked magical like you know branding once you start next cinderella man, we feature in whitney, Houston and
the spot like I have met a celebrity like I was starstruck like I met tire banks or raven, Simone social was beautiful. She was black and I was black. She was gorgeous she. She had this long, dark brown hair and calls were the best out of all the brats and end the pamphlet that she came with. They told me things about her like how she was. She went to her own urban cold in line
how she wanted to be a music producer. She had two parents and her own room and she she just seemed like she had it all, and I wanted that. I had this carry case where I could keep only one breadth all in and I always chose to put sasha in it inside it was blue velvet and a spot just for sasha and on the other side was her wardrobe. Where I kept all her clothes neatly stacked. It was like her room, and sometimes I would pretend that it was my room and for a second, I felt, like the other third graders in my class, have a room and a and a closet full of clothes. It was me and Sasha's world. It had been
nearly two years of staying in the eu to years of waiting, two years of being denied permanent housing, and I was tired. Finally, we were moving to a semi permanent placement called the ellison inside of that. I had one room and you had a bunk bed, a half top stove a many fridge addresser in a bath a lot of the time. The sat in the hallway- and I would play with other case one moment times are played along with my dolls. Annexed store lived, this girl and she always wanted to play with me and my brats dolls. But I didn't want her because I saw how she treated her toys and I didn't need her message at my girls
One day I came home after school and I need to leave run to the dresser. Where I keep my dolls and as I'm approaching the dresser, I noticed that they were all gone. Sasha was gone. My my password gone. I began to panic. I felt like someone had stabbed me in the chest like pins and needles all through my body and me and my mom searched the room looking for the dolls, and I didn't know what to do so. I grabbed her phone and I don't like eleven. I sent hurry, come quick, we ve been robbed. They took everything one tenth morning side after I hung up my mom's looking at me in this belief. Like did you just call the cops, but in my head on like these are my girls are missing, like where's the amber alert when the office has arrived.
I just stand in their eyes, bloodshot braid, tee, shirts, soaking wet, knows dripping and I set it was her anew. She took my breast all was the girl next door, so they started investigation. They knocked on the door, may question her and she said now that she didn't have my dolls, but I knew she had my dolls. They said we couldn't help me any further because they don't have a warrant to search and officers bent over and said, o show their turn up. There, just dolls, just dolls. Like they were more than just all me, they were my family like especially sasha. She was more my rolled dog. My ride or die. My best friend she was first to know about my crush on adolphus butts in a third grade and how he looked like milk chocolate. She all
So was there with me that night, where I slept in my coat and my shoes and his nasty motel and I hold her held her tight the whole night. She was also there when I wanted to jump in the bed with my mom, but there wasn't enough space and I would I would hold onto her that night before bed I was have to talk the top bunk and I just kept looking at the dresser and it was empty and I felt empty. I went to bed with my pillow wet and I woke up with my pillow wet and my mom asked me what I wanted for breakfast, but I didn't have an appetite. Instead, in the hallway almost all day and between my door and heard or waiting for her to come out waiting to just see if she had my girls and their later that night, I got a knock on the door and She was standing near what I added to what a plastic bag full of my breath. Stalls.
I don't even have the energy to say anything. I just grab the bag and slammed the door and starts to spill I'm on the bed and examine them and they look like they have been through something awful. They were all undress and they smell like chicken greece. So I started to dress them close them and put them back on that. I said, and as I was doing so, I was holding social and I realise that when they were gone, that was the first time actually really felt homeless and having them back. I felt like home again and that's when I realized that social was. She was there for me. These dolls were there for me, everyone has someone or something a that may get them through the day or even a year? And for me for nine year old me, it was sasha. It was this black plastic professional business woman
doubled as a superstar, my eyes, and she was a constant reminder. In a world filled with uncertainty. There could be a happily ever after. Thank you to lay a more was eleven years old. When her family received per minute. She said the first month she was so scared. Someone from the shelter system would come in sending actually made a mistake to lay a worked with mock director jody power to craft her story, jody sat down which led to discuss what it felt like to walk into our very own apartment for the first time I'm curious about the first moment. You open the house and recognize that alright, those are my neighbors, it should be the fringe of the building. Then I enter yeah. This is all what was that feeling like when we came into apartment,
I redid everything, so it was new paints new everything- and I was just like. Oh my god like this- is our apartment and I have my own room But I didn't sleep in my own room for like three months, because we only had one matter is so mean My little sister slept in one matters in the liberal. We had no furniture, we had nothing but we'll just so happy you know, like suggests known. We will have to go back to the shelter any more that we don't have to. You know fight for a good placements asleep. Equal share a shower with multiple families, the stories about the process of being. Homeless as a child s using Imagination to create your own safe space and that's what the dolls did. It was like my time to get away from, knowing that I'm a canada, shelter,
no one that every day I walk, I'm dragging a suitcase with me right before I go to school. I have to give the suit case back. So my mom, you know full o my clothes and just now you get out of school. You have to go sit back and a shelter, but no one that you have your toys. Gonna make you feel like just like a normal. You know if you feel more morgan and so had definitely for like this they made me realize I was a strong kid, a very strong kid and a kind of prepared, for the real world for like today, and definitely feel like. I have a lot more stories that I can bring to life find a deeper meaning to it and you so your well, that was to lay a more and talking with mock director jody power. You can find out. About two layer on our website the month outward coming up, try
to recapture a moment from the past, when I'm off radio hour continues and the moth radio hour is produced by Atlantic. Public media in woods hole massachusetts and presented by pr x with no, ease or minimums banking with capital. One is the easiest decision in the history of decisions even easier than deciding to listen to another episode of your favorite podcast and with no overdraft fees. Is it even a decision? That's banking re imagined. What's in your wallet terms, apply
capital, dot, com, slash bank capital one and a member after I see. And now a word from our sponsor better help life be overwhelming and many people are burned out, even without knowing it. Symptoms can include a lack of motivation, irritability fatigue and more better help. Online therapy wants to remind you to prioritize yourself. Talking with someone can help you figure out, what's causing stress in your life. Better help is customize online therapy that offers video phone and even live chat sessions with your therapist. So you don't have to see anyone on camera. If you dont want to our listeners, get ten percent off their first month at better help, dot com, slash, moth, that's better h, e lp, dot com, slash moth,. This is a moth radio, our from pr x, I meg bulls. Our next story comes from turn the cash
we share the story and an evening we produced at union chapel in london. Here's the cash wide of the mark. In twenty ten I get a phone call from my cousin to tell me that my mom has died. And it comes as a bit of a shock because two weeks ago she had been perfectly healthy and then she got diagnosed with cancer and cheapest way quite quickly and Grief is a funny thing, because my mom, we had a very difficult relationship. We both loved each other intensely. The only way that we could really show up if each other was by bickering all the time by way about really small things, and I do what a lot of people do when they're faced with problems- and I
it moved to another city. I leave london where I've grown up and I moved to bristol and to to make a new home and london feels dead to me at this point because my mom is no longer there, something something has changed some We either with the meal within my family- and I just can't be here anymore,. The first time I walk into one you house in Bristol. The first thing I notice is nice, thinks it been occupied by some hippy students causes bristol and so between growing pulses by the kitchen sink. Burning, incense and lots and lots of cats. It smells like it so how's that belongs to someone else definite doesn't smell. Like my house, I don't feel like I'm home
what kind of coordination between on mourning for my mom every single day. It feels that this heavy thing on top of me and my cities- and I don't know anyone and I just cannot wash the cat she out the carpet and I go home to visit my dad. It's been a year since my mom died and there's one weekend roadway to visit him and maybe it's maybe it's because I've moved into a new space die. Suddenly look at my childhood home with fresh eyes, but The moment I walk into my childhood home, it feels so familiar and yet it feels different because in the years since my mom has died, house is kind of been locked in stasis. You know, there's still laundry in the basket left over from when she was alive. Her clothes is still in the dirt closest
then the lunch basket her hand. Bag is still at the bottom of the stairs it and it while it looks like my childhood home, it also looks very clean like nothing, has been used? It feels like a museum like say that was recreation of our house in the tape modern or typewritten, which would be a weird thing too. To see it feels like a museum to how things used to be the kitchen looks unused. The only place that kind of has any life is, That said, the lounge area, everyone, my dad, sits and listens to bollywood sounds really loudly and I got- Stairs I'm lying on my childhood bed and something fills different this time, because when I grew up my bedroom, which, on top of the kitchen and so I grew up with the sound of bali with music, and I grew up with the sounds of the pressure cooker and I grew up with the smell of
onions and human and garlic and ginger and Chile's in the air, you know my mom was a firm believer in me, my sister removing our school uniforms. Every time we came home from school because she didn't want- How is the smell like like the food that she was cooking? She said, don't give the white people ammunition just warehouse clothes and when we re, but I was lying there and it everything felt stale. It didn't feel like my home and I'm already feeling unstuck. Because bristol doesn't feel out my home- and here I am on my childhood bed in my childhood home in this- does and fill out my home, I'm hungry, and so I go downstairs and look in the fridge and it's empty, except for cancer fosters and catch up, because my dad is now a singleton and that his fridge with
now and open up the freezer, hoping for some inspiration, and I see some tupperware boxes of my mom's food in there, and I think, oh, my god here is my mom's food. So I take out what a tupperware boxes greyhound one at which, aside this re, delicious savory pancake and I put it in the microwave to defrost and I'm standing there waiting for it to heat up and something happens that really stale sterile room. It stop What's the smell, like my mom's kitchen, again spices and making the air come alive and. It feels like my home and when I eat I eat. I eat the hound one. It's delicious, as it always was, and I think I need to learn how to make this home to all of this,
pointed and myself, because every year had years and years and my mom trying to teach me how to cook like when I, when I left home, she tried to get me to how to make basic john I'm a salon, pioneer and stuff like I just I just like. While I've just come home and get leftovers I'll be fine, and shows no, I won't always be around and I was media and I never learned. And I know that she was disappointed- and here I am now rowing those decisions. And I really want to know how to make handle. I remember that my mom told me she caught the recipe from sailor mercy this seller mossy since my mom's renew. So
knowing that my mum's handbag is on the boat at the bottom of the stairs, I go and look through the humpback to find her address. Books are confirmed, celibacy and say: hey sal mrc. Can you teach me how to make hondo and I find it a stack of papers in my mum's handbag and I opened one of them and it's a shopping list. You know: has things like wheaton dixon, onions and keeping powder in chile and cheese and already mundane things that you get for the big shop on it, but this the thing about seeing my mom's handwriting that makes me crumble, makes me feel the heaviness crusher me again, because Seeing the ink on the page in the ink came from a pen those connected to a fingers that was connected to our arms, I was on those cards to apply, and seeing a handwriting and smelling her foot the smell of a few
Still lingering in the air it feels like she's a real person. You know when when when dies new romance size than they become the really good things in the really really bad things. East wind, you up, and you forget about the ready mundane things like when they wrote shopping lists or when they move made hounds, One of those shopping lists home. I phones, lemme see, I get the recipe when I get back to bristol. I'm going to do this shop. Do my mom's big shop, which Silly as we already have cheese and we would have weetabix, but I feel like I need to do this- so a go to the sharp and I'd buy all the things that are on the list making sure they also add in things I need to make home to, and I got home and I'm looking at sala massey's instructions to make hondo, and I think god I really wish. I knew how to cook
Ok, let's do this, it just says: mix all this stuff. Up and above all, I can do that. So, everything out, because that's how I I could cook when you don't know how to cook you get everything else you can stare at it. Put everything in a bowl and I'm following the instructions very robotically, and the last thing you have to do is ten person, sesame seeds and mustard must and inclemencies together. So I google temper are then google temper, cooking, Haven't I
for some reason. I decided to get a big frying pan out to temper these sesame seeds and muscles using cumin seeds and oats. I put put the pan on and I like the harp and let it do what it's doing. I get distracted and putting the mixture out into into a baking tray, and I don't notice that I've been tempering a bit too long and. The pan is smoking. The smoke alarm starts to go off and I panic I don't want to do. I do it to attend the hope after why you? What do I do so? I I I gravity towel and I'm between the smoke alarm, trying to wave the smoke away from the smoke alarm and I'm on the hop trying to wave the smoke away from the hub and the tea towel catches fire, because I'm an idiot and now. I ve got tito on fire. The smoke of arms going off the palace, though smoking can still I'm takin off the hope. So
in the back door, because that seems like a sensible thing to do. I opened the back door. I throw the tea towel out onto the onto the garden a turn off the hub, and I take the pan out. Take the pan off the hoping to run outside and I leave on the ground outside making sure I don't stand, Small green tea towel then find another tea towel that I try to wave the smoke away from the swing cologne and I'm really just a year and a b grief to sunny crashes over me. My mom is gone. She won't be able to show me how to cook this stuff. I can't follow simple recipes and she's gone and her food is gone. And I'm not sure how I'm going to honor her in this new home.
And so I sit down on the middle of the kitchen floor and cry. The smoke alarm is still going on and I look up. Because there's a smell in the air. And somewhere amidst the smell of smoke and burn sesame seeds and mustard seeds in cuban seats. There is also the smell of onions and garlic and ginger in chile, and my house smells like my mom's kitchen and for a second just for a second. It starts they'll like home. Thank ye. May catch super lives in Bristol england. He says when he goes home. It's still feels like time stopped. His father still lives in the memories of when everything was perfect,
constantly wants to know what his mother would have enjoyed about today. The cash thinks mother, would be proud that he can now limber successful china mozilla a adult, barked rocky and can make a mean tippler, improbable we're happy that he gave up his band t shirts for proper shirts. The cash is the author of three novels, as well as editor of a recent collection of essays about race and immigration, entitled the good immigrant. You can find out more about nick cash and find links to his books on our website, the moth dot org. And why are there? You can check out our pitch line sometime The same two other people stories reminds you of your own and if that's the case, why not pitches? When I was eight years old, I decided to try to sport peacekeeping. I was a really I thought it kid, and evidently, at the little girl watching olympics he's getting on television. I said mommy, I have big legs, like those girls. Do.
So when my parents and I saw a flyer for the almost speed skating club, we thought hey. Why not? Parents drove me to these early morning, practices for a year at which point at the fully mature age of nine years old. I told them. I need to move to Milwaukee with who I can become an olympic speed, skater, my parents, that ok, I really wish. I could remember how that conversation was down because looking back. It was totally bananas for my parents to agree to that because seriously, who was a bit better call the shots, but my parents did and I owe them everything because it paid off into other fourteen- I I presented all of you in thirty russia, as a member of the united states, the team, whenever somebody find. That I'm an olympic airways super excited and they always ass, did you wanna metal? When I tell them no, they say. Oh I'm, sorry,
I've always like why I went to the olympics, I'm not die, but if it makes you feel any better I'm going through the golden twenty. Eight to remember, or you can pitch your story at the moth dot. Org just go to our website and look for tell a story: you'll find directions on how to record and tips and tricks for how to craft a great pitch. That's all on website the market that our next story, color andrew samson spends his mornings. Fixing computers is afternoons hiking and his evenings telling stories to any one who will listen. He told this. When at our open. My story, slam at busby, los angeles, where we partner with public radio station cassiar de beers andrew, live at the month. Hi everybody, I'm andrew and I'm a nerd. I gotta
excess five and an iphone five in my pocket. Right now, I love em both on platform, agnostic. The other day I got asked to participate in show that a friend of mine does called crapshoot, and the idea behind crapshoot is that people just do interesting. Unusual things And what I did was I got up on stage and I yelled at people for three or four minutes to back up their hard drives. I'm good at that Back up your shit hard drives are mortal things and my least great thing to do is to tell somebody they've lost everything. My refrigerator is covered with
magnets from dead, hard drives and every one of those is somebody's baby picture or unfinished script And now they're on my refrigerator. Anyway. I did that and it went well. People laughed and I was lobby at the end of the show, and this girl came up to me and started talking to me about Harlan ellison and I may not know a lot about women, but when a woman Talking to me about the man who wrote repent harlequin said the tick tock man and City on the edge of forever, which is the best episode of star trek ever made. That's it. I can talk to, we did talk,
very seriously, very intently for an hour I'm a big dude. I'm heavy I've been five hunter, parents are not now and I get it and she was obviously heavier than she'd ever been and uncomfortable. With that and I'm comfortable with it and not comfortable with it in a lot of different ways, and we connected, we talked- and I want when she said, let's get out of here, and we went to a party, some friends we're having, and we sat on the couch in the living room there and after about fifteen minutes, more of really serious conversation. She grabbed my head and started kissing me and. Like I said, I don't know a lot about women, but I read the sign
the I invited her back to my party. She game You got back there and we had a glass of wine and one thing lead to another, and we found ourselves in the bedroom and we were lying in bed there and from her side of the bed. I hear her say: does this we're boyfriend and girlfriend now just kidding. The, and I was terrified
no question about it, but she wasn't kidding and I was kind of okay with that. I liked her. She was interesting. We'd during the course of the evening become friends on our phones and the next day I wrote our message and I said what a wonderful I might had and that I hoped we could see each other again. And a couple of days later, I got a message from her and said that she was embarrassed by what had happened, She wasn't usually so impulsive that she thought, might need to get her medication checked and.
You know I thought about that. That's done a little, but I liked her and I just wanted her to be happy and she wasn't. And so I wrote her back and I said, look whatever you need to be happy is what I want you to have just know that I found you funny. Smart, charming and beautiful, be well be kind, be kind to yourself and let others be kind to you. It's hard lord. I know it's hard, but in the end it's the only thing that ever really matters best andrew and then
and then she blocked me on facebook. The thanks very much the that was andrew, something a few years ago, andrew surprisingly, matched with the girl from the story on tinder, which opened a new line of communication, which then eventually fizzled, but there on terms now in Andrews. Happily, in love with someone he describes is simply amazing these. Is andrew, is even more of a back up evangelist, especially now that lack of auctions or easy. So he says there is no excuse for you not to back up your The coming up a tale of two kidnappings. When the moth radio hour continues,
Radio hour is produced by atlantic public media in woods, hole massachusetts and presented by the public radio exchange pr x, dot, org This is the moth radio, our from pr x, I meg bulls and our last story comes from Caitlin Fitzgerald. She shared it in front of a sold out crowd at lincoln sinner in new york city. I just want to note that this story contained some graphic descriptions of violence and is not appropriate for children. Fears, cavan, fitzgerald live with them. So I was in los angeles for my first pilot season as a young actor, and I was staying with some family friends lovely couple named Brian and pam, and I was home in the house one night, just brian, and I and I
is upstairs in my bedroom and was feeling really really sorry for myself. On this particular evening. I had the flu I've been unlike nine million, plus unsuccessful additions, and I had no money and all of a sudden there was a knock on the bedroom door and Brion said caitlin. I need to come into your room and before I could respond, he opened the door and behind him very large man wearing a ski masks and holding a taser and a crowbar and Screamed and leaped out of bed. And the man in the mask said, if you do anything stupid, I will kill you and I will kill him. And I was immediately compliant- and I believed naively that if I just did everything that this man asked me to do everything
would be okay and he wanted money and jewelry, neither of which we had. I had three dollars in my wallet which I gave him and he handcuffed Brian and I together and he had us- lie facedown on the bed and at some point, Brian's wife, PAM came home and she didn't have any money or jewelry either. So the man in the ski mask decided that the best course of action would be to take us to the atm machine to get cash. So we all got in the car payment. Driving and we gotta be eighty and eighty a machine park, the car and pen was sent out with our debit cards around the corner. To get money and the
and the ski Mask- got in the driver seat and I felt my fear, like click up about six notches, because I could tell that he was off his script, that he had planned this part of the evening and he was afraid and his fear felt really dangerous to me and a few minutes later, we heard sirens and we saw flashing lights and unbeknownst to us pam and called the police and the man. A ski mask turned to Brian, and I in the back seats, still handcuffed together and said: that's the cops you guys are dead and he peeled the car. Out of this parking lot and amounted to poverty, boulevard going against traffic and cars or screeching around us, and it has started to rein in allay and the tyres are squealing, and I know with absolute certainty that I am going to die and he turned the current residential neighborhood and then down a dead end street and we hit a tree going full speed ahead at the end of the street
and the man smashes the windshield of the car with his forehead and then gets out and runs, and suddenly the car is surrounded by police or their guns drawn, and I start screaming for help and the next thing that I really remember, I'm in the back of an ambulance dropped her a stretcher- and I am thinking- oh my god, never again for the rest of my life. Will I feel safe. But in the weeks and months and years that followed this incident,
that turned out not really to be true and yeah, like if I hear a weird noise in the night, sometimes I'll, jolt awake in a way that I didn't before, or if a cab driver revs his engine at a particular frequency I'll feel this like adrenaline rush that that it didn't used to happen. But for the most part I was ok and the whole thing came to seem like the sort of bad hollywood. Horror movie like just enough fear to sort of titillate and make a good story, but not enough to actually traumatize me. So I'm traumatized did I appear to be that multiple members of my family have said to me. You know I forget that that even happened to you and I we did too for the most part and a few years after this incident I finally booked the tv show that I've been longing for and as it shot in los angeles, and I was living here in new york, I had to move west and it's really important to know that while I lived in new york, I lived in some of the worst shit holes. But new york has not true
if you think you've had bad apartments in new york, like I have had bad apartments in new york like the dregs of new york real estate. So when I finally got the tv show and was moving west, I was like this. Is it I'm going to get a great place to live and I did some is amazing. Apartment is sort of like converted, loft space. With with why all that actually met the floor at a right angle and marble countertops in a washer and dryer, like grown ups, the rest of america have and a security guard downstairs and I felt so happy and I felt so safe and I slept through the night lulled by the dulcet tones of the one or one freeway said my window and shortly after moved in. I was hanging out in this like back courtyard section of the building where all the the dog owners and the cool kids hung out, and I was a dark owner
I really wanted to be a cool kid, so I spent a lot of time back there and this particular evening. I was sort of sitting with the cool kids. We are drinking some artisanal cocktail. Someone had made thinking thinking it really really like I've arrived. Isn't this amazed and someone's it hey. What unit are you in and I told him and there was this silence and the cook had started to look at each other a little uneasily and one of them said: do you know what happened in that apartment and I felt my blood go absolutely cold and I I said, no, I don't, and he said well I'll, tell you what you have to promise not to google it, because there are some things you can't unseen. This is not a promise that I kept turns out that my beautiful building
I've been a hotel long ago and in nineteen twenty seven, a young man very famously had kidnapped a twelve year old girl named marian parker and brought her to this hotel and he'd sent ransom notes for a few days to her father, and then there had been a botched exchange where the kid never had seen that the police were present and whisked marian back to the hotel, at which point he must have decided that she had become a liability because he put her in the bathtub and he strangled her. And then he proceeded to dismember her and disavow her and he wrapped her limbs in towels and hid them in a lesion park across the street. And this is how the cops later found him because of the logos on the towels and the cool kids. Take turns telling me the story and I remember, being kind of a gas by the the strange pleasure they were getting in recounting this tale.
And though, and the way they were sort of depicting marian, as this like monster figure, the stuff of nightmares, the stuff of of scary stories and one of the kids at you, I had to of units because it could even look at your unit for my unit and the other kids a check, see your apartment in when I opened the door. She was like clearly disappointed that there wasn't a blood stain on the floor or, like a ghost hovering around and a couple days later, I discover that my apartment was on a famous murders of los angeles tour and vans of tourists would pull up and take pictures and then zoom off to look where the black dahlia killer did his work. But I I couldn't zoom off, I couldn't go anywhere. I had to live in this apartment and my beautiful, safe apartment no longer felt beautiful or safe, and I felt this like creeping darkness invading all the key
years of my life. It colored everything and I thought to have this reoccurring nightmare- that I would wake up and marion's limbless torso would be hovering over my book. The perfect horror movie motif, and it wasn't just at night like if I How does the city and forgot about marion parker for a moment when I came home at night How to turn on marian avenue to get to my apartment and the whole thing would come flooding back, and I just I felt awful and for the four time in my life, I really understood what people mean when they say they feel haunted. I mean I was the girl who had survived her kidnapping living with the ghost of a girl who had it and found myself. Really hating, marian parker and hating her for her naivete and hating her for her for Joe
and hating her for the burden of being female in this world and what that means- hating her for being so totally compliant and for believing that, if she just did everything her kidnapper asked, everything would be ok. And not feeling that I had in the moments after my own kidnapping ever again? What I feel safe was coming horribly, horribly, true and then one night I had this dream and in the dream I was in my apartment. It's kind of a sketch of my apartment and out of the bathroom door, was streaming all this really beautiful right white light, and I knew that marion's body was in the bathroom and I was terrified. But found myself walking into the bathroom anyway and sure enough there. She was her lip,
most torso in the bathtub and she was dead but also in the logic of dreams, somehow still alive and very aware of me, and I found myself walking up to the bath and knew in down and- and I put my hand on her face. And then I put my hand on the place in her chest over her heart and then I touched the place where her arm had been cut away. Her body, and I remember her blood being on my fingers and I realized in this moment that sure as you know, horror movie motif, she wasn't a monster. She was just
in and bone and blood. She was just a little girl and a very tenderly very carefully picked her up and I held her and I awoke, just in flood of tears and after this dream, my fear. Just it broke like a fever, and I felt at peace in this apartment, and I felt at peace with Marian and I came to feel really protective of her and when I hear some the building talking about her in any sort of salacious way. I would, I would remind them that she was just a little girl who had been really really afraid, and these days I do sleep through the night. For the most part, I pay attention to my dreams. They seem to know a lot of things.
I turn on most of the horror movie scripts, that my agents and to me- and I really get it. I get why the culture we need to tell these stories. Need to relegate, are our deepest fears to the screen or to the pages of a book, and I dont know for myself, if I am more afraid or more free, because I know that sometimes the men ski masks can walk off of the screen and in through your bedroom door. I suspect a little bit of both Probably I do know that safety has come to mean something very different than it did before. I don't live at the apartment on Marian I've anymore, I'm back in new york, but everytime I drive by. I give a little wave to Marian and tell her that thing.
About her and they care about her and then my own deeply ineffectual human way. I am protecting her. Thank you. Everyone Fitzgerald is an actor director mimbreno, she says uncovering the stuff we hide from ourselves is the work of a lifetime, and I said rose. I will never be done, but I do feel like I've done a lot in the last few years to dig deep and to look at the monsters under the bed. I asked Caitlin if she still turned down the harm would be scripts her agent since to her- and she said yes not only because of my history, but do we really need more horror in the world, You can find out more about caitlin or release into her story or any of the stories you heard in this hour on our website them off dot org, that's it for this episode, We hope you'll join us again next time for them off radio
Your hosting sour he's my balls make also The stories in the show, along with jody power, the rest of them all territorial staff includes catherine burns. Sarah haber miss Sarah was engine essen, jennifer, hickson production support from Emily couch monster. Is it true, is remembered and affirmed by the storytellers. Our pitch from our pitch line came from sugar todd in salt lake city. Our theme, music, is by the drift other music in this hour from boombox shiva our indeed to end the elf tones with reaction giddens, you can find. Thanks to all the music we use at our website, radio hours produced by me, J Alison with thinking Merrick at atlantic public media in woods whole ass. It uses this hour,
It's produced with funds from the national endowment for the arts the radio hours presented by pierre acts for more about our podcast for information on pitching us, your own story and everything else go to our website them off.
Transcript generated on 2022-06-20.