Interviews are interesting. We see them all the time, hear the questions, hear the responses. But what goes on in the background? What ties exist between interviewer and interviewee?
I’ve been on a couple of radio shows and been interviewed and I find it fun. I really like radio. I’d had my first visual interview this past January, and as of this posting (which I’m posting in April and scheduling for September), I haven’t yet heard back on that interview, which was supposed to be posted to YouTube as part of the Colorado Author Interview Circle.
I am continually amazed at the stuff I find in my old writing files! I found this and again don’t remember writing it. But I like the brevity of it and how it was structured…how it ended—though I added the last three paragraphs to it.
This story has never been published.
© F. P. Dorchak, 1990
What scares you.
What really scares you?
God, where to begin? It seemed to have all started so long ago, or maybe it was just yesterday, I don’t know anymore. What I do know is that it is following me. It will follow me forever. It has always followed me. Has forever become a part of my…life. Sometimes I think it was all my fault, I mean I was the one who decided on an acting career, a life forever in the public eye. Well, I got it, all right, got it pretty damned good, let me tell you.
Just let me tell you….
I had been in the film industry for ten or so years when it all started. It all happened rather innocently enough, too, with the interview. The interview.
Belinda Waters, the reporter, and I had met often enough over the years, but this time she seemed to have taken on a different, almost foul, air. Laughter and lightheartedness quickly evaporated.
“…that’s very good, Dick,” she said, quickly burying a laugh from one of my many anecdotes, “very good indeed. But let’s get just a bit serious for a moment, shall we?”
“Sure, as long as you don’t ask about ‘alternate lifestyles,’ or something,'” I said, joking.
She didn’t laugh. Instead, she regarded her note pad intently, then aimed the next question directly for my heart.
“What about Amy?”
I could have killed her.
How could she have asked that, of all questions?
Her brashness threw me, never had I come to expect such a low blow as this from her. What happened? We knew each other. Had she gone sour and decided to go for the more pay/juicier story bit? I mean, I know why she would have asked such a thing…it had all been in the news. People want to know…but I thought…thought she’d had a bit more decorum than the rest of her kind. And I’m sure her Food Chain had put her up to it. Let’s dig up the dirt and bones, shall we? I don’t know, but I sat in stunned silence for what felt like years. The audience waited patiently. She waited patiently…continuing to stare…as did the camera. That bloody, fucking camera.
Yes, questions needed to be answered….
“Well, what of it, Mr. Hayburn?”
It was like Belinda had suddenly changed from the personable business acquaintance of many years into the miserable Byline Bitch we all dread. She’d probably been told ask the question or find another job….
“I don’t want to talk about it, Belinda,” was my simple answer.
“Oh, come on, Dick, how long have we known each other? Nine, ten years?”
Too many years, now, if you ask me.
“If you can’t tell me, who can you tell? Don’t you think the public has a right to know what happened?”
Her eyes—beautiful as they were—bore into me.
“No, Belinda, I don’t.”
I didn’t stop there, no longer minded the camera.
There are certain lines we’ve all drawn for ourselves, and if anybody steps over them…if anybody shoves us, no matter how close that person may have been—especially when forewarned—then we have a right to exert forcefulness. Even us public figures.
“And I can’t believe that you are sacrificing all that we have built up over the years for a quick, sensationalistic jab.”
“Mr. Hayburn—Dick—” she said, keeping that sick, painted smile on her face. That burning gaze of the reporter asking the hard-hitting questions….
“—no, don’t ‘Dick’ me. What happened to Amy is none of yours—or anyone else’s—business. It’s hers…and it’s mine. I have told the press often enough I will refuse to speak on the matter, and I thought that was made abundantly clear. Especially to you. You have also known me for better than ten years, and know damned well where I stand on it.”
I got to my feet.
“Now, if you will excuse me, Belinda, I don’t think I want to talk with you any longer.”
And I left. Right in front of the camera. Belinda sat speechless. I was speechless. My wife’s death was nobody’s business—hell, I didn’t even want to think about it anymore, and maybe that was real the reason—I didn’t want to think about it. Of course I didn’t.
The circumstances, though gruesome and abnormal enough, had little do with the rest of my tale, except to start the chain of events that ensued, but I will explain.
Amy and I were married three years when she’d been murdered. It had been a Hillside, Bayside, Barnside murder of some sort, and my Amy had been working late at the studios (she was a sound engineer). After leaving the studio she’d proceeded to her car. To make the story short, she was abducted, shortly beaten, lengthily raped, then brutally murdered. ‘Dismembered’ was the official term. ‘Violated’ was mine. I had received one of her hands in the mail. I think you can see why I refuse to talk about it.
Well, I made it my business to find her killer. And I did.
What no one knows—or will ever know—is that I’d died in the process of finding her killer.
It’s a sore subject with me.
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