Sunday, July 09, 2006

Missing Persons

I have a mystery I don't have a solution to. His name is Joseph P. Doolittle.He was a cute little brown haired boy with merry, sparkling blue eyes who sat in the front of the class.I didn't know him for very long - just first and second grade. We played together sometimes. He got me in trouble with our 1st grade teacher, Mrs. Weeks, and I returned the favor. It was fun! Like little conspirators sharing a common bond, we always found something to grin about. It was a good thing and he never joined the other boys who bullied me. But then Joseph just up and vanished one day.

I knew where his house was and I went back there a couple of times; I wanted to find my friend. The place seemed to always be dim inside. His parents and brother were still there. Lived in an old Bellemah home off of Indian School and just west of Wyoming. Joseph's parents or brother would put me off with different excuses like him being on vacation with a relative. Stuff like that.

I persisted intermittently for a couple of years. The last time I went to his house, his brother told me to shove off and don't come back -- and he said something odd: he said Joseph told them that he really wasn't their son and wanted to go live with an Hispanic family in Las Vegas, NM, so I should stop bothering them. Something didn't sit right, but I was a kid and who was I to argue with 'em? Also, there was a kind of a menace the way his brother warned me to stay away, so I did. I got a creepy feeling about his family -- that they would just up and send their son off like that. Stick a kid in therapy, sure, but send them off to live with strangers? Without a fight?

What 8 year old boy repudiates his family like that? Nah. Doesn't make sense. Didn't make sense then, doesn't make sense now. So I've wondered off and on over the years, as the summer progresses and back to school signs crop up in shops around town and school signs begin announcing registration, whatever happened to Joseph? Whatever became of him? Is he well? Is he ok? Healthy? Happy? WTF Happened Back There, Back Then? Would he be someone I'd like, or despise? Is he even alive, for that matter?

Do y'all have a missing person you've ever wondered about? Do they haunt you, too?

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