Rock Star Tragedy: MH Dies, Aged Three, at Parents’ Residence.
—Had a weird thing today, says the Journalist. Some child, probably being stupid, as children often are, got drowned in a fishpond, and I had to go and get the story from the grieving parents.
He was a boy, three years old, left unattended. Just for a few fatal seconds.
It’s usually left unattended by a grandparent, but it’s always boys that fall in garden fishponds: even at two, the stereotyping is as strong as that, boys more risk-taking, girls more alive.
—Can’t argue with the stats, he says.
—Anyway, forget all that, she says. I went along to get some background from them, and they produced this weird story that somehow he was going to grow up to be a great rock star. Fame and fortune, the whole works. They were absolutely convinced. And now of course he isn’t.
—Don’t tell me, and support his loving parents with the money. Why are they so sure?
—Just convinced, no very good reason.
—No evidence of this great musical talent? Grade six at the piano, can mimic all the stars?
—None. They are total trailer trash. it’s not like they got any contacts, a bit of the old nepotism to rely on, nothing like that.
—Best if they hang on to the prospect of compo then, says the Pathologist.
—Well, they’re all sedated at the moment, but I got the impression they were thinking about suing someone, yes, when it all wore off.
—Oh yes, that’s the modern way, isn’t it, always somebody else’s fault.
A look passed between them: ‘What’s the world coming to?’
And then: ‘Aren’t we a pair of oldies.’
—They got any other children?
—A daughter, I think.
—Maybe she’ll come through for them.
—Yeah, whatever. Or they can always make another child.
He smiles at her callousness. He wanted to take up her callousness, kiss it, make some serious love-making to her callousness, sometimes it seemed only her callousness that could be the correct weapon against this vale of tears, and he should learn more from her.
He wanted to suck her in, absorb all of her, which must be Love.
—You’ve got a funny look on your face. Enough of this, she exclaims. Let’s do the making-babies thing, stopping before the actual baby.
A new position, a new room.
The Pathologist says:— If there’s a new way of having an accident, a child will find it.
—I can’t put that in the newspaper, says the Journalist.