Caitlin On Agatha Christie20 April, 2011
[A note on pronoun use: I decided to have a little fun with pronouns in this entry and, when appropriate, I have used the gender neutral pronouns as listed by Sasha in hir 1981 editorial. They are she, he, ze; her, him, hir; hers, his, hirs; herself, himself/hisself, hirself.]
Having explained my condition to my family and several close friends I now find myself living at the tail end of an Agatha Christie novel. You know what I mean, that part where you only have two chapters left and Poirot is about to piece everything together and solve the crime and you as the reader begin to make the connections that Poirot as been picking up on this whole time. That part in the book where you think back on everything you have encountered and now all those odd little things begin to make sense, ah, yes! wonderful sense. Those oddities were clues and they are finally coming together in your mind to create a picture of the killer and hir motives.
This is the section my life has entered. Now that people know who did it (Caitlin, in the changing room, with the surgical knife) they are finding little quirks and ticks in my behavior incredibly enlightening. These minor mannerism, which seemed mundane before, are now little clues, bits of foreshadowing, and tiny tip-offs to the larger issue that I have come out to them about. For example, I wear a thin silver chain around my neck. Suspended from this chain is a silver, Celtic harp. The harp rests in the cleft where the shoulder bones meet the sternum just above the demarcation for the bust. (The harp was a gift, several years ago, from a girl I dated who was understanding of my condition but who eventually left me for man. Ze bought me this necklace because ze enjoyed seeing me in v-neck and scoop neck shirts and wanted a little something special resting in that cleft, to know that I belonged to hir. Ze was progressive when it came to gender expression but old-fashioned when it came to power and control. I was a fashion accessory owned and displayed with the properly coördinated outfit and not a person loved and cherished. Can you believe I dated hir for three years and accepted hir proposal, agreeing to become hir wife? Although, I would have been a doctor’s wife and the status symbol that would have provided would have been fabulous . . . if only I cared about such things. As it stands, I am no longer a wife and the jewelry I get is from friends who give it because they want me to have something nice. I think it is worth the trade-off to have such friends.) Before the news broke, people thought I wore the necklace because I was a bit eccentric; now, however, they see the necklace as a clue, a bit of the foreshadowing an excellent detective novelist drops in to help the reader figure out “who dunnit.” As my Mom said, “Oh, yes. I remember the harper’s necklace.” You can hear the “Ah-ha!” moment as another clue slides into place and the mysterious puzzle that I am comes a bit clearer. I suppose I am lucky no one in my family and none of my close friends are huge Agatha Christie fans (the ultimate mystery novelist–leagues beyond Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and even better than Edgar Allan Poe) or else they would have figured out who I am long before I was ready to tell them.
Just some brilliant observations from Caitlin, the Doctor’s Daughter and Agatha Christie’s almost equally brilliant sister.