In 2015, on a road trip to visit my family in Canada, Google Maps took my husband and me straight to the site of the capture, two hours earlier, of escaped murderer David Sweat. I wrote about that, and then I wrote about a whole bunch of other things, and it became an essay about my vicarious trauma as a clinical social worker grappling with the polarities of innocence and guilt, social neglect and social justice.
It starts here:
“Our fuchsia had vanished. The empty pot lay broken on the front porch where just the previous day the fully flowered plant had hung, splendid and cheery. I found one lone tendril in the driveway — its three pink and purple blossoms still miraculously attached, its roots still flecked with soil. I tried to piece together the mystery, but I could not.”
Read on, here.