I must say that it was quick (12 minutes each way), convenient (the station is a block from my apartment and drops me off across the street from my work) and virtually painless (clean, air conditioned cars, no crazy homeless people on board). The only drawback is not having my car to transport me to any place of my choosing for lunch and I've also developed a habit of listening to The Big Show with Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann¹ on ESPN Radio while eating lunch within the safety and comfort of my vessel. But, oh well.
Today there was none of that.
I instead decided to take the short walk over to the Perimeter Mall which is directly across the street from my work and have lunch at the food court. The mall is quite busy at lunch time as there are many office buildings in the area surrounding it and the food court is especially teeming with activity. All the tables fill up quickly and you'll find yourself sharing a table with some other stranger eating lunch by him or herself because of the lack of room. Plus, there was extra traffic today as the crowds anxiously lined up outside the Apple store to await the release of the iPhone at 6pm. There must've been 50 people in line. Crazy bastards.
As I was standing in my own long line for Chick Fil-A, a somewhat eerily familiar face caught my eye. I turned my head to follow this person back into my peripheral vision as he stopped a few feet to my left. The man in question was relatively short, rail thin, a slight curvature to his upper back (kinda like Mr. Burns from the Simpsons), and he was accompanied by a somewhat heavyset woman dressed in overalls. His face was so familiar to me, I knew it had been catalogued in my mind at some point but I just couldn't put my finger on who he was exactly.
And then it came to me.
I immediately reached for my phone to confirm my suspicions. Adrienne didn't answer. Dammit.
I kept staring at this man as he slowly walked away from me and toward the pizza place. "It's gotta be him", I kept thinking. "Definitely. But what's the deal with the woman with him? How could anyone want his company? Doesn't she know? And what the hell is he doing at the mall?"
I got my food and ate it quickly, all the time trying to remember some details from the case. It happened a long time ago, even though the press never let it die, and I never really paid much attention to it but you couldn't really escape it for a while; it was all they talked about. "Did it happen in Atlanta? No, it was in Colorado, I think. Was he from Atlanta?"
I walked around the mall for a while to kill the rest of my lunch break and ended up in the FYE store looking at (of course) cds. Finally, my phone rang and it was Adrienne calling me back. I immediately jumped to it.
"Remember the little girl that got killed, like, ten years ago. The beauty pageant girl. What was her name, JonBenet Ramsey?", I said.
"Yeah", she said.
"OK. Remember the creepy guy who confessed to her murder or to being at her murder or something like that last year but was later released because there was no evidence tying him to it?"
"Yeah. John Mark Karr."
"Was he from here in Atlanta?"
"Yeah, I think so. Why?", she asked.
"I just totally saw him in the food court at the fucking mall!", I exulted.
That creepy fucking look that you see in the picture above is exactly how he looked. Those dead, cold eyes and the child molester vibe were totally chilling. I have now stared evil in the eye and it was not good. That dude should be in jail for something, I don't care for what, he should not be allowed to walk among us. It's just a matter of time before he does something. And there he was, within reach. I could have done something, but I didn't.
All because Adrienne didn't answer her phone. Lives could have been saved.
Be frightened, very frightened. Evil walks among us. . . at the food court.
¹the only sport commentators who are journalists, make valid points, and most importantly, are not blathering conservative racist idiots like 95% of sport radio DJ-types. How did this become the archetype of radio DJs in general? Where did we go wrong that radio stations believe that only racist, narrow-minded, republican white males listen to commercial talk radio? I might have to explore this topic in another blog. . .