Death by Marriage

Pain relief…celebrex, vioxx, ultram, imitrex, tramadol, ultracet, mobic, fioricet, bextra…that was all she could think about...pain relief…maybe if she could write one good story… just one…


 Tina Money knew her marriage was over when she found out her husband had been cheating on her…… she found out at her husband’s company Christmas party.  

Her husband’s boss said, “You mean Jeffrey’s married?”

“Yes, Jeffrey’s married. I’m Jeffrey’s wife.”

“We didn’t know Jeffrey had a wife.”

“And five kids.”

“Jeffrey has five kids?”

“Yes, five.”

“We didn’t know Jeffrey had any children.”

That was when she knew…she had never been to any company party before, not for five years.  Five years, five kids, same thing…  This reminded her of the guy she had dated for two weeks…. the two weeks before he committed suicide…  He had showed her the city, past moments in his life, trying to show her everything he had done right…  but now all she felt was wrong.



This was a tough time for Suzanne.  A vision had occurred that she needed to follow.  The vision demanded a new beginning.  Robert Frost's path stood in right front of her, the sacred poetic pilgrimage rising from the dust.  Therein lay her future, her journey to success, her road to travel, her highway to drive, her boulevard to transverse, her avenue of destiny to conquer.  Tea leaf readers, psychics, astrologists, palmists, malcontents and curmudgeons —move over!  

She needed to escape.  Tina Money watch out!


A new breed of journalism had emerged since her early days in the business when typewriters were still clicking.  She felt her mission was to rekindle journalism’s guiding light, re-establish the founding principals of the Constitution. Nothing Less. Her Manifest Destiny.  The Task. 

Freedom of the press meant keeping a sharp eye on the government, unveiling its failings, highlighting the deception, demystifying leaders, revealing politics to be nothing more than a self-perpetuating machine.  She felt alone in this Task.  Only one editor, an aging washed-up editor at CBS News shared her commitment to The Task.  What he could not share was office space.

"The news industry in its contemporary incarnation utilizes reporters who are too middle-class, over-educated, emotionally undeveloped and fearful to ascertain the truth," laments Suzanne to the dog-eared editor during her interview. "Missing real life experience these reporters consistently miss the significance of events.  News remains uninspired, totally devoid of relevance, disconnected from the people."

He was impressed.  "Why don't you send your resume to a small station in Kansas or Kentucky, anywhere your credentials could carry you further. This is the Big Apple, after all."

“I hate the letter K.  Personally, the letter K offends me,” said Tina Money’s alter-ego.

Crushed.  Demoralized.  Fatigued.  There were no jobs for young reporters at Top O' The Freaking World O’ Broadcast Journalism, C B Fucking S.  The over-the-hill editor kept trying to encourage her to move to a small state to gain a few years experience that could lead to a job in the big-ass news industry anchored in the Big Apple.  For some reason she decided to stand on the red couch in the man’s office and start screaming diatribes against the corporate machine.

"American journalism in the 20th century is dead!" She heard her voice shout as the diatribes flowed.

"Contemporary news serves only one class, the upper class!   It suppresses the people, anesthetizes the public, kowtows the mainstream, quashes rebellion among the masses, retains the status quo, extinguishes the thrust of individualism.”  Her college protest jargon had finally become useful. 

She was hot, really hot.  “Silence!  Submission!  Assimilation into the corporate claws of monetary madness.  Capitalism Rules!"  She was definitely in high gear.

"Yes, that's true,” said Mr. Clearly Worried About Her Deviant Behavior Editor.  It seemed the inspiring conversation had taken a terrible downturn and he needed to displace this looney-tune interviewee.  “Yes, that’s great. But unfortunately, I have a luncheon so thank you very much. Let’s keep in touch.  Let me know how you are doing."

“No thank you!  Mr. Nowhere Editor has a job and I do not,”  she yells as the security guards standing in his doorway stormed into the room.  Whisk.  Broom.  Out The Door. 

The reception area looked enormous when the two guards escorted her past the people waiting.  Walking beside the guards, she noticed her coat had a light stain on it, her hemline was hanging low, and her stocking had a long run in it that hugged her thigh and traveled down to her ankle. She felt adrift in this world of corporate fashion. She simply could not withstand the social pressure of working in midtown Manhattan.  She could not afford to buy the right clothes. Who was she kidding?  And why had she shouted? 

Crap.  Life in a Down Turn.

Down the hallway she heard the banging of teletype keys off in the distance.  AP wire stories were trickling in, she could hear the hum of the paper feeding through the teletype machines.  Hearing the newsroom buzzing with activity made her eyes fill with shame. 

Here she stood guarded in the halls of justice within the vortex of the newspaper industry.  Reveling in its boundless sports coverage, vicarious living via The Truly Hollywood and ongoing fascination with death and destruction; she dreamed she would write about the glorious demise of sports heroes or reveal morbid facts about idolized cultural icons.  She was sick of hard news, the endless tragedies, shootouts, pathetic fires, anguished relatives in close-ups, even the media’s obsessive intrigue with morbid cancer, obituaries — victims on parade.  The daily ritual of news creation adhered to only one truth, news created ad space and ads created dollars.

News to change the world was Nowheresville.  No news to feed the news junkies.

In her heart she knew she would never stray from her goal. “I will rid the world of immoral political leaders, focus my energies on the unempowered and hasten the graceless fall of the politically corrupt,” she declared to no one.  And that was reality.  She must stay true to The Task.


...... continued