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Dreams of a Life
October 9, 2011 6:12 PM   Subscribe

Joyce Carol Vincent, 38, died in her North London flat in 2003; her skeleton was found three years later, on the sofa; the television was still on, and a pile of unopened Christmas presents lay on the floor. The story was mentioned briefly in the press, but then forgotten. Now, filmmaker Carol Morley has tracked down and interviewed people who knew her before she retreated and reconstructed her story, all the more tragic because of the deceptively promising life it showed.

Joyce Vincent, it seemed, was a young woman with everything to hope for; attractive, popular and talented, she pursued a career in music for a while, met famous musicians, and even appeared, briefly, in footage of the Nelson Mandela tribute concert held at Wembley in 1990. So much so that when she disappeared, those who knew her expected that she had gone on to better things.

Morley's documentary, Dreams of a Life, will be screening at the London Film Festival this year.
posted by acb (63 comments total) 78 users marked this as a favorite

 
her skeleton was found three years later, on the sofa; the television was still on, and a pile of unopened Christmas presents lay on the floor.

Wow. If there ain't a song in there, there ain't a song anywhere.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:14 PM on October 9, 2011 [19 favorites]


So do I have to watch the doc to find out why her bills didn't get paid and no one investigated? Was it a direct deposit thing from savings or did it take three years before it got bad enough for anyone to forcibly open the door?
posted by The Whelk at 6:19 PM on October 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


Unreal. Thanks.
posted by chinston at 6:20 PM on October 9, 2011


.
posted by jcreigh at 6:24 PM on October 9, 2011


Eleanor Rigby ain't got nothin' on her.
posted by spitbull at 6:24 PM on October 9, 2011


Is this the saddest thing in the world? Is this the saddest thing possible? It is, isn't it.
posted by JHarris at 6:26 PM on October 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


What a tease of a fascinating story
posted by weezy at 6:27 PM on October 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


If she lived in a council flat, she might not have had any bills. Indiewire has more clips from the film, which isn't a straight doc, but more of a conceptual piece, with "recreations", etc. Looks fascinating.
posted by Ideefixe at 6:28 PM on October 9, 2011


Great article, thanks for the post, acb. I'd love to see Morley's film.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:28 PM on October 9, 2011


So do I have to watch the doc to find out why her bills didn't get paid and no one investigated? Was it a direct deposit thing from savings or did it take three years before it got bad enough for anyone to forcibly open the door?

Direct deposits are fairly common in Britain; it's conceivable that she would have had enough in the bank for it to take three years until the money ran out, the unpaid bills and rent accumulated and the bailiffs were called in. If she was receiving welfare payments, that could have covered enough of the rent and electricity to keep the payments from bouncing for a few years.
posted by acb at 6:28 PM on October 9, 2011


That's a very moving article. Thanks for posting it.
posted by Chairboy at 6:31 PM on October 9, 2011


I resumed the tape and carried on watching the show, eager to experience what Joyce once had. Nelson Mandela arrived on stage to rapturous applause and the crowd sang, louder and louder, "You'll never walk alone".

"Tonight I think I'll walk alone. I'll find my soul as I go home"
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 6:43 PM on October 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


This is impossibly sad, but I keep going back to that pile of unopened Christmas presents. Who sent them, and why didn't any of those people ever try to contact her again?
posted by Room 641-A at 7:04 PM on October 9, 2011 [9 favorites]


This is one of my fears. I live alone, and during a bad run, i didn't leave the house for months after a suicide attempt. I know most if not all my bills got paid from a trust, but there is a fear now that i have pets, that if anything happens to me that they will suffer. Otherwise, this could have been me a bit, and i'm sure has happened to others. Hard to explain that fear when it's something that could easily happen, and picturing it, is terrifying.

I guess what i'm saying is, i feel so bad for her, and that no one bothered to check. Not empty sympathy here even.
posted by usagizero at 7:07 PM on October 9, 2011 [30 favorites]


for other Americans, bedsit = SRO
posted by desjardins at 7:11 PM on October 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


That's one helluva story. Very moving. Thankfully, no dachshund's involved.
posted by unliteral at 7:13 PM on October 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think if you died in the typical American SRO, someone would figure out pretty quickly because of the smell. It's not weird to me because nobody checked, but it's odd that the mail carrier continued to deliver the mail without smelling the rotting body or noticing the mail piling up.
posted by craichead at 7:14 PM on October 9, 2011


Steve Jobs died, millions cried.

Joyce Carol Vincent died, nobody noticed.
posted by WalterMitty at 7:28 PM on October 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


I have given this situation a good deal of worried thought on my own account. I have a dachshund. I hope she knows what to do.

actually, I read that that wasn't true about the dog, that he only bit her to try to wake her up, but I can't find a link
posted by Countess Elena at 7:29 PM on October 9, 2011


I can see how this could happen. I had gotten out of a bad relationship when I was in my mid-twenties. All of my local friends said "I'm so sorry he did this to you. Let me know if you need anything" and then never spoke to me again because they had all been his friends first. I did have a lot of my own friends, but they all lived very far away, and I only talked to them online. Nobody knew my residential address because I always gave my UPS Store box instead, even to my family, and I didn't have a very close relationship with them anyway. I lived in a not-so-good neighborhood, and my neighbors were generally scary people, so I avoided them. One day, it occurred to me that if anything were to happen to me, nobody would know until my rent had gone unpaid. I had a new job then, so they would've assumed I was simply a no-show. Maybe some internet friends would wonder where I had gone, but they wouldn't know how to find out. That really scared me and was what prompted me to come out of my shell (something MetaFilter actually helped with!).

Three years is a helluva long time, but if she lived in an area where people didn't ask questions and avoided each other, I can still see it. They blamed the smell of her decomposing body on the trash bins outside. Where I live now, people would complain about a trash bin smelling that foul. Either her neighbors were that complacent or nobody cared if they did complain. That says something.
posted by katillathehun at 7:29 PM on October 9, 2011 [14 favorites]


Re mail, I'm not sure how it works in the UK but in the US (at least in the area where I live) once the mailbox is overflowing they just stop delivering, with no further investigation. Maybe if the carrier knows the person they might try and check in, but these days many people don't know their mailmen at all.

I'm surprised that no maintenance people noticed anything--you figure there'd be some sort of routine maintenance schedule--checking pipes, changing filters, safety inspections, window caulking, etc.
posted by aerotive at 7:33 PM on October 9, 2011


Yep, that's the big fear when you live alone. But I thought it would take weeks, not years to be found. It is really strange about the smell not being noticed but again, maybe it was reported, maybe not, maybe the report was ignored etc etc. This actually scares me a lot. The documentary link said something about 'love' but apparently love is definitely not enough.

Thank god I am an over-emailer. I hope if I were to stop for a bit that someone would come and look for me! (and I used to live near wood green at one point, it is a bit grim around there.)
posted by bquarters at 7:38 PM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


But then again I have an apt in NYC, so within 30 days (or whatever the law is) they would probably come in and break the locks and flip it to someone else for higher rent...ah, to be of such great value to someone else!
posted by bquarters at 7:40 PM on October 9, 2011


She ain't got nothing on this Japanese dude (though he wasn't technically alone so much as it was (potentially) a scam by the family.
posted by symbioid at 7:41 PM on October 9, 2011


Re mail, I'm not sure how it works in the UK but in the US (at least in the area where I live) once the mailbox is overflowing they just stop delivering, with no further investigation

As it's in the UK, I would guess that instead of a mailbox, there would have been a letterbox in the front door. So the mail would have piled up out of sight behind the door, and the postal worker would not have been aware nobody was there to pick it up.
posted by randomination at 7:42 PM on October 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


Hey! you're right Countess Elena - Marie Prevost. That's the last time I trust Nick Lowe.
posted by unliteral at 7:50 PM on October 9, 2011


A picture with one article showed a pile of mail which piled up behind the door.

she must have colossally depressed!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 8:06 PM on October 9, 2011


I think this is the kind of death modern British culture would inflict on all its subjects: totally alone, surrounded by shit we don't want or need, staring at BBC1 programming until we just lose the will to breathe.
posted by Kandarp Von Bontee at 8:09 PM on October 9, 2011 [17 favorites]


.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:32 PM on October 9, 2011


Australian folksinger Eric Bogle did write this song, about a similar sad case in Sydney years ago.

http://new.music.yahoo.com/eric-bogle/tracks/reason-for-it-all--474533
posted by purenitrous at 8:44 PM on October 9, 2011


Australian folksinger Eric Bogle did write this song, about a similar sad case in Sydney years ago.

That link wouldn't play for me (maybe it's no-go in Japan or something) but here's the song at YouTube:

A Reason for It All
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:56 PM on October 9, 2011


a similar sad case in Sydney years ago.

There's been a recent spate of people in Sydney being found in their houses or apartments years after they died, but they were old & socially isolated - not pretty young things who meet backstage with Nelson Mandela or have dinner with Stevie Wonder.

A tantalising article, though, especially because it still tells so very little about her, other than that she dated various people & met various celebrities, and that she was outwardly successful but somewhat private & enigmatic. Presumably, the film must contain more.

They blamed the smell of her decomposing body on the trash bins outside. Where I live now, people would complain about a trash bin smelling that foul. Either her neighbors were that complacent or nobody cared if they did complain. That says something.

The pile of xmas presents wouldn't have piled themselves up, so presumably she died around that time of year (xmas time can be difficult & is probably a time of suicide spikes). Her window was open, but in the middle of an English winter you can bet all her neighbours kept theirs closed, so a lot of the smell would've wafted away on the wind. It's not clear exactly which floor she lived on, but she only had one neighbour on any side, so that would reduce the effects of the smell. And if all my time watching The Bill hasn't gone to waste, the corridor in those council estates is basically an external balcony.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:59 PM on October 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I hope the film discusses what was up with her sisters. In the article it seems like she only heard from the boyfriends. One of them mentioned a possible asthma attack.
posted by bleep at 9:41 PM on October 9, 2011


What an intruiging and sad story. Thank you for sharing.
posted by triggerfinger at 10:09 PM on October 9, 2011


This is a such a heart wrenching yet as others have noted intriguing story. I tried to find out more and found the BBC news story from 2006. It only suggests answers to a few questions. Apparently there was a problem with people using drugs in the building as one neighbor who moved into the building the summer of 2004 told a reporter:

it was a noisy building frequented by drug addicts, which could explain why no-one noticed the noise from the TV.

He said he had discovered someone dead, clutching a bottle of drink, in the lift weeks ago."


So yeah, not the type of place where you're going to make chit chat with your neighbors in the hallway.

Another thing, though not a big deal, is that this BBC report and one other reference to her online stated that she was 40 at the time of her death rather than 38. Was she such a mystery that no one even has her birth date correct?
posted by kaybdc at 10:31 PM on October 9, 2011


If I'm correct, her flat/bedsit was somewhere in this strange housing development on top of a mall^ (some of it built after her death). It seems, despite the slightly postmodern architecture, to be a place devoid of place, a sort we seem to excel at creating in this age. It's probably a design that intentionally avoids some of the pitfalls of the default estate design of the 1960s and 1970s (although not with the external balcony -- think American motels -- that UbuRoivas mentions), but instead creates a warren where it's easy to become anonymous.

You almost wonder whether the whole point was to stick the "social housing" up out of sight, out of mind.
posted by dhartung at 11:46 PM on October 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I saw Carol Morley's earlier documentary, The Alcohol Years, on Channel 4 a couple of years ago and enjoyed it greatly.

I can see how this story would appeal to her, because Morley's young life sounded a lot like that of Joyce, lots of clubbing and hob-nobbing with people who became famous. If this film is as good as that, it's gonna be well worth a watch.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:18 AM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


My father recently conducted a funeral service for a guy who lay dead in his council flat for 14 months before the body was found. The neighbours said there was no smell. His bills were paid by direct debit.

Dad said that the only people at the funeral were media and official city representatives. No family. No friends. It seems like no one knew him at all.
posted by lollusc at 1:26 AM on October 10, 2011


Since I ceased to be married I've occasionally amused myself with a little game in which I judge the condition of my social life (or rather, lack thereof) by estimating how long it would take for someone to realise something was amiss should I keel over in my flat. Now I'm working again I think questions would be asked within the space of a few days, and my American sweetheart would surely start to fret after a silence of more than two days. Still, I reckon I could lie undiscovered for at least a week right now.

This is better than it would have been a few months ago when I wasn't working. I think it could have gone on for a couple of weeks there. But back in the months after I become de-spoused (and before re-attachment) I could easily have gone a month or more before anyone would start to wonder how or where I was. Now, if the missus leaves me and I lose my job I estimate this could go up to a couple of months or more. If my mother dies too the sky starts to become the limit.

So my point is, it does not surprise me that people who live alone and have no close friends can die, and the fact not be discovered for years.
posted by Decani at 3:08 AM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Usagizero wrote: but there is a fear now that i have pets, that if anything happens to me that they will suffer.
I think Nick Lowe pretty much covered this in "Mary Provost"

Mary Provost did not look her best
The day the cops bust into her loneiy nest
In the cheap hotel up
on Hollywood West July 29
She'd been lyin' there
for two or three weeks
The neighbors said
they never heard a squeak
For hungry eyes that couid not speak
Said even little doggie's have got to eat...
posted by Gungho at 5:40 AM on October 10, 2011


I worked cleaning apartments for one summer and in the apartment of a single older gentleman I found notes posted over his bed clearly indicating who he was, and what to do if he were found dead. Nothing about contacting relatives, just that he had a burial plot in a local cemetery.
posted by Gungho at 5:42 AM on October 10, 2011


She was reportedly "placed" in this flat (in quotes only because I'm not quite sure what that means in this instance – did they simply find her a place, or was it paid for by the agency?) by an agency or charity helping victims of domestic violence, so the apparent disconnect from friends and family becomes less mysterious to me. Abusers are usually quite good at isolating their victims from their support networks, and from what information I have seen online it appears that she had not been in the flat long (some reports suggest late 2002, others say February 2003, the month that was also on the expiry dates of food items in the fridge, and when mail began piling up), so neighbors would have been unlikely to mark her absence.

If she fled in December (as suggested by the either "unopened" or "half-wrapped" – depending on which reports you read – Christmas gifts), spent some time in a shelter before taking up residence in the flat, and died at some point in January or February, she probably didn't have the chance to rebuild her relationships or re-establish contact with friends. One would wish that the service that placed her would have had someone to check up on her, but... so many cases, so few social workers, I imagine.

The mystery of the Christmas gifts is curious. It would initially suggest that she died at/around Christmas, but other clues such as expiry dates and unopened mail point to a later date. I wonder if she had bought gifts for friends as late Christmas gifts in an opening gesture to re-establish communications? Or began with that intention around Christmas, but became paralyzed by depression? If they were gifts to her, it does seem that those people would be aware that something might be wrong... but from what we know at this point, no one has said "oh, yeah, I wondered why I didn't hear from her after I sent her the gift."

And finally, the open window. In London, sometime between December and February? If she did suffer an asthma attack, maybe it was an effort to get more air into the room... or if she was ill and had a high fever, maybe she was trying to cool down. But of course one also can't help wondering if her abuser found her (or was invited by her), finally finished her off, and left the window open in hopes of slowing discovery of the body.

I don't know if this is a person who slipped between the cracks of society so much as a person in a sadly too-common situation (domestic abuse that cut them off from their friends and family) whose death was entangled with some bureaucratic oddness that allowed bills to be paid on the flat and utilities up to a certain point, plus lack of oversight. And an open window.

Very, very sad.
posted by taz at 5:53 AM on October 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


"Neighbors worried that they hadn't seen him in a while, and called the police. They responded, knocked his door in, and found the 4 day dead corpse, sitting in his armchair in front of the television. Supposedly he was surrounded with cash and checks that he hadn't cashed."

Sure, it was a much shorter time (four days) but still oddly similar a lonely death. Only the person who died was Benny Hill.

Sometimes people, even famous people, get lost...
posted by kinnakeet at 7:28 AM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Only the person who died was Benny Hill.

Get the fuck outta here! You serious?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:50 AM on October 10, 2011


I'll be damned. Just checked his Wiki bio, and right you are.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:52 AM on October 10, 2011


...whose death was entangled with some bureaucratic oddness that allowed bills to be paid on the flat and utilities up to a certain point

As others have pointed out, it is common in the UK for utilities and rent to be paid by either standing order or direct debit. This happens automatically. In the case of utilities, you settle on an amount and then later pay off your debit or continue with a credit. In any case, no bill collector would bother her as long as she had funds in the account. I just addressed this, coincidentally, in an ask metafilter answer.
posted by vacapinta at 8:23 AM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was sort of wondering if the flat might have been part of a public (or private, charity) assistance arrangement that secures spaces for use for people in need, and possibly left unmonitored too long, or perhaps the case became lost via some mix-up?

I'm thinking along those lines because typically victims of domestic abuse have two major problems: lack of a support network (because it's been systematically dismantled, usually with an "us against the world" faux-romantic beginning, and then by threat and intimidation), and lack of money (because the abuser controls all avenues of escape and independence). If she had enough money in the bank to pay for several years of rent and utilities, it just seems that she would have escaped to a somewhat nicer situation and/or not needed to go to a shelter previous to that.
posted by taz at 9:41 AM on October 10, 2011


She was reportedly "placed" in this flat [...] by an agency or charity helping victims of domestic violence, so the apparent disconnect from friends and family becomes less mysterious to me.taz
Yes, this is almost certainly what happened. It is extremely common for a woman in an abusive relationship to slowly disappear from the lives of all the people she knows, friends and family alike. The stress of hiding injuries and making up plausible stories, of feeling like other people see only the charming side of the abuser's personality, and related things conspire by themselves to encourage the victim to avoid other people. And then the abuser usually uses numerous strategies to discourage the victim from participating in her relationships, eliminating her external support structure and making her more reliant on him.

Friends and family are often mystified; but usually the victim and the abuser have plausible reasons for it—they're madly in love and spending time together; they're busy with work and other activities; whatever. After awhile, the lack of communication becomes the new normal and the friends and family don't think about it much anymore.

Victims of domestic violence can end up being profoundly isolated, alone, disempowered in every respect. It's not that the abusers are all scheming geniuses; some know what they are doing, others just manage it intuitively.

This becomes a huge hurdle for someone to clear before they can escape an abusive relationship and stay away for good. And it plays a big role in how domestic violence can go undetected by others for so long, as well as detection and investigation of the worst violent crimes that some of these situations end at.

Considering that she had recently left a domestic violence shelter, I think it's disturbing that the authorities were/are apparently were not suspicious about the death.
Since I ceased to be married I've occasionally amused myself with a little game in which I judge the condition of my social life (or rather, lack thereof) by estimating how long it would take for someone to realise something was amiss should I keel over in my flat.decani
I suppose I might consider it a comfort that I share this thought/fear with decani and others in this thread. I've very reclusive and my friends and family who live in town are accustomed to not seeing me for months at a time. Even my mother, who lives in another state, is accustomed to not hearing from me (or me answering the phone or returning her phone calls) for weeks at a time. Friends and family might not be those who would first notice something amiss with me—it might be more likely the landlord when I don't pay the rent.

And, in any case, it would probably be a matter of weeks unless someone noticed the smell.

I most worry about my cat in that situation.

The thing is, though, is that I do have some friends and family. There are more than a few people who lack one or both, and not just among the elderly (although it's much more common with there).
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:48 AM on October 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Fascinating and poignant article, but at the same time... I find it kind of troubling how the manner of someone's death can become a symbol for their entire life, the inevitable point everything was leading to, all along. The idea of searching back to make sense her entire life in terms of it, as though 'it' wasn't just a few bad months or years she could just have easily have survived through, which wouldn't, if she'd died later, even have been remarked upon.
posted by ninjablob at 11:27 AM on October 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Is this the saddest thing in the world? Is this the saddest thing possible? It is, isn't it.

Nope. That would be if they also found the skeleton of a dog at her feet, with the bowl still in his mouth.
posted by davejay at 2:50 PM on October 10, 2011


SRO?

Mesmerizing, romantic, poignant, sad. But I tend to wonder, like ninjablob, how much is hindsight--shoving patterns of a whole life into a this death, even if it's jamming square pegs into round holes. At one part the article says something like "No-one could have imagined 13 years later is would end like this." Well, 13 years ago, no-one would have predicted my life for me, although I'm reasonable sure my sister would have checked up on me before three years had passed.
posted by crush-onastick at 6:12 PM on October 10, 2011


Single Room Occupiancy
posted by The Whelk at 6:14 PM on October 10, 2011


I was sort of wondering if the flat might have been part of a public (or private, charity) assistance arrangement that secures spaces for use for people in need, and possibly left unmonitored too long, or perhaps the case became lost via some mix-up?


Women who have had to resort to a shelter due to domestic violence will inevitably need rehousing afterwards -- if they had the kind of resources that would enable them to house themselves, they wouldn't need a shelter by and large.

And so these shelters inevitably have close relations with social housing providers, and after a period in the shelter, whenever the woman feels able to move on, they'll inevitably be placed in some kind of social housing.

There's been some discussion of how undesirable this property was, but given the cost of private rents in central London, unless this was a really bad sink estate, most people on moderate incomes would kill to get into this kind of social housing. OK, if not kill, issue some significantly large bribes.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:19 PM on October 10, 2011


Ah, like a YMCA or transient hotel? But publicly subsidized, like Sec. 8?
posted by crush-onastick at 6:21 PM on October 10, 2011


Also, this flat seems far from being the archetypal bedsit/SRO. It had it's own front door -- and so almost certainly had a kitchen and bathroom as well. It may have been a studio apartment, but more likely it was a one bedroom flat.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:22 PM on October 10, 2011


Ah, OK. Definitely described as a bedsit -- but the term traditionally refers to a single-occupancy dwelling that's been converted into multiple single-room studio apartments. Often with shared bathrooms.

This was a housing association owned studio apartments. As I said earlier, thousands and thousands of people in London would bite your hand off for such an apartment. It's a very long way from a transient hotel or YMCA.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:28 PM on October 10, 2011


If 275 000 Britons go missing each year that we know about, how many more are missing that are like trees falling in the forest that no one sees? This article may be fascinating enough to stand on its own as a MetaFilter post but seems to fit in well here.

Can you imagine "Britain's unclaimed bodies: They lie refrigerated in Britain's mortuaries"as mentioned in this article?

For everyone of us who scratches our head and wonders how this could have happened, there are just as many people not surprised. And, as referenced by others, there are those who fear such a thing could happen to them.
posted by YukonQuirm at 6:58 PM on October 10, 2011


how many more are missing that are like trees falling in the forest that no one sees?

Or on an island, as the case may be: Queen fanatic lay dead for 'about three years' within sight of Buckingham Palace
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:09 PM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Queen fanatic lay dead for 'about three years' within sight of Buckingham Palace

What, he thought he was gonna catch a glimpse of Freddy Mercury there?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:06 PM on October 10, 2011


The old man that lived below us died when I was a teenager. Our kitchen and bathroom started having the grossest smell. Everyone in our apartment building started complaining about the smell to the management about the smell, except for him. The management was investigating the smell, and was checking with him mainly to find out why he had no complaints about the smell. That's how he was discovered. The smell of him filled up his apartment, and was traveling through the plumbing to the rest of the building. They hired professional fumigators who hauled off all of his possessions (which were totally destroyed) The smell was so bad they even had to replace the drywall, and I assume the insulation but I didn't actually see them bring that in.
posted by BurnChao at 8:22 PM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


What, he thought he was gonna catch a glimpse of Freddy Mercury there?

Tell me about it - Mercury died 20 years ago!
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:27 PM on October 10, 2011


Tell me about it - Mercury died 20 years ago!

Wow, I didn't know that! I did hear that they demoted Pluto from 'planet' down to 'asteroid' or something...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:02 PM on October 10, 2011


I thought this story might end up here.

It reminds me of the couple of Christmases during college when I didn't travel home. I was perfectly happy, actually enjoying the snowy, deserted campus. The only problem was that I kept being bothered by people assuming that I needed comforting.

Another time, there was a friend of mine who kept telling a story about seeing a guy eating thanksgiving dinner by himself at a restaurant. She kept going on about it, the pathos the pathos, making all these assumptions about the guy's life, at his expense, so she could prove to everybody that she had feelings. (to preempt any hackles that were raised by that last comment: you didn't know my friend)

So as for Joyce Carol Vincent, I think it's too bad her whole life is now being shoehorned into this soapy gifted/tragic narrative, just because she fell on her paring knife or something one night when she was in between jobs. And because a filmmaker was around.
posted by Rich Smorgasbord at 9:06 PM on October 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


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