I just finished reading a murder mystery, specifically, a “cozy” mystery. Cozy mysteries are murder lite, and sometimes humorous. An irritating neighbor or relative, a person that nobody will miss, found dead in an unusual way, such as stabbed with chopsticks. The main character bungles around asking questions since the police are too busy to help, then he or she stumbles into danger at the end, nearly losing their own life in the process.
In this particular mystery, the main character loses a close friend, poisoned at her son’s birthday party. That doesn’t strike me as paticularly cozy. It just made me stop and think about how lightly we treat things that don’t affect us personally.
I lost my mom almost three years ago. My sister’s boyfriend’s father is not expected to live another two weeks. I lost a dear friend, a woman my age, a month ago to complications from diabetes. Another friend in Florida just lost his mom. My dad is at a funeral today for his neighbors’ son, a man younger than me, who died from a stroke.
I guess perhaps reading about murder and death fills some kind of need we have to be in control of things. If a close friend of mine was murdered at her son’s birthday party, I would be devastated and I would never look at life the same way, ever again. If I read about it happening to someone else, I can learn to deal with the idea of death in a somewhat distant manner, and in that way it could perhaps dull the pain when the inevitable happens in my own reality.
But I guess that’s why we read, to escape reality for just a little bit. I might be done with murder mysteries for a while, though. A frivolous romance sounds better right about now.
It sounds a little more cozy, anyway.