Cassandra and I trekked back to Vermont the next weekend. Cassandra and I had thrown ourselves into research and had learned a lot. I told them:
“What you’ve done has a legal name … pseudocide, like suicide, but with your identity, not your body. You see it mostly in insurance frauds, or when someone wants to avoid financial obligations like child support, or to get out of toxic relationships or to avoid going to jail for a crime they’ve committed.”
My relationship with the Marines was definitely toxic.
He barely reacted to the next thing I told, except to say softly “Will you please repeat that?”
Pseudocide ain’t no crime. It’s always the “why” about pseudocide that’s illegal. And I can find nothing about what you’ve done that’s illegal or provable in court. There are no victims.
We celebrated all day. In the afternoon I called my Mom, The Tart, Trudi, now working on her fourth husband and living in a community called The Villages in Florida. She was pleased to hear from me, but not shocked. I asked why. “Oh I heard from Gloria years ago that this was all a ruse for you to drop out of society. I knew I’d hear from you when you wanted to be discovered. No girl’s going to keep a secret like that from a friend.”
At least there was one thing that Gloria still kept secret.
Pseudocide Ain’t No Crime (What Greg Said)
Del, I have good news for you
No longer should you sing the blues
The Navy doesn’t give a damn
About the little scam you ran
Killing your identity itself is no calamity
Cause pseudocide it ain’t no crime
No hard time or need to hide
Cause pseudocide it ain’t no crime
No pseudocide it ain’t no crime
Pseudocide Ain’t No Crime (What Del Heard)
I’ve got some news to share with you
You may have lied about who died
You think you won’t be free.
You sold some weed, you paid no tax,
You took a dead man’s name.
But while you lied, your Pseudocide
Ain’t Crime that’s plain to see.
There’s no insurance fraud, no embezzled funds,
no body found, no smoking gun.
No foul, no damage done.
There’s no such crime as theft of time.
My friend … your battle’s won.
Greg Brewster Contemplation
When Cassandra and I were in our 20s, we bought a small, remote cabin in the woods of Maine. We go there every summer for boating, fishing, swimming, but most importantly, to consider what’s really important in life.
Wanna Rush to be Dead
Autobiograffiti, The Finish Line
So what happened after Greg found out that pseudicide ain’t no crime? Quite simply … EVERYONE LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER!
There were definitely some loose ends, but there were surprisingly few problems.
Greg was fucking amazing! He contacted the US Navy (because the Marines are part of the Navy) to clear up the paperwork discrepancy, and he kept saying there was no foul because there was no crime. The Navy didn’t put up much protest. A paperwork snafu didn’t do anything for them … made them look like idiots. Wendell Watson had been honorably discharged. William Mann was killed in action. Who cared if Wendell Watson got a California Driver’s License in William Mann’s name?
The problems melted away. Billy Mann was free to become Del Watson.
Except, Billy Mann was who I was in Vermont, so I stayed Billy Mann. With Greg and Cassandra I remained Del … no problem! Now, we get together a few times a year. A coupla times in Vermont and a coupla times in Rhode Island. We’ve gone vacation together. We even went on a river cruise! Cassandra and ‘Sythia are like sisters.
Once in a while we pull out the guitars …
… pregnant pause. (picks up guitar) Come to Papa: