So I've been silently stewing on this for 15+ years. I have never told a soul. I've rehashed it over and over in my mind, and maybe it's worth telling now, long after my paranoia years. If not, sorry to disappoint some of you. All I can say is, it was a real event. And sharing real things within the framework of legality is something I value, because it offers a window into our world which is not felonious in nature and starving to be known.
There are, of course, interesting details I know I cannot share which would paint a clearer picture for this story, for reasons of unacceptance and outing-fear, but I still think it remains interesting anyway.
So. I had an uncle once upon a time. He was a somewhat large and EXTREMELY gregarious dude. I was a little shy as a kid, and he seemed to know this instinctively. He had a curled mustache like something from old early 1900's times, and a LOUD booming voice. They lived about an hour away. My typical meet-and-greet of the family would be me taking a deep breath just before entering their home, followed by a "HOW YA DOIN', EEYORE!?!?" In my younger years, this would include a public intense tickle session, which was not strange to me at all. He was just larger than life, but it was still something very intense to endure, even though I always had a very affable impression of him.
He was my female cousin's father.
I learned years later that he had been in WWII, an infantry soldier who got pinned down somewhere in France. I leave a few other details out with great pain, avoiding pride for safety. He was one of only a few survivors. He would never speak to anyone about it, but I could gauge secondhand it was something intense. I held his purple heart medal in my hand as a kid, not really knowing what it meant.
As it turned out, he was also a coin collector. This was one of my own nerdy hobbies as kid. He let me sit on the floor with his collection, sifting through all his fascinating coins. One of my favorites was (going from memory without trying to research it) a silver 1890's coin from maybe a world's fair or something with the word "Columbia" (I used to know this stuff by heart).
Eventually his wife and my mom (sisters) nudged him to pick out a few coins to give me.
With little gratitude, 10-year-old-Eeyore looked them over. "What a CHEAPSKATE!" A buncha not-even-slightly rare indian head pennies and a few common buffalo nickles>:/
("Ugh. Wasn't there a cousin in the title of this plebian self-absorbed diatrabe?")
Incensed, I asked to look at his collection again.
My dark navy-blue tri-fold for buffalo nickles at home was nearly full, other than the typical rare individuals only rich people had.
HOWEVER..... Uncle Gregarious just happened to have a prized 1938-D (Denver) buffalo nickle. The last year of coinage AND the only mint to produce it, not to mention a comparitively low number of strikes. I knew he wasn't paying very close attention to his coins, so I, um... I stuffed it into my sock:(
To be fair, *I DID* return the crappy 1936 or '37 coin back into his collection (I wasn't THAT greedy). I still feel guilt all these years later. Not an incredibly valuable coin, but as a kid it totally was. (My friend with the wealthy dad got a 1909-S-vdb Lincoln penny, and I was so incredibly jealous!)
What was I talking about?
Oh, yeah. My uncle had a "bunch" of daughters and only a very few sons. EVERY one of his daughters was crazy in some way. The oldest was smart, hyper and seemingly ever-on-edge. The second was a classic rebel who married a troubled biker-dude. The third (this cousin) was dark, somewhere between goth and misanthrope. The youngest was originally a total brat, but also hot, and did well for herself and married well.
Oh.. there was also a family gathering after all our parents had passed. I get along great with the elder sis and the youngest sis about my age.
Second sis married to felonious biker never appears anywhere.
Third sis is the topic of this post.
Wayyy back in my late 90's surfing days, I was a newb, pushed by my best friend onto the internet. I did NOT trust it. Of course, it didn't take long to realize that not only were there young cute girls on there, but they approached you first! "Well, okay. I guess I should investigate this place."
At some early point, I met a dude in a chat room. We got to talking. Incredibly, he knew my misanthropic goth cousin. Worked with her at the local Hardee's or wherever the dark misanthrope girls gather. This is slightly embellished, but not a joke. He knew her name. I forget how we discovered her as a connection, but it was obvious she was tuned in to internet things. She was an internet-obsessive, to be clear.
I..... had a few sigpics here in past years. My cousin was likely very tuned-in to places like GC, though likely with a negative perspective.
I have never reached a conclusion about incest. I tend toward the negative.
So we're all sitting there at a family gathering, roundabout 2006. So many other intriguing details I could share but cannot. It would just make the reality more interesting if not feared for being noted.
So I am sitting at an outdoor picnic table and barbecue. My wonderful sweet old nun of an aunt is sitting there to the side, oblivious, sure to cash in her chips shortly. I have not spoken to my cousin at all yet since my arrival. She is about as far from aunt-nun in every way possible, but inches away from her physically.
She stares straight into me in silence. Even when I talk with my other relatives, she just sits there in silence, glaring at me judgmentally. I always knew she was a little different, unmarried, not even dating, but this time... it just felt incredibly weird.
I think my uncle may have done shit with all of his daughters. and possibly not in ways deemed to be better approaches. Just a hunch.
And I think, possibly, just maybe, one of his sharpest and possibly most jaded daughters, saw her cousin and his selfies on this internet...decided it was definitely him, and never spoke to him again.
True story. Not sure what to make of it.