For two bucks at Half Price Books I got a brand new compilation of Paul Theroux’s travel essays. I like his writing and have read most of his travel books in unabridged editions. This was a chance to get bite-size essays from several different books in one publication. “I could’ve slept with him, you know,” I remember a woman telling me during a massage. “Paul Theroux. I could have slept with him.” I had forgotten about that until I bought this book and I have absolutely no idea why she said it or whether it was the truth. It’s amazing what people choose to divulge during a massage. One man told me he was part of the government’s Witness Protection Program and had had to start his life over with a new identity. That was definitely something I wasn’t comfortable knowing. “We could always laugh,” he told me. “Even when we was killin’ somebody we had a sense of humor about it.” More than chilling to hear, to say the least. I never mentioned his previous “occupation” until he was dead. I think he couldn’t stand that people were unaware of what he considered to be important standing in the Mob and knew him only as the proprietor of an unassuming pizza place because shortly after he told me, an article appeared in our local newspaper about him. He had performed some Good Samaritan-worthy thing and spilled his whole backstory to a reporter. Not long afterwards, he was dead. I always wondered if he met his end under nefarious circumstances. I remember questioning him about his choice of name, which more than slightly annoyed him. “You think it’s so easy to start over? Next week when I come back, you have a new name picked for yourself. See how that feels.” He was a large imposing man who strode rather than walked into a room and spoke with a strong New York accent like a character in “The Godfather” or “Goodfellas”. I was more than slightly intimated. He did return for his appointment the following week but didn’t ask about the name and I didn’t mention it. In case you wondered, “Lily McNeil.”


Photo courtesy Sammy-Sander at

Liked this post? Get updates by email...

Enter your email address below to stay up to date with Lightly Tethered.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Liked this post? Click below to share!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like...