Marshall Willoughby’s World
A Memoirby Sivani Babu
There are two kinds of people who invite you to their home within twenty minutes of meeting them: The first has a story to share. The second has bodies stuffed into a freezer.
I was pretty sure that the man on the bike was the first kind, and as I followed him through the streets of Gary, Indiana, in my jeep with Mrs. Checchi, my septuagenarian former high school teacher, riding shotgun, I hoped I hadn’t read him wrong.
“This is going to be great!” Mrs. Checchi said over the hum of a Willie Nelson song. She was vibrating in her seat, her hands clasped in her lap, her eyes alight with excitement. My hands were gripping the steering wheel, my eyes on the road and on the bike-riding figure darting around a corner up ahead. I couldn’t completely halt the parade of horribles marching through my brain as we followed this stranger home, but like a bubble, Mrs. Checchi’s enthusiasm for this latest adventure was ever-expanding and crowding out my hesitancy.
“That man’s a genius!” she said, looking down the road at Marshall Willoughby.
Yeah, I half joked to myself, so was Ted Bundy.