One of the major characters in The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead is a woman. Her name is Talitha; no last name is ever given. She is named after much younger woman I met in real life and there is really almost no other resemblance between them beyond that they are both human females. The real person is a woman I cared for professionally for a few months while she was a teen. I actually liked her. Because I did, I went so far as to name a fiction character after her. The bad news is, the character I named after her is not very nice.
My intention was to explain that the fictional character was included in a neighborhood women’s luncheon group. At the women’s group – somewhat hoity toity of a very middle class crowd, but not the lower middle class if you get my meaning. They were not trying to be snobs about it, but their main focus was on having a good neighborhood. Most of the ladies in the group are married women, but Talitha was not. She had been but did not have custody of either or her two children. The other women knew it was a sore point with her and so they didn’t talk about it much.
Well, truth be told, Talitha has as much of a double life as Tutweiler Buckhead in the novel for similar sorts of reasons – criminal activities. For Talitha, it comes down to maintaining the lifestyle in which she was raised which turned out to be different to achieve than she had anticipated growing up. It means a great deal to her that the other women in the neighborhood have no idea of her criminal activities at all but are very aware that her front lawn is well tended, and that she is well groomed and well dressed. If anything, that is the real message as experienced by this lady who helps a few men solve a serious crime problem in Indianapolis, despite being crooked herself.
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