So. Damn near ten years ago, I had the worst night of my life up to that point in time. It was Christmas Eve and The Girl was supposed to call and she never did and I was having a really hard time with that and wound up getting drunk off my ass. That’s the part that doesn’t matter anymore. However, in between her not calling and me propping myself up against the urinal wall with my forehead, is the interesting part of the story.
I dropped her off, she said she’d call, and then I drove up to my parent’s house to spend a couple hours with them. It was Christmas Eve, there wasn’t a whole lot going on. Anyway, I get up to their house and let myself in and my dad is there and he sees me and says, “Oh, thank God!” Given the fact that his usual greeting was something along the lines of, “Stay out of my fucking refrigerator,” I felt safe in my assumption that something was up. So then he told me that there had just been a story on the news relating how Tim Hatch, 29 years old, of Upland, California had been found bound and dead, on the side of Highway 71. My name, my age, and my hometown. He’d just seen this on NBC and was probably freaking out a little when I walked through the door. So then the phone starts ringing as all of my parent’s friends started calling up to either tell my mom and dad how sorry they were or to find out if what they’d seen on the television was true.* And while it was – still is, really – comforting and flattering to know how many people cared about me, none of the people calling me were The Girl. Combine that with the bizarre coincidence of the reported murder, and that was enough to send me to the pub for a vicious drinking frenzy. Not the way to solve your problems, but hey, I was in the middle of a years-long breakdown so I wasn’t gonna be handling anything particularly well. Somewhere in the middle of the drinking, someone pointed out that my situation of sharing a name with a guy who’d just been murdered was, “just like that Terminator bitch!” (I drink with a classy crowd) and I’ve thought of that night as my Sarah Connor moment ever since.
Not much of a story, honestly, and the only reason I’m writing about it now is because I just got a call from my friend Rob, wanting to confirm that I was still alive, as he’d just heard that Tim Hatch had died while diving off Catalina Island this weekend. How freakin’ bizarre is that? Granted, it’s a diving accident and not a murder, but still…how weird. I wonder how many more news stories I’m going to hear of a namesake dying before I go? I hope it’s none. I know “Tim Hatch” isn”t exactly a unique name, but it’s not exactly “Bob Smith” either. In fact, I’ve never met anyone with the last name of Hatch who wasn’t family.
So I searched for “Tim Hatch” on Google, to get that link above and in doing so, found out there’s a timhatch.com that belongs to a guy named Tim Hatch, who also uses his site as a blog (among other things) and seems to be a bit of a computer geek (though far more talented than myself). How bizarre (and that’ll be the last time I say those two words in succession this year, lest that goddamn song creep its way into my head).
I’ll be drinking tonight but that’s just because I’ll be hanging out with my brother.
*Brief tangent: I have to assume that my parent’s friends were all watching the news because they grew up with newsmen like Murrow and Cronkite and because back then the news was actually, you know, newsworthy. My generation grew up with Geraldo Rivera and Al Capone’s fucking vault and we came of age with CNN and Fox News and we’ve watched as the nightly news has transformed from actual news into endless variations of Entertainment Tonight and Crossfire. Once my parent’s generation is gone, I really don’t think there will be too many more instances of everyone you know calling up to see whether or not a story they just saw on television is true, mostly because everyone I know thinks televised news is a huge waste of time.