Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Hank receives a copy of OJ Simpson's If I Did It and tells all the spoilers to Phyllis, who was not going to read it anyway

The most interesting thing about this book to me is the number of times he assures the reader he is telling the truth. This is not a long book--only 226 pages, and 34 pages are transcripts of 911 calls and OJ's first police interrogation--but I circled 10 "to tell the truth"s, 12 "frankly"s, and 32 "to be honest"s, which is about one every three pages on average. For a man who has already been acquitted, he is awfully concerned with what other people think. As he writes on page 198, "The only thing that mattered was that they believe me: I was 100 percent not guilty. They had to believe me."

You will notice that is not exactly a denial, because by that point he has already spent 30 pages telling how he did it. The striking thing, honey, is he barely even bothers to fudge it. (He spends all of 19 words on disclaimers. The Author's Note says, "If I did it, this is how it happened," and on page 142 the story about that night is preceded by "Now picture this--and keep in mind, this is hypothetical.")

I'll read you some of it, but first I know you want your spoilers. The main one is that he claims he was not alone. He writes that a man he calls "Charlie" came by his house that night and told him that Nicole and her friend Faye Resnick (she is the one who invested in the Colombian necktie company) were taking a lot of drugs and having "kinky" sex during trips to Mexico. So then--well, I will read you that part:

[Charlie says] "I know you two have been through a lot of shit, and I know it can't be easy, and I thought maybe if you talked to her--"

"Talked to her? What the fuck is wrong with you? I've been trying to talk to her for years. She won't listen to me. She won't listen to her family. She won't listen to her friends!"

"OJ, man--I'm not the enemy here."

I turned around, fuming, and tried to count to ten. I didn't make it. By the time I got to three I realized that Charlie was right. He wasn't the enemy.
Nicole was the enemy. I looked at my watch. I had less than an hour before the limo showed up to take me to the airport, just enough time to drive down to Bundy, read her the fucking riot act, and get my ass back to the house.

"Come on," I said, and moved toward my Bronco.

"Where we going?"

"Just come."

Charlie got in. I started the Bronco and the gate whirred to life and I pulled into the street, the tires squealing against the curb.

"Where we going, OJ?"

"We're going to scare the shit out of that girl," I said.


"It never fucking
ends. Every time I turn around, it's something new--and none of it's pretty."

"This isn't a good idea, OJ."

"Fuck that. I'm tired of being the understanding ex-husband. I have my kids to think about."

"I'm asking you, man, please turn around."

"Woman's going to be the death of me!" I said.

Now I will skip ahead to the money shot:

Charlie walked over and planted himself in front of me blocking my view. "We are fucking done here, man--let's go!"

I noticed the knife in Charlie's hand, and in one deft move I removed my right glove and snatched it up. "We're not going anywhere," i said, turning to face Goldman. Goldman was still circling me, bobbing and weaving, but I didn't feel like laughing anymore.

"You think you're tough, motherfucker?" I said.

I could hear Charlie just behind me, saying something, urging me to get the fuck out of there, and at one point he even reached for me and tried to drag me away, but I shook him off, hard, and moved toward Goldman. "Okay, motherfucker!" I said. "Show me how tough you are!"

Then something went horribly wrong, and I know what happened, but I can't tell you exactly how. I was still standing in Nicole's courtyard, of course, but for a few moments I couldn't remember how I'd gotten there, when I'd arrived, or even why I was there....

And now? Now I was standing in Nicole's courtyard, in the dark, listening to the loud, rhythmic, accelerated beating of my own heart. I put my left hand to my heart and my shirt felt strangely wet. I looked down at myself. For several moments, I couldn't get my mind around what I was seeing. The whole front of me was covered in blood, but it didn't compute.
Is this really blood? I wondered. And whose blood is it? Is it mine? Am I hurt?...

Nicole. Jesus.

I looked down and saw her on the ground in front of me, curled up in a fetal position at the base of the stairs, not moving. Goldman was only a few feet away, slumped against the bars of the fence. He wasn't moving either. Both he and Nicole were lying in giant pools of blood. I had never seen so much blood in my life. It didn't seem real, and none of it computed.
What the fuck happened here? Who had done this? And why? And where the fuck was I when this shit went down?...

I again looked down at myself, at my blood-soaked clothes, and noticed the knife in my hand. The knife was covered in blood, as were my hand and wrist and half of my right forearm. That didn't compute either.

And you know what, sugar? In the 30 pages where he is narrating the crime, he never once says "to be honest" or "frankly." I think that is because he is telling the truth.

The rest of the book is essentially about how she made him do it.

Page 99: "I went outside, pissed, and confronted Nicole. 'How can you do what you just did? How could hit that poor lady? I don't care if you don't like her attitude--you can't go around hitting people!'"

Page 109: "To make matters worse, several of her close friends started coming by to express concern about the shape she was in, as if I could do something about it. Nicole was still hanging out with that same bad crowd, they said, drinking too much and clearly doing drugs. Every other day, I heard variations on the same theme: 'OJ, you gotta do something about it. She needs help.'"

Page 116: "Now don't get me wrong: I'm not trying to suggest that I was the perfect ex-husband. All I'm saying is that I was very worried about her, and that I wanted to help her find her way back. No matter what had gone wrong in our lives--and plenty of shit had gone wrong--she was still the mother of my kids. I was stuck with her, but for their sake I wanted to be stuck with her."

Page 124: "It seemed like no matter how much I tried to do for her, no matter how patient and reasonable I was, my good intentions always came back to bite me in the ass."
Why do you suppose he wrote the book? He had to know the proceeds would be enjoined, and they have been. I think it is a psychopath's forget-me-not.

By the way, sweetie, did any of your tabloids ever say whether the police gave OJ his effects back after the trial? I was wondering if his lucky stabbing hat will ever show up on eBay.

1 comment:

Phyllis Stein said...

Hank--I never saw an article in Star about the hat. Maybe OK?