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Complete the following: If my spouse shot the President and was subsequently killed...
I would sleep with his/her sibling 14%
I would go into hiding 21%
I would milk every last morsel of fame and fortune out of the situation 28%
I would commit a spectacular follow-up crime a la the Manson girls 14%
I am Marina Oswald and I think you're an insensitive jerk 14%
Shouldnt that be: *When* my spouse..., oh wait, forget I said that 7%

Votes: 14

 Thoughts on Lee Harvey Oswald's widow's affair with his Brother

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Mar 17, 2002
In the period just after the assassination, Marina (Oswald) had a brief affair with Robert Oswald (Lee's brother).
-From "Marina and Ruth" by Thomas Mallon, The New Yorker, Dec. 3, 2001

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One's first thought is, naturally enough, a certain relief at the thought of these two people, so close to one of the defining cataclysmic events of the latter half of the twentieth century succumbing, something so ordinary as a nice fleshy screw. One imagines them on a king-size bed, gazing into one another's eyes, covers pulled up discreetly over their nipples, half-finished drinks on the nightstand, cigarettes smoldering in adjacent ashtrays, the whole scene set in garish technicolor like one of those bad Rock Hudson romance flicks from the '50s. The sheer naughtiness of it all (affairs with your dead spouse's sibling: fodder for some prurient daytime chat show) humanizes them, and indirectly, Oswald.

She is a fairly well known figure. Marina, the young Russian woman, so beautiful, so naive, whom Oswald the failed revolutionary brought back from behind the iron curtain. Oswald's brother is less well-known (how many people even knew Oswald had a brother?). Robert Oswald has until recently managed to stay safely out of the glare of publicity. The circumstances of their affair spring pretty abundantly to mind: she: scared, confused, alone, he: horny, shallow, opportunistic. In this light, it's easy enough to see why Oswald's brother decided to fade quietly into the backlights of time: the prospect of running through the whole "how could you fuck your dead brother's wife?" inquisition with one earnest asshole reporter after another being enough to send anybody into seclusion.

There is however a way of to interpret this affair as being quite different from some tawdry fuck-and-forget six week fling; a viewpoint that sees this pair occupying an entirely other realm from the rest of us who allow ourselves a messy indiscretion with our friend's boyfriend, our boss, some total stranger, our dead husband's brother.

The situation of finding yourself a footnote to history is pretty unique: the feeling of someone close to you setting off events of global import must be positively vertiginous. Faceless officials from this authority or that barge through your quiet little life, rummaging through every insignificant little corner. The consequences of the monstrous act of this person you thought you knew blare in your face from every radio, tv screen, from the faces of passersby. The knowledge that you will be for a long time noted in one historical record or another as the loved one of this man who upended a nation, the whole plenitude of your existence distilled into a couple of sentences and an endnote, weighs on your mind. To be forever defined by millions of people through the terrible act of some entirely other person: Oswald's wife, Oswald's brother. The immensity of it all, the terrible helplessness: sucked in, chewed up, and shat out by the forces of history like a goose sucked into a jet engine.

Mostly, a person in that position must feel totally alone. Who can empathize with what they are going through? It is a situation visited upon but a handful of poor saps every century: Stalin's daughter, The parents of some deranged high school shooter, Oswald's wife, Oswald's brother. In this light, how could they not seek the comfort of one another's arms, thighs, lips, body fluids? They were, it can be seen, driven together by something as overwhelming and irresistable as destiny. One likes to think, in light of this, that when they were together for that short time, Robert and Marina fucked with a passion, as if indeed they were the only two people on earth.


Well now (5.00 / 1) (#1)
by Peter Johnson on Sun Mar 17th, 2002 at 02:23:40 AM PST
Assuming this is original (and I've no reason to suspect otherwise), I'd like to say "Bravo!"

This is exactly the sort of thing needs more of. Keep up the good work!
Are you adequate?

Thank You. (none / 0) (#6)
by Chocolate Milkshake on Mon Mar 18th, 2002 at 09:14:35 PM PST

Those Russian girls... (none / 0) (#2)
by elenchos on Sun Mar 17th, 2002 at 02:34:31 AM PST
Man, oh, man. I gotta tell you about Russian girls. Well, you can't really put it in words. They're just little tigresses, okay. TI-gress-ES!

Is that enough? Oh, man, you should find out what I mean, seriously. Find out, okay?

Man. Russian girls! Russian girls!

Man, I tell you...

I do, I do, I do
--Bikini Kill

Skiddly wa waaah (none / 0) (#4)
by Chocolate Milkshake on Mon Mar 18th, 2002 at 09:01:30 PM PST
I have this vision of the above soliloquy being spoken by Elvis' zany, Morrie Amsterdamish sidekick in Red-y, Willin' and Able, an Elvis movie that somehow never got made ca. 1962ish. In it, Elvis would play a singing garage mechanic who helps a gorgeous Russkie broad defect to the land of fun and freedom, while protecting her from evil KGB agents and pesky McCarthyite goons.

The "Russian Girls" speech would serve as a lead-in to "Bebop Babushka", the picture's big musical number, in which The King executes a lot of pseudo-"Sabre Dance" choreography while beehived cuties smile stiffly and shimmy in the background. At the end Elvis would introduce the baddies to his close friend whoopass through the intermediary of good old fashioned American Karate (pronounced ka-RODDY).

Waddy skad-la (none / 0) (#7)
by hauntedattics on Tue Mar 19th, 2002 at 06:00:03 AM PST
Methinks this plotline has been used already, but never featuring such a Star of Great Magnitude. Picturing Elvis doing the Sabre Dance has pretty much made my day.

I find myself enthralled by your work. Please keep it up.


we should move this to the front page... (5.00 / 2) (#3)
by perdida on Sun Mar 17th, 2002 at 10:00:18 AM PST
and you should write more, assuming this is original.

This is what democracy looks like

Hehe (none / 0) (#5)
by Chocolate Milkshake on Mon Mar 18th, 2002 at 09:11:13 PM PST
Thanks for the compliment, Perdida, but: "Assuming this is original?" Ouch. You're the second person to say that. What kind of world are we living in, when a grown man who calls himself "Chocolate Milkshake" has no credibility?

once bitten, twice shy.... (none / 0) (#8)
by perdida on Wed Mar 20th, 2002 at 06:22:19 PM PST
we have had some attempts to troll us indirectly by submitting plagiarized material, so we're rather paranoid about such matters.

anyway, can't wait to see more of yer stuff. thanx!

This is what democracy looks like


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