I admit it—I still want to know. I mean, O.J. promised not to rest until he found Nicole’s killer… well?? THE GUY IS RESTING (in prison for another crime, perhaps, but still…)
Over 15 years later and I am still curious as to what happened to the knife, where the bag that was placed by the limo went, what the pounding on Kato’s guest house wall was, and whether or not Marcia Clark was sleeping with Chris Darden.
The year was 1994, and my ex-husband (who was not my husband yet but simply my “living in sin” boyfriend) and I were in New York watching The Knicks NBA finals (Pat Riley was the coach and Ewing was my guy) when at the bottom of the screen was this white Bronco…
And the rest, as they say, is history. I knew from the moment that Bronco chase started, I was hooked. I could feel it in my veins. The excitement, the curiosity, the answer to the absolute boredom that had taken over my own life.
Finally I had a reason to get up in the morning! Yes! Let the O.J. trial begin!
And it did. In January of 1995.
It was perfect. My pre-husband/boyfriend was busy doing a play in New York while I was wondering if I had committed career suicide by moving from Los Angeles, where I was at the start of my feature film career, back to New York where I had nothing going on AT ALL.
Why did I move just when my first movie was made and I should’ve been riding that wave for at least the next few years? Because… “I was in looooove.”
So, my days were spent in front of the television on the Upper West Side, drinking coffee and watching the O.J. trial. I was fixated. I loved it. Everything about it. It was like the best soap opera ever.
Seriously, you can’t create a better cast of characters. Racist Mark Fuhrman, knucklehead Kato, the grieving Goldman family, Denise Brown, “the brunette version of Nicole” (they must’ve stated that at least a hundred times), the devoted housekeeper, the guy who knew what time he heard the barking dog because of his obsessive television-watching schedule, the two defense experts, Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld, who looked like every writing team I had ever worked with, Judge Ito and, of course, the football legend himself.
I had my day planned out: I broke for lunch when they broke for lunch. Hit up Zabaars for a bagel, lox and cream cheese, then headed back to the apartment just in time for Greta Van Susteren to give her two cents on the day’s events before heading back into the courtroom.
At night I couldn’t sleep because I would replay the night of the murder in my head, desperate to be the one to figure out where the killer hid the knife.
Yes, folks, I really thought I could solve it. Like I was some sort of young Angela Lansbury riding around on my bike through New York hoping to fit together the pieces of a puzzle that no one else on the planet could.
OK, I was a little obsessed and a lot sick. Sick of my life.
It was 134 days of nonstop episodes of The People vs. Orenthal James Simpson. I mean, c’mon, imagine if Modern Family or Family Guy or The Real Housewives of Orange County aired new episodes nonstop every day for 134 days—before the days of Tivo—tell me some of you wouldn’t be dancin’ in the streets.
I mean, sure I was neglecting my life, my relationship, my depression. But it was the greatest escape from my reality that I could have ever asked for.
I bring this up because, and I say this with all sincerity, I would give ANYTHING for that kind of distraction now.
With the crap that’s going on in my life these days—the seemingly never-ending unemployment, the getting older, the extra five friggin’ pounds, the fact that my daughter is almost out of her single digits… well, 134 days of a murder trial would be the perfect thing to take the edge off life.
And since this mama doesn’t drink, smoke, shop or fu — ok, drink, smoke or shop — looking for something to take the edge off life is not easy these days.
I remember when the verdict was read and the shock and horror that overwhelmed me. Not so much because they let a murderer off (which, we all know they did) but because it was over. Really over.
What the hell was I going to do with all those hours in the day now? Yoga?
Noooo! I needed a fix! Something! Anything! And I went through what any good addict goes through… a nasty case of withdrawals.
I’d wake up and walk past the television in pure and utter grief. I missed seeing Marcia and Chris, Detectives Tom Lange and Ron Phillips, the chick who worked at Mezzaluna. Hell, I would’ve been happy with a glimpse of a court reporter.
But, alas, it truly was over. And then something so odd happened. Unexpected. So random.
I got a job.
Not just any job. I got a job writing for a soap opera in New York.
I had never written for soaps. The last time I watched one was when Luke and Laura got married on General Hospital. But I met someone who knew someone who needed someone and I became that someone.
So, as luck would have it, as one long real-life soap opera in Brentwood ended, a new make-believe one in a town called Bay City began.
My days became busy, my life became full and my need for an escape disappeared.
The other day I was on my way to a meeting, driving on Sunset toward the Palisades, panicking about how I was going to pay my bills, get a bunch of elementary school kids in shape for a looming talent show, qualify for more health insurance, get my hair cut… when I passed a street I hadn’t thought about in years.
And for a brief moment I went back in time, remembering 1995, and forgetting, for just a brief moment, all my current worries.
And wouldn’t you know it, once again, as though it were yesterday, one thought kept playing in my head…
Where did he put that damn knife?