Listening episodes of The Vanished hosted by podcaster Marissa Jones, it’s at times heartbreaking and painful to hear the stories of people all over the world who, by choice or by force, are currently missing and haven’t been seen or heard of by their loved ones. The how and why in many of those missing person cases will never truly be known. Probably the scariest part in some of the episodes is hearing that allegedly so and so knows what happened the night the person disappeared or has information about the person’s whereabouts whether dead or alive. It’s spine-tingling to think that the truth is out there somewhere but people just don’t want to come forward.
To escape from my own life sometimes, I tumble headfirst into the the lives of the people on The Vanished. I feel guilty about it. Podcast listening can be a form of entertainment and there are dozens of true crime podcasts like The Vanished. I definitely have a strange morbid interest in hearing about missing people. The cases I find most fascinating are the ones with a possible theory about the person taking off on their own without telling anyone.
This is probably a daydream I shouldn’t be having, but I have imagined before as a passing afterthought of what it might be like to vanish out of my own volitation to live elsewhere in a place where no one knows my name. Or better yet, if I could change my identity and assume a different name. The why of such a plan is part escapism and part wishful thinking. It is a flight of fancy to think about an impossible thing like that happening for me. If I did disappear, I’d want it to be out of my own decision, though the reality is this would be the selfish way to go out with unforeseen consequences. Instead of being honest with people in my life and telling them, “I don’t want to ever see or be in contact with you ever again”, I’d rather quietly slip away in peace, never to be seen again by them, without leaving any trace of evidence of where I went. Perhaps it’s better this dream stays as a silly pipe dream and nothing more.