This is an extract of a story that appeared in WOWoWOW. You can read the full story here. Torn

by Luanne Rice

This year — the year my cosmic sweater began to unravel — I began to write The Deep Blue Sea For Beginners. I wrote it because I felt I had to knit life back together with words. Among other things, I’m D-3, which means I’ve been divorced three times. My third was so spectacular that it made Liz Smith’s column not once but twice, and involved the following dialogue with an FBI Agent:

Me: "But he doesn’t seem like a con man!"

FBI agent: "Do you think con men announce they’re con men? Did you meet him at church? A self-help meeting?"

Me: "He said he could help me believe in myself again."

FBI agent: (chuckle) "He’s got it down. He’s a predator. You were vulnerable. Did he ask what you did for a living?"

Me: "I told him I was a writer. He wanted to see my work … we walked to a Barnes & Noble."

FBI agent: "Guaranteed, he was calculating your assets before you showed him half your shelf."

That conversation took place five years into a brutal, dishonest, abusive marriage. By that time I’d dropped or been dropped by all my friends. One friend said he felt I was "disappearing." I figured it was because I wore long, flowing things and straw hats. "I don’t mean your clothes," he said. "You. Where are you in there? What happened to Luanne?"

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