A whole lot of the murders in this country are perpetrated by someone the victim knew. So many that early in a homicide investigation the detectives will start with friends and family of the victim. And . . . that’s all I’m going to say about that. I want to talk about David. He is Ophie’s Dad. David (Dave to his friends) Teale is impressive. He is also a lost man. After graduating from Richmond’s St. Catherine’s, then Naval Academy, then BUDS graduate, worked in Signal Intelligence on an AEGIS Destroyer during the first Gulf War, then as a classified liaison to SAIC until he retired O-5 with twenty-five years active duty.
Fun fact: at some DARPA labs we have developers creating malware. Dave’s role at SAIC was contract oversight on some of these tech warfare projects. Some of these escape the labs and find their way into the wild. Dave’s connection to Inger is through Ophie as well as being friends with her Mom & Dad.
One thing kept carefully housed at SAIC was a series of experiments in powering desktop pc monitors through induction. The idea was to send a signal aimed at a powered-down monitor such that it would display an image even though it wasn’t connected to the building electrical service. This was so that psyops attacks could be done against our enemies. SAIC pursued it for a few years because Dave wanted it to work. Then brass got wind of it and killed it as unnecessary. Dave, though, kept working on it.
Mayhaps Wetback, Mayhaps a Lost Man
Another fun fact: many of the better special operators look like wetbacks. Dark brown, nearly black, straight hair, full-bearded, short, and stocky. Dave is 5’6″, 156 lbs, black hair, brown eyes, brown-skinned, and in his late forties. He was often mistaken for a local on his deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Turkey. He is a seven-time graduate of the Defense Language Institute with fluency in Arabic, Turkish, Pashto, Afghani, French, Russian, and English.
More curriculum vitae: For grins, he completed sniper training as a Navy SEAL. Oh, and he is certified as a combat medic and civilian paramedic. He volunteered with the Tuckahoe Rescue Squad for a few years after retiring from the Navy. As I said, he is a warrior at home.
Great stuff, no? Enough to retire to a Pop-Pop chair and binge-watch your way through the entire Netflix catalog. For most of us, yes. Dave and his fellow retired SEALS? Ever met a retired Navy SEAL? I have. OMG, the drive of this guy. I’ve met Dave a couple of times when he was helping Inger with some of Charlie’s stuff at the Stuart Street house. Dave still has that warrior drive. Dave will relax when Death kindly stops for him.
Street Life, Safe Life
So . . . where is Dave? Good question. Nobody in Inger’s circle of influence really knows. Anne (Annie), Ophie’s Mom, divorced him because he disappeared and left her unable to manage the house. She had the worst time paying the mortgage and property taxes without him. So she filed for divorce and petitioned to get the house. The judge awarded her the house and his 1949 Bug. She has a VA Pension and her own money so that isn’t a concern.
Right around the time Inger freaked out and accused a coworker of rape Ophie got a text message from her Dad. They chatted for a bit. He said he’d met someone who filled his heart with joy and pushed aside all the dark shit he normally lived with. A few days later he was his usual, pissed-off self, saying the girl had left and she was a cunt anyway so good riddance. tbh, Ophie wanted her Dad to come home. McGuire has a program for homeless vets. He could get help.
David Teale has been to all the programs, done all the classes, and even accepted the gift of an apartment donated by CARITAS. He was game for a while but after a few months, I’d see him again at Lombardy and West Broad with a cardboard sign asking for spare change. Dave lives outside in camps he builds for himself. There is a parade of well-meaning Christians and social workers and so on that have tried to get him to stay on track. It never lasts.
Hiding in Plain Sight
Ophie managed to figure out that his phone was near a homeless camp in Santa Clara, CA, while Inger had her breakdown and went off the radar. She tried asking Inger about that summer when she was out of contact. Inger won’t talk about it. Ophie wondered if maybe Dave and Inger met up in Santa Clara. It’s crazy to think that Inger could be the girl her Dad was talking about. I mean… Lolita… eww!
Then there is all the weirdness with Inger’s electronics on Stuart Street. Charlie denies profusely that he had anything to do with the messages that kept showing up on Inger’s TV, her laptop, her phone, and the monitor she used with her laptop. Messages would display even when everything was powered off.
The big reason why Inger bought the bungalow on 16th Street is that it was an 80-year-old house from tobacco’s heyday in Richmond. Period plumbing and wiring from post-WWII. She felt safe that this crappy old house couldn’t be hacked. It’s a bungalow very similar to mine. I can understand her feeling that both houses are too old and thus, safer.
Once a Good Dad, Now a Lost Man
Guys like Dave are hard to understand. Why not accept the help? The war is over but Dave still fights an unseen war with the nightmares he brought home. His bedevilment is what drives him from place to place. It’s a familiar wish, that the new city won’t have the same demons he tried to leave in the last place he made camp. Yet, those demons follow him. The echoes of war still serenade him with terrible music.
It is that music. The music in his head is what tortures him. You and I hear normal urban sounds. Dave hears weapons fire and screams from those that got hit. It is still Fallujah, 2004. He has medication from the VA that he doesn’t take. Why? It makes him foggy instead of froggy.
Answers. Not yet. Dave is still drifting. One of the hard things about addiction and mental illness is that we can’t do much until the addict or crazy person surrenders. They have to take that first step, admit that they have a problem, and are powerless against it. Dave is a highly trained warrior. He doesn’t surrender.
So Ophie will hear from her Dad again. He’ll be in some other, warmer weather city, either ecstatic or morose. When he’s ecstatic he’s ready to take on the world and master it. The other mood, morose, is what it sounds like. God is only, personally pissing on Dave. Nobody else gets this treatment from God. Nobody understands the pain he is in. You maybe don’t know Dave but I’d guess you have someone like him within your circle of influence. If so, sorry. It’s not fun.