I finished reading Watchmen a few moments ago. I’ve been meaning to read it for quite some time now and, by the time I got to Dr. Manhattan retreating to Mars, I came to realize that I read this graphic novel years ago, like back when I definitely wasn’t old enough to read it.

I was exposed to a lot as a child because I mastered the art of appearing to be well-behaved. And I also had a big sister who related to me as if we were closer in age. The biggest perk out of that is that I know a lot of ’80s trivia despite being 31 years old.

I distinctly recall Theresa having a bloody smiley face T-shirt, but I can’t picture her reading Watchmen. Honestly, I don’t recall her ever reading anything. But I was exposed to Laurie Juspeczyk, Adrian Veidt and the rest well before the film adaptation.

Or the tachyons are muddling things up.

Other than a general feeling of unease since I started reading it Tuesday, I had an epiphany: I now know something about one of the characters in Brown River Blues.

I’ve mentioned countless times before that anyone who has been given an early draft of the novel has been given a lie. Entire chapters have been rewritten or deleted, and the ending is radically different.

At the end, something happens that isn’t fully explained because, in real life, there are things that just don’t add up. I figured that it didn’t even matter to me why the action happened, but it has been bothering me since I made that decision. I made up reasons on occasion, but they weren’t satisfactory until Thursday afternoon.

It’s so clear now, and I’m comforted that it’s clear. Now I only wish I could get back into it at the moment.

I’m still not going to spell out the motive in the story beyond a single sentence, a sentence I now understand.

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