Department: Is Darren Daulton Crazy?

Drunk. Pill popper. Wife beater. Doomsday prognosticator … It’s amazing the things people will say about him.

 

I like clearing this up for him. Dutch’s friends and associates describe him as gentle and warm and genuine, if majorly vulnerable, and those depictions seem right on target. Despite having been ruthlessly ridiculed by the media, he’s allowed me this time with him — trusting, for whatever reason, that I won’t simply do a Dutch-is-crazy story.

“Do you understand why I talk about all this?” he says, referring to his beliefs.

“It’s because I need to let it out. I need to tell people. Tim, if all this was happening to you, wouldn’t you want to tell people?”

THERE ARE THEORIES for why Darren Daulton is obsessed with the supernatural, and I’ve heard them all: He’s an alcoholic, a pothead, a pill junkie, a paranoid, a cultist.

And it’s difficult, based on the troubles he’s made for himself, to dismiss any one of them out of hand.

“Don’t forget wife beater and kid beater,”- he says when I repeat the litany to him. “It got very, very lonely there for a while.”

Lonely.

Wait. If this were an episode of In Treatment and I were the shrink, I’d be scribbling the words “lonely” and “breakthrough” in my notebook.

I ask Dutch what it was like to be in jail, how he coped, what he thought about.
“I never lost my optimism,” he says. “I knew I’d be back with my kids. Things were going to get better.”

He pauses, maybe remembering that he didn’t always feel so positive in the slammer. The smile vanishes.

“Don’t get me wrong,” he says, finally. “When some guy on the other side of the wall would start yelling, crazy-like, I’d start thinking, ‘Fuck, I’m going to have to kill that guy.’”

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