I’m Just Getting to the Disturbing Part follows the author’s time in Arizona and Colorado working as a tour guide at a gold mine and at the Meteor Crater Natural Landmark, as well as his stint as a Maintenance Man in a ski town and eventually his role as a professor and father. Detailing his struggles to make his marriage work and to find a safe place to call home, the book follows Church and his young family through several moves between different houses and different states, chronicling family life and fatherhood in a post-9/11 world filled with new threats and fears, some of which are manufactured and others of seem to arise organically from the constantly shifting landscape of their life. Shaped by odd facts, interesting history, current events, narrative suspense, and tragedy, I’m Just Getting to the Disturbing Part stitches together themes of work, love, fear, and fatherhood into a richly patterned, humorous, and emotionally resonant memoir-in-essays.
The title chapter of the book has been anthologized annually in the textbook, The Fourth Genre: Contemporary Writers of/on Creative Nonfiction, and is taught in writing classrooms across the country. It follows the young married couple down from the mountains to the Front Range of Colorado and to Fort Collins, a place regularly voted one of the best places to live in America. The essay marries form and content in a looping, suspense-filled, emotionally powerful consideration of loss and tragedy through the lens of a drowning that the author witnessed.