Death Reports

Matthew's Curse, part 4

I didn't like the priests. I still don't. Their so called humble manners. Right. Their rain coat look alike clothes and white collars shining through the darkness freak me out. I don't feel comfortable being around them. Around their inner voices. Voices that look down on you. Laugh at you. Judge you. Point fingers at you. Seeing them is kind of similar to seeing a plastic surgeon.

"Tell me, child, what you don't like about yourself..."

Plastic surgeons try to fix your flaws with scalpels. Priests, the demagogues, try to fix them with 20 rosaries. And they fail. They demote people promising "rainbows and butterflies", promising a damn salvation. Promising heaven for the goodies, hell for... Me. I couldn't care less.

From the very first moment, ever since our petty hearts have started beating; a process of decaying has begun as well. It's just that I decay faster these days. I just want to find him. I'm sure it's him. I just want to find a person that condemned my life to hell. That's all I want. When I do find him, should I pull the trigger? Should I strangle him? Make him suffer like he made my wife do? Do I...?

I can't say it at this moment. Whatever I do, it will be instantly. And I won't regret it. I don't think my life can be any worse so... Whatever I do, cannot make me feel more miserable than I already am. Nevermind.

I don't mind dieing alone. I don't mind having nobody by my side. Not any more. The one I want holding my hand, singing me lullabies to sleep is gone. Forever. Nobody cares about me. Nor do I myself. And don't blame me. Don't try to understand me. I won't be responsible for the consequences if you try to. I won't be responsible for ruining your life. Trust me. If the world caved in, I'd smile. See how disturbed I am. Or am I just rambling, telling nonsense just to keep you away from me? From this thing people call life? Maybe. Maybe not.

At 4:00 PM the church looked obtrusive, even scarier than the last time I laid my eyes on it. Last night. Chasing the future. That famous someone was up there again, smoking a cigarette, observing through a window glass. A silhouette disappeared as I looked up.

The playground was full of children; running around, laughing, kicking a ball. Their little faces were incisively overwhelmed with glee, with the smiles shining bright. Two grumpy nuns, like two sentries were keeping their dreary eyes on them. Giggling and whispering. Spreading religious cra... Spirit.

Despite a shrill noise coming from the playground, a familiar melody was strumming on my mind. I kept strutting angrily, looking for a music source. And I found it. A circus, only 200 yards from the church. A big colorful circus tent was shimmering in the sun. The melody was coming from the inside. Acrobats, wearing tights were trying to keep the balance walking on a rope, swinging from a trapeze. Little followers, jumping on a blue trampoline, forgot the world, being in the throes of bouncing off the flexible cloth. Dull looking animals were contemplating escape, dreaming of freedom.

Two eyes were gawping at me from the distance. I looked away within a second. Two black eyes appeared in front of me. I shivered.

"Can I help you?" The man said smiling.

His rotten teeth and disgusting breath made me nauseous. He took off his brown hat and bowed down to me. It was his routine; his acrobatic ritual. And I... I was just an audience to that scraggy, gleeful old man.

I've seen him around before. I knew that. This "St. Fools" circus, its people were the globe trotters; traveling around the world; presenting their magnificent yet cheap tricks to those willing to buy them. Every year, around this time, San Francisco was their temporary home. I didn't know if they were here 7 years ago but it was worth to try. I had to try.

I reached for a photo of Matthew inside my pocket. I showed it to the man.

"Do you, by any chance, remember this kid?" I asked reluctantly, expecting a shed of nothing. Actually, I expected a stint of anything. How optimistic.

The man snatched the photo from my hand. Turned on the other side, pointing his hump at me. Every two seconds he'd turn his head to me, killing me with his look, a sick look of indulgence.

"I know him!" Echoed in my mind.

The man knew Matthew. He kept staring at the photo humming the melody.

"This kid... I know him. I saw him...", he paused counting on fingers. "I saw him 7 years, 2 months and 2 days ago at 10:22 PM. We were packing our precious things and the kid approached a cage with Cervantes, our chimpanzee. I was waddling towards him, I wanted to introduce him to Cervantes. But the kid ran away. Two little footprints left imprinted on a muddy surface. Nothing else."

I was staring at the man intentionally. He was staring at the picture. His baggy trousers and big red shoes indicated his suddenly interrupted preparation for a show. His left cheek was tinged with white powder and his pocket was hiding a round, red clown nose, producing a clucking sound on a squeeze.

I was surmounted with ignorance which wasn't a bliss at that moment. Nobody took a statement from this man 7 years ago. God, he was probably the last person who saw Matthew alive. Then I figured out why. They were packing that evening. They did their last show and were about to leave for Oakland. And they did take off. Early in the morning. Before the police came to the crime scene. Only a block away from the circus.

I don't think the man was aware of what had happened around him. And I wanted it to stay that way. Ignorance is bliss. At that moment it really was.

The sun was piercing the incongruous tent, spreading its light. Leaving the circus, a woman, swinging from a trapeze, caught a glimpse of me. I noticed. She smiled. I didn't. Typical for me. I don't want people getting attached to me. Why? You will see. Eventually. I just don't want that.

Crossing the street that divided two blocks, keeping the circus and the church separate, I was wondering what the hell women saw in someone like me? In a shabby man lost inside his own mind? In a man that lives in a precinct? Survives on his own fear and nutritive pills?

Honestly, I don't know. Nor do I care.