Death Reports

*** On A Dancefloor, part 2

Not a clue. The investigation of my wife’s death has been leading to nowhere. 18 months and more I’ve been waking up in cold sweat wishing she was here, 18 months I’ve been living in a haze; a haze of my visions.

The same pattern of killing. The same pattern of killing was echoing in my mind, pounding on my brain. I smiled. Call me morbid, whatever, I don’t care. This is the closest I’ve got to my wife’s murderer. A potential murderer. The same pattern of killing is all I’ve got. Maybe I’m wrong. Completely. Maybe all these similarities mean nothing. Nothing at all. Maybe it was all just a coincidence. Maybe. Maybe the last victim’s name was just a coincidence. Maybe her body position was just a coincidence. Maybe the cause of her death was just a coincidence. Maybe. Maybe I’m too emotionally involved, maybe I don’t distinguish my visions from reality anymore. Maybe I’m living them.

For the first time I felt I should focus my mind on something, pardon me, someone else – the last victim. Maybe investigating her death, I’ll finally get face to face with my nemesis; my wife’s murderer. Holding on that thought, I started to illuminate the dark puzzles of Sarah’s death…

I knocked three times. No answer. I was ready to leave when I heard the footsteps inside. Alex, the discotheque owner didn’t seem like a fair guy. Not did he seem like a murderer.

“Looks can be deceiving,” as my dad’s taught me.

I didn’t know Alex. His face didn’t look familiar. Not to me; to the I-remember-faces person. His fancy and expensive clothes, drowsiness, a bottle of Aspirins and food leftovers from the World War 2 revealed his true self – a spoiled rich brat. I looked around his penthouse. The evidence of his Don Juan’s charm was everywhere. He offered me a glass of champagne and Aspirin. It only proved how great I looked.

See, I can be funny but I rarely dare to. I don’t even try. Nothing seems much fun anymore to me. Not anymore. Not to me. I can’t compare myself to this uptight human being. Nor to anyone else. It’s hard to compare a guy who only lives to catch his wife’s murderer to a guy who enjoys his sleepless nights surrounded by dozens of naked girls, drinking all those expensive drinks.

Simplicity. A word that defines me. And my Sarah loved me for that. She loved my Vans shoes, my military jacket and the Lucky Luke tie. God, what have I turned into? A walking skeleton?! I decay more and more each day. Too fast. Too much. More than I can take. And all these death reports, all these journals I write, numerous of pages with numerous of crooked letters will most likely die with me. Soon. Very soon. And no one will ever know how miserable my life’s been. Was.

I caught Alex staring at my wedding ring. He didn’t ask a thing. I appreciated it. He seemed quite anxious when I told him about the murder in his office. He knew the girl.
“Knew knew,” as he emphasized. I noticed a tear in his eye but his macho self couldn’t have let it flow down his cheek.

He wasn’t very talkative. Hangover, I presumed. Most of what he said didn’t make much sense. My notebook looked like it was grabbed and scratched by a two year old.

“Sean.” He called me by my name, a typical New Yorker.

“I’m clueless of the events that took place last night. This morning.” He corrected himself.

Events. I only told him about the murder. And he referred to it in plural. Events.

“I was at my office, yes, I admit. And I, God, help me, don’t know how I got home. I don’t.”

He was walking back and forth, holding his hands in pockets. I don’t know if he tried to hide it but a missing button on his sleeve was quite obvious to me. Just like his red, calloused palms and a scratch on his neck. I don’t talk too much. I observe. I noticed his hands at the moment of taking a doze of Aspirins. Certainly not a proof of a carefree night. More like a proof of tightening a leather belt around Sarah’s neck.

I didn’t say it out loud. I waited for him to start talking again. He didn’t. He stopped walking across the room. Silence. The silence prevailed. As I try to avoid an eye contact by holding my head down, a pile of newspapers grabbed my attention.

I shut down. Completely. The day after my wife’s murder, every newspaper had her death on its cover. “The Strangler on His Morning Patrol”, “Who Killed The Detective’s Wife?”, ”The Strangler vs. The San Francisco Police Department”. I’ve got them all. Every single article. Every paragraph. Each sentence. All memorized.

Far away from this world I daily lock myself in, I heard some mumbling. I guessed it was Alex. And it was. I opened my eyes and saw him moving his lips. The sound. I couldn’t hear it. Like I was sinking. And sinking. Going down. Deeper and deeper. I was lost.

On my way out I asked Alex one more thing. Through this haze of reality, I told him that I needed his leather belt. He took it off and handed it over saying:

“Sean, I have nothing to do with her death.”

Today’s newspapers were scattered all over the streets. On each front page, the creative headlines were calling me, pointing at me, scaring me. Her death was breaking news. Just like my wife’s. “The Strangler Strikes Again”, “The Serial Killer Searching for a New Victim”.

I got sick. I couldn’t cope with it, deal with it one more time. Once again. Over again. I collapsed.