Death Reports

*** On A Dancefloor, part 3

It was a wake up call. I needed a getaway. A permanent getaway. I felt an overwhelming urge to break something. I didn’t. I didn’t break anything. Common sense or what’s left of it prevailed. I held my hands clutched in pockets as I was walking down the 16th street. It was cold. And rainy. Coins in my jacket pocket were making an irritating and annoying sound as I was speeding up, trying to get to Mr. Giovanni as fast as I could.

Mr. Giovanni, 70 years old Italian emigrant, found Sarah’s dead body. His shift starts each morning at 6:00 AM when the discotheque doors close. He locks them up and starts doing his job – cleaning up. Despite of what you think of Alex, whether you like his rich kid manners or not, he deeply respects Mr. Giovanni. Trusts him. Profoundly.

Every morning they do a symbolic trade – Alex gives the discotheque keys to Mr. Giovanni while the perky Italian mumbles: “Get some sleep, Mr. Alex,” in his bad English. Not that morning. Not that scenario. Something broke the chain of their routine. She did. Sarah.

Mr. Giovanni was never late. Literally, never. Like every other morning, he hobbled from his apartment to the discotheque. The same route. Every single morning. For the past 7 years. “The Glitter” wasn’t a typical disco club. Only rich, famous people were allowed to get in, to party, lying to their partners about their whereabouts. “Honey, I will stay a bit longer at the office. My boss is molesting me with all this work”. Liars. Self confident, egocentric liars. Snobbery. Effective, profitable snobbery.

When Mr. Giovanni approached the front door and was about to ring a bell, he noticed that the door was open. Not a familiar scenario.

“Like a big lump in my throat. That’s how it was for me. I couldn’t breathe. Mr. Alex never leaves the door open. I... I... I knew something was wrong.”

Poor man. A heart attack was all he needed. He called Alex 3 times. No answer. Mr. Giovanni climbed up the stairs hoping that Alex only fell asleep. He hoped. He wished. The upshot was cruel and disastrous. Unexpected.

Listening to his story, my mind started to wander. Like I was falling through the time, stopping off to the happy and cheerful stations. Translated to a non psychologically colored language; I was daily shutting myself down from this world, dwelling on happy periods of my life, what once was life, dwelling on our wedding day, all night long talks, honeymoon plans...

The latter never happened. Never. We dreamed of sipping cocktails and coconut milk, lying on a Caribbean beach, we dreamed of deep blue sea, a cottage overlooking the ocean... We. There's no we. We don't exist anymore. Not in a way we used to.

We had booked the tickets, marked the date on a calendar... We. We didn't see each other ever again. We did. I did. I saw her. And that image haunts me. Everywhere. All the time.

God. No. I already tore a couple of pages from this diary, the ones describing what I just put into words – Sarah and me. I will probably tear this one, too. Later. Eventually. I feel deprived, weak. Like blood, those funny named blood elements have stopped flowing through my veins. Like I don't even breathe. Like I don’t inhale oxygen anymore. Like I only exist to fill up the space.

Suddenly, something slapped some sense into me. A car crash. So far away. But I felt it. Heard it. I could’ve felt the heat of flames. I didn’t know if it had really happened or… Or I had witnessed another disaster. I felt dizzy. Very much so. Mr. Giovanni was sitting on a sofa, praying to God in Italian. I felt I should leave him in peace. I didn’t. Pressurized by the surroundings, other potential victims, I asked him a couple more questions.

When the police came to the crime scene, Mr. Giovanni became speechless. The upshot rendered him speechless. He froze. Like a living statue. He wanted to express his feelings, thousands of words. He wanted to cry but a shock he had experienced was way too much. He fell apart.

Italiano knew the victim. He used to see her with Alex. And the day before she was strangled to death, they got into a fight. A big fight.

“While I was cleaning downstairs, I heard them both yelling. She ran out in tears. Alex came to me and said: ‘Women!’ and took a drink.”

It looked like that spoiled Richie Rich hadn’t come clean with me. I should have known it. Better. God. Just a thought of coming back to that fountain of champagne and pills, makes me so sick. Too sick.

I reached for a lucky charm in my pocket. My Sarah gave me that little green rock for luck. To keep the thieves and murderers away from me. Murderers. She was the one who needed a lucky charm. I was supposed to protect her. I was supposed to protect her. And where was I that morning? At the precinct, laughing with Bobby. Writing, filling up the death reports. God.

Thousands of pills wouldn’t help me. No one would. No one can. And this pen I’m writing with… I’m pressing it so hard against the paper. Destroying it. Cutting it roughly.

I took the lucky charm and put it in Mr. Giovanni’s hand. I didn’t need it anymore. Not in the life I’ve been living…