One psychotic man comes to learn who he is
|It was the year of 1968. The date, September 8th. Don’t ask me how I remember. Ain’t that hard to forget. I push up on the thin nose-piece of my clear Revue spectacles. With the cool winds kissing my neck, tingling up my spine, I close my eyes, remembering that walk down Oak View on my way to Merket, the town’s only playground that lies in the back of the single elementary school (it mainly occupied the sunny, naïve mothers as they burrow themselves into the activities of their youngest school child… Mostly as a distraction from their husband’s latest paramour, dolled up in stockings so slim, they wouldn’t wrap around a light post.) Breathe in. Hold it. Breath out. With the memories flowing through as I sit on the old park bench that has now rusted away, I see myself as clear as day, passing by Louis Diner with its red lights dim as Francine, the widow of the recently departed, brushes around the empty dining room, a once lively space for the town gossip that has now decayed into a dejected atmosphere. Breath in, breath out. I pass by the rusted entry sign into town reading Coldwater, population: 3,500, with its last zero hanging limply by a couple nails that will never get replaced. It wasn’t much, but enough to keep Ma, myself, and all the other phony residents grounded.
After school all the children would go down to Merket, little bleach blonde boys and girls with their creamy smiles prancin’ and jumpin’ around. And I found myself occasionally joining in with the other boys, or at least I used to, up until mama told me I can’t be hanging around the McKendries anymore. You see, they had moved in down the street from us on Sickle Avenue, right after Pa had left. Their youngest son, Bobby, had been the pride and joy of that family, beaming with pure bliss; so naïve of the circling world around him that had continued to unfold. I watched that family skip around town without a care in the world, they never knew of my awareness. This fixation that I had begun to develop seemed overwhelming, at first, taking control of who I am. My interest in this simple family seemed to grew at an uncontrollable rate, while the question continued to ring in my head of how one household could be so contempt in their little lives. But as I take a deep inhale, I can see it. I can see myself. Sitting there, on our Fiddleback chair in the corner of our beat-up porch, watching, with none but the crickets to accompany me and the poorly-lit street lamps to cryptically reveal my presence. I watched and watched, taking in and absorbing the slightest of details that carried on in that sheltered limestone home. My own curiosity that had kept my attention for oh so many nights left me wanting more. For every night as the horizon caught the last breath of the sun, as the blood poured from crimson sky, as the black shadows crept out from the toxic atmosphere, I felt my entire being melting into the curiosity of that family. After weeks of watching, breath in, down the street, the low lights of their dining room, hold it, illuminating their untroubled, content little home, spark an idea of my own, breath out. Mr. and Mrs. McKendries showered each other with their own embrace, basking in the presence of another. Mama’s heavy eyes, in which I now envision in my head, try to overlook that nearly perfect family, but I know the dark circles that clouded her cheek bones would lessen with a little help from myself. So down at the park, I decided to follow through with my own decision. There’s been enough happiness in that home, teasing mama and myself, it was time to act.
Remembering the afternoon that followed, the dizzy sun dipped behind the swirled skies of grey and blue as I stalked outwards down the graveled path to the playground where the school children had been called home and slowly left one by one. And then, when the sunset had no more light to give, there we were. Bobby and I. For the night seemed to cave in around us and I remember the feel of the darkness’ embrace welcoming my ambitions, welcoming my meaningful intentions. It had enclosed and swaddled me, like a shell on the oceans edge, begging to be drawn back with the tide and continue on with its destined path. I was that shell, pushed down a road in which I could never avoid.
I had never killed anyone before that day and as much as I would like to say that it changed me, I cannot. You see, the numbness never dulled, the senses never came. The difference between what is good and evil is absent to me. You see, I am a serpent, tempting myself with the fruit of the earth, begging to cave. And it was this event exactly that allowed my inner self to be revealed and withdrawn. Looking back on this day, the day in which had defined me should put a dagger in my heart; it should corrupt me to some extent. But I felt nothing. I feel nothing. The decision to swallow that boy’s life was inevitable. As it had not changed me, but allowed me to bloom. Bloom into my own divine person. And with this, I regret nothing.
Sept 25th, 2017