Thursday, September 27, 2012

La Mal

Make no mistake, I killed the bastard. I am trying to decide whether I did the world a favour or not, but I do not dispute I killed him. Murdered him, well that is another thing entirely. Murder is something that a legal system, and some fancy pants lawyers to decide. I have no intention of letting that decision take place with me in the room.  That is why I am in another dingy hotel room, in another unnamed city, in yet another state. I have been 'on the lamb' as they say since the night I put three bullets in him. I figure that 3 bullets of the calibre I used cost me about 4 dollars, it remains the best 4 dollars I've ever spent.

Of course I was there the night in question, I was at the dimly lit bar that was our mutual haunt. He was just too far into his cups to notice me at the other end of the bar. Not that I was trying to be noticed, I was just there to have a few drinks, and ponder why the world allows scum such as him to live, let alone prosper. Because don't believe his lies, he was prospering.  Not driving a Ferrari type of prospering, but well off enough to afford what he wanted, and he certainly wasn't missing any meals.  He said he 'offered to throw himself out' that much is mostly true. He did make that snide remark to the bouncer, but by the time he said it he was already being escorted to the back door. The door that I knew lead to a dead end alley. He knew it too, we all knew it, alleys have several uses, and trash disposal isn't the only use an alley can have.

As the bouncer, not actually an ape, but a fairly gentle giant, closed the door behind him, I was already paid up and out of my seat headed towards the front door. He and I needed to have a nice quiet conversation, and I figured now was as good a time as any. I walked out the front door, turned left, and looked down the dimly lit alley to see him swaying ever so gently near the back door. He paused a moment as if he was getting his bearing, and decided that the brick wall/dead end part of the alley was not for him. That's when he turned and saw me. He was drunk, drunk as a lord, drunk as drunk can be, and I am quiet sure he would have never remembered any conversation we would have. Still, I tried. I called his name and he peered at me trying to ascertain who the hell I was.

That is when the knife came out, and he might say it was ever so slowly, but I was there and I was about three drinks behind him in the race towards oblivion. I knew he carried a knife, he always said that knifing a man was more personal, it showed you cared enough about the other person to get that close. I,on the other hand, do not like having too much physical contact with other people, so I prefer a different type of protection. For a 'knee bobbling' drunk he certainly was quick, and his attempt to get up close and personal with me (knife in hand) left me little choice but to draw the revolver I had inherited from my father and fire one quick shot at him.

I aimed a bit high and to the right trying just to wound him, to stop him from coming any closer, and carving me up like a xmas goose. I knew he was a fair hand with a blade, and I did not feel like losing my good looks to his handiwork.  The first bullet wouldn't have been fatal, on that much we can agree. It was never meant to be fatal. But it didn't even slow his drunk ass down. He kept coming for me, and now there was a look in his eyes that I had seen before. It was a 'tell' of his. His eyes were normally a light shade of blue/grey, but when they turned into a steely blue, there was going to be trouble. Even in the dim light of the alley, I saw his eyes literally change colour to that steely blue. I knew then it was him or me, and I figured it was going to have to be him.  I don't remember saying anything to him, either before or after the first shot. I just remember that I knew shot number two had to count, and I made it count. I shot him center mass, watched him stagger a couple of steps then shot again.

I've no idea if the third shot him or not, he crumpled to the ground, and I ran off in a blind panic. I did not walk away 'as cool as the other side of the pillow.' I ran like a scared rabbit, and I have been running every since. I ditched the revolver in a convenient, large, body of water, and I headed for parts unknown. I've moved an untold number of times since that fateful night, a night that I get the pleasure of reliving when I am finally able to fall asleep, which is happening less and less. I guess I should be grateful for the fact that I get to relive that night, after all, for him it was the end. For me it was almost like a beginning, a beginning of a loop of a nightmare that is played at varying speeds in my mind both awake and asleep.

  I killed him, that much is true, it was not planned, it was not clever, and it was not murder. I had my reasons, most of which he knew, he was a clever lad, the ones he didn't know were the ones that only I know.  The reasons that only I could feel, the ones that only I could think. He would never have been able to suss out those reasons even if he'd lived to be a thousand years old. That the kind of person he was. I realize that his 'death' has been ruled an homicide, and remains unsolved. I've no plans to turn myself in, and ask for the king's mercy, and I've also no idea if there were any witnesses to the event, my gut tells me that if there had been, they would have come forward by now, but that is the rub, one never really knows these types of things until it is too late .It was a mercy for him, and for the rest the world. Sometimes the ugly has to removed the hard way.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


As I heard the door close behind me with a soft, but discernible 'click', I knew that the way back was closed to me for ever, or at least for the rest of the night. As my eyes were still adjusting to the gloom of the alleyway into which I had been shoved, I became certain that this was not the way to grandma's house after all. However, the good news, if there was to be any good news at all, is that I always carried a handy, dandy blade whenever I visited the drinking den that I had just been, none too gently, expelled from.  Truth be told, I had done what I thought was the sporting thing to do, and offered to throw myself out this time just for variety. An offer than was frowned upon by the hulking brute at the door. With a grunt and a very menacing nod (who nods with menace?) he made it clear to me that he was more than able, and very willing to help me find my way out of the bar. It was my choice, one that was quickly being decided for me, as to whether I walked out, or landed out on the sidewalk.

I, being a thinking man, decided that one more rough, unceremonious landing would be bad for both my physical and mental health. Therefore, I graciously agreed to allow the trained ape to 'escort' me to the door, and bid him good night, good health, and a undefined sexually transmitted disease, as he pushed me, none too gently, into the welcoming alley. Perhaps welcoming is not the right word for the unnamed alley that ran behind this particular bar, but it didn't appear to be particularly foreboding at the time. Boy, was I wrong about that.  As the door finished closing behind me, and I straightened out my slightly rumpled clothing, I realized that it was a lot later than I had thought, and that perhaps those last two drinks were not, in hindsight, a very good idea.  Unsteady on my pins would be one way to describe me, if you were being generous, knee bobbling drunk would be another, more accurate term for me at that time.

Either way, drunk me was now clearly no longer welcome at the bar to his back, and decided that home was probably the best place for me to be, if I could just figure out which direction home was, then I would be golden. Bleary eyed, I took a gander in both directions of the alley, and was able to puzzle out that home was probably located somewhere in the opposite direction of the brick wall that was at the end of the south end of the alley. Pleased with myself for my ability to form such complex navigation, I set off in the direction of the open end of the alley.  It was only after about three steps that I heard the noise and saw the vague shape looming (with just the right amount of loom, I might add) at the entrance to the alley.  I peered off in that direction, in a futile attempt to ascertain whether or not I knew the shape blocking my path to my nice warm bed.

Slowly, it dawned upon my booze addled brain, that I did know the person, and they were no friend of mine. I reached ever so slowly in my left pocket and began to ever so slowly draw out the switchblade that I carried with me for just such an occasion. As they walked closer to me, I realized my mistake. Not the mistake of recognition, I knew exactly who this person was, but the mistake that was to be my last. I looked at the revolver in their hand, and realized with a bit of terror, and a bit of irony that I had brought a knife to a gun fight. They just looked at me with a great deal of anger, a bit of disdain, and a dash of hate, as they realized my mistake as well. 'Always the tough guy huh?' they rasped out with a bit of a chuckle. 'Well I am not tough, I am just efficient' and with that, and before I could respond with some witty retort, they shot me three times in the chest.

The first bullet wouldn't have killed me, they say, but it sure as fuck hurt like hell. It was a bit high and to the left and it enter my upper chest near my collarbone, came out of my back and broke my left scapula. Once again, not fatal, but it certainly was going to keep me out of the weekly cricket games for a while. I guess they had time in those few seconds between shots one, and two to steady their aim, and the second bullet caught me dead in the chest. It entered between the 2nd and 3rd rib on my left (ish) side, did all sorts of damage to those bones, nicked my aorta, and lodged against my spine. The third bullet I never really knew much about, because I took about 5 steps towards my killer, and dropped like a stone. I wasn't dead before I hit the ground, but I died about 8 seconds after I landed in the heap that they would find me in come morning. Once that aorta is ripped open there isn't much hope for you, in case you wondered. I didn't have time to wonder all of this lovely medical knowledge, I was a bit too wrapped up in dying.

The person at the open end of the alley, the person that had just murdered me, looked down at me with the distaste that one normally reserves for dog shit, and shook their head once slowly from side to side. They then pocketed the murder weapon, turned, and walked away into the night as pretty as you please, and as cool as the other side of the pillow. I am not sure how well they planned my murder, nor am I certain as to all of the reasons they killed me, I have a couple of theories, but once you are dead, theories don't carry a lot of weight.  Not much really matters after that death thing. They got away with it, because they were clever, or because no one was around, or if anyone was around they never came forward. I was scraped off the alley, put into the meat wagon, sliced open like a xmas turkey, my cause of death ruled multiple gunshot wounds, and my manner of death a homicide. Sometimes the bad guys win. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Tonight (well actually last night, I am a day late with this post) 12 people that I do not know, or sure that I want to know have my fate in their hands. Actually, that is also not exactly true. They have the fate of another person in their hands, and I am one of the people that helped to put it there. These people, carefully selected, are deciding the fate of a many a week of my (and others) work. And, as I lie here tossing, and turning trying to find the right position to find sleep, I can't  help but wonder if maybe I've made some major mistake in picking those 12 people.

Granted, I wasn't alone in picking them, and I have not been alone in trying to convince them how to decide, but in many ways, I feel that they are deciding my fate as well. My fate feels inexorably intertwined with the other fate that is being decided and that is the real reason they have been assembled. While my freedom is not at stake, it still seems as if I am being judged as well. Judged on my performance, judged on every little detail, judged on every word I say, and even the ones I don't, judged on a multitude of things, several of which I have absolutely no control over. It is not a particularly pleasant feeling. As sleep refuses to come, and I replay the last several days wondering what, if anything, I could have done better to influence these 12 souls to decide the way I want them to.

The sad part of all this drama is that for the past week, these 12 people have been staying in a hotel, which is far more luxurious than my adobe, and they have probably been eating better than I have as well. That is not overly sad, but it makes me feel a little bit unfulfilled. These people have a big decision in front of them, and here I am thinking that I am sure they haven't been surviving on hot dogs (like I have) all week. Funny the things one chooses to focus on while under all this stress. Stress is not something that I enjoy, and I am quite sure that the 12 people have probably noticed that during the last week.  I hope that I have done a decent job of handling the stress of the situation, but one never really knows, does one?

These 12 people have no idea that my fate is also in their hands, I am sure if they did it would confuse them even further than listening to me already has. In many ways, I am glad they haven't a clue, but part of me just wants to clue them into the fact that this is really, really important to me. I doubt they would be overly concerned, but I would at least like to give it a shot. I won't of course, because those aren't the rules we play by. So, I lie here and look at the moonlight filtering through the window, and wonder if maybe blankness and darkness wouldn't be a more preferable fate.  To step out into that blankness and darkness and not look back, leaving the decision on my fate unknown.

If I had my way that unknown fate would stay just that, unknown. Perhaps the best fate is an unknown fate. The fate that you don't know, you can't really worry too much about, or try too hard to change. This unknown fate, the fate that I begin to ponder harder as I get out of the bed, finally giving up on that elusive sleep, and wander into my backyard.  I look up at those distant stars, and wonder if maybe my fate is written somewhere in them. These dimly visible objects that were born so very long ago, and that will be around long after I am food for worms.  Maybe I've really got nothing left to lose, and that unknown fate will be a wide blessing. A fate that I deserve (which is too horrid to really think about) or maybe a fate I don't deserve (which might just turn me into either a tragic hero, or a better person). These 12 people, who I don't know, and who I don't think I want to know have this in their hands, and they don't even realize it.

The implications of that last bit, make me want to find a freight train, hop it, and start a new life at the end of the line. I won't do that, because that decision, while very, very tempting, is the coward's way out. In spite of the many flaws I posses, and in spite of the fear that I am certain is obvious to everyone around me, I will stay here and accept the fate, unknown or not that is to be doled out to me.  Having the courage of my convictions can be a very bothersome thing, but having that courage in my convictions is what, in so very many ways, makes me the person, for good or bad, that ends up having his fate decided by 12 strangers.

And so as the morning images burn themselves into my mind, I stagger from the bed that was not a sleeping cell, but more a torture rack, and make myself ready to face the day.  The day which will, hopefully, see my fate decided for better or worse by 12 strangers. As colour starts to find its way into the sky, and I stumble through my morning routine like some automaton, I try to keep my hands from shaking as I assemble the necessary items I need to face my fate with as much dignity as I can muster.  Let's hope, for form's sake that it is enough.