Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Corpse is Alive

“You know what dad, regardless of all the arguments we have, you’re still my role model. You're brave . . . you're fearless . . .”

“Wait a minute, what do you need? It sounds like you’re ready to ask for something.”

“No dad, I don’t need a reason to say something nice to you, I'm just glad you're a good father. Some of my friends don’t have a father, and that must be tough.”

“Well, if I’m a good father it’s because you’re a good son, you make my job easier.”

“What I really wanted to know is if you’re afraid of anything. I don't think I’ve ever seen you scared.”

“I fear a few things, but my biggest fear is to be buried alive. I have nightmares about it. So, when I die, I want you to make sure that I’m really dead. I also want you to leave two things in my coffin, my cell phone and my gun . . . just in case.”

“That’s a weird request, but logical.” after a pause, “Oh, I almost forgot, can I use your car tonight?”

“I knew it! I knew it!


What’s this? This must be a joke. What the hell?! It looks like a coffin. Damn! This can’t be possible. (Starts banging on the coffin’s lid) Damn! I knew it, they buried me alive. Help! Help! Somebody, get me out of here! I’m alive! I’m alive!  Oh God, why did you do this to me? Was I such a bad person to deserve this punishment? Wait a minute! Where’s the phone? Oh God, he remembered, (finds it in his shirt pocket) I’m saved, (a dim light shines on, dials frantically . . .  no signal) what the fuck!!! AHHH!!! . . .  What about the gun?! Where's the gun? (Finds it on his side, tucked against his ribcage. While checking if it's loaded, accidentally discharges the only bullet in the chamber) AHHH!!!


Why am I not dead yet? I don’t understand, I should have breathed all the oxygen in the coffin by now. I just hope this is not my eternal hell. Could it be that your worse fear turns out to be your eternal damnation? I must have been a real bad person. But do I deserve to die twice? And to think that I still have to go to hell. This is just perfect, I’m not cold yet and everybody forgot about me already. I hope this is the way everybody dies. Maybe this is what Purgatory was meant to be.


What did I die of, anyway? . . .  Damn, I’m thirsty . . .  I can resist a week without food, but this thirst is killing me . . . again . . .  What good is it a phone if there's no signal, or a gun, if there's no bullets. But if I had water, that would only prolong my misery . . .   How long have I been here? . . .  If I could, I would kill myself . . .  I wonder if my son put another bullet somewhere in my pants. (Looks for it, and instead finds an envelope full of money in his back pocket) What the hell is this? Money? What do I need money for? This is so dumb . . .  (Then, with his eyes wide open, astonished and scared . . .
he hears a faint sound coming from up above, maybe at ground level . . . and another . . . and another, sounding each time closer and clearer. Until finally, son lifts the coffin's lid).

“Dad, you’re alive! How could it be? It can't be possible!"

“Of course I’m alive, why did you bury me alive, didn’t I tell you to make sure?”

“I’m sorry dad, I was sure about it, aren’t you glad I was wrong?”

“How long have I been here?”

“Three days."

“How did you know I was alive?”

“I didn’t, I came back for the money I was saving to buy a car. My mom made a mistake, you’re wearing my pants!”

“I love you son.”

“I love you dad.”

(O. S.)
On a black screen, while credits roll: 

“Next time I die, I want to be cremated son.”

“You got it dad, whatever you say.” 

"How come I didn't run out of air?"

"They let me bury you next to the storm drain." 

"Let's go get a beer."

"But you look like a zombie."

"I don't care, I'm thirsty."


Edmundo Barraza
Lancaster, Ca.  Jun-20-2015

Monday, June 15, 2015

Ascending Psycho CHAPTER 16

Angel’s Inferno

Once in a while I make a mental list of the most offensive and humiliating moments I had to endure from comments made by my dad. I think the reason I do that is to convince myself that if I got rid of him I still shouldn’t consider myself a monster. Or maybe, I make that list to increase my hatred towards him and to never forget how much I suffered. I need to mention that I never killed or murdered my dad, he froze to death. When I cut him to pieces, he was already dead. I’d rather say, “I got rid of him” instead of, “I killed him”. In any case, that list is to remind myself how much I should hate him. 

I remember one time, my dad, my grandma and I were at the dinner table. Grandpa, of course, was absent because he had been pushed to his death recently from a bridge by a real monster in the Sequoia forest. 

During the course of the dinner, for a reason I don’t remember I mentioned how much I missed grandpa. The other two persons on the table had very different reactions. I saw a single teardrop falling on my grandma’s face, it made me choke. Across the table, my dad rashly groaned . . . 

“Bah, he’s dead, there’s nothing you can do. What you should do is go out and find a girl, or else I cut off your balls! And remember, that dick should be used only on girls.”
My dad had no consideration about my grandma’s feelings either. I felt especially bad for her. Waiting all day to be with us, to have at least a moment of distraction, she had an enormous respect and love for her husband. And yet, there he was, my heartless father dismissing my grandma’s husband, despising my grandfather, and rejecting his own father. 

And of course I felt bad for myself. My grandma was proud of me; she had proven year after year how much she loved me. I knew she shared my suffering and I also knew that her inability to express her feelings was profoundly frustrating.

I hated my dad deeply but my hatred was justified, and I’m not even mentioning that he killed my grandpa and my mom too. He robbed me. Things could have been so different if I had had a mother.


In the morning Pedro and Abel came to the shop to tell me that some undercover cops were asking questions about some people that had disappeared in the area, the brothers said that they believed I was the main suspect. Things were getting hot. Then I asked them if they could get me a gun, Abel said that he could, but that he needed some money. The money for Father Fidel’s boys club was going to end up in good hands after all. I told them to give it to their dad and ask him to buy a house with it. Two hours later Abel came back with a gun. Before he left, he asked me if they were also in trouble. I assured him they didn’t have anything to worry about. He shook my hand and wished me good luck. 

Unaware of my dealings with the brothers, Joy and Sadie kept working quietly, but with certain apprehensiveness. I’m sure they also felt the approaching storm.

“I’m worried about you, Angel, what are you going to do? Sooner or later the cops will knock on the door, and they’ll take you away, maybe forever.” Sadie said with resignation, not even caring anymore that Joy was present.

I also said with resignation and thus admitting my guilt, “I don’t know Sadie; I don’t want to spend the rest of my days in jail. I’m not afraid of anything, except going to prison. I’ll wait until all blows up, but I won’t surrender, that’s for sure. Nothing matters to me anymore. You were the most important thing in my life, and I know I lost you already. The happiness you gave me was worth a lifetime. Don’t feel bad, just be happy.” 

It appeared that losing Sadie had little importance to me, but it wasn’t indifference, it was acceptance. There was no reason to fight, I couldn’t oppose or rearrange my fate. Deep inside, my soul was broken, I felt defeated and ravaged.

“Why don’t you run away to Mexico? You speak Spanish, you have money,” Joy said.

“No.” I replied.

I was worried about grandma. She wouldn’t wish to continue living without me by her side. And that made me very sad.

It was just a matter of time before my arrest. The gun would be my inseparable friend from now on. 

Sadie stayed with me that night too. I couldn’t sleep, we both cried, and I kept sobbing and shedding tears all night. I thought about a murder-suicide situation, but only for a second. Sadie didn’t deserve such a selfish and cowardly act on my part. I couldn’t live without her but I knew she could live without me. Her life didn’t belong to me. I hated myself for having such an evil thought. Watching her beautiful face made me feel sadder still.


I should’ve stopped my killing spree before Father Fidel, or even before that. Who did I kill before Father Fidel? I don’t remember, and who cares? I don’t regret anything. Since I killed my dad all my actions had made me happier. I became alive. I enjoyed my murderous life, choosing my targets with or without motive, the planning, the hunting, and then the execution. Every step gave me an adrenalin rush; I had never enjoyed life so much. 

Since I didn’t have any feelings for any of my victims, using my skills to cut them to pieces was like handling cows or pigs, knowing that their flesh would be eaten, digested, and then defecated. I was the master of the universe, I was in control, I wasn’t afraid of anything. The unique sound of my tools, the sharpening of the knives echoing in my butcher shop without the sound of human voices, the special care I took while I was cutting breasts, the minor disgust I felt while handling penises. The mortal sound of the last breath from a life recently expired. The whole process was orgasmic. And gaining power and confidence with every person I killed was a reward hard to compare.


This could probably be the last visit to my shrink, it could be unnecessary too. But this time, I had decided to be more communicative and blunt. In our last meeting I shamefully ran away with my tail between my legs.

Finally, when I thought I had organized my mental disorders, when I found asylum in my own mind, when my tormented soul at last found peace, my evil actions had caught up with me.

If I had the chance to go back to the moment my dad went into that refrigerator and do everything differently, beginning by not locking the door, I would still choose to do it all the same way. I wouldn’t change a thing. I don’t regret a single event. After considering all the crimes I committed, I think I was a good candidate for a lobotomy to fix my schizophrenia, manic depression, bipolar disorder, or wherever mental illness I suffered. At least it would have saved a few lives.

In my opinion, I was as sane as my shrink, if you don’t count the loss of life.

After a short polite greeting, Jennifer, my psychiatrist began our session.

“We were interrupted abruptly in your last visit Angel, or was it you, that were in a hurry to get out of my office?”

“Both, I think.” 

“Very well Angel, this time we won’t be interrupted, I guarantee you. We need to settle where you’re standing. Things are about to explode and you need to decide what your next step will be. We’ve already established what you’ve done, and it’s too late to deny it. Before we continue, I want to make clear that all information shared by patients cannot be disclosed without written permission. Unless the psychiatrist believes the patient can cause harm to himself or others. And I hope this is not the case. Now, tell me Angel, are you involved in any wrongdoings? Or (clears her throat) any criminal activity?”

“The reason I came to you, was because I thought I needed professional help, I felt my mind was a mess. Now, if you’re right and I turn out to be a mass murderer, a serial killer or a cold hearted monster, then it’s your fault, for failing your mission. You can almost be a co-conspirator, am I right?”  

At this point I didn’t know what to say. I could defend myself by denying vehemently what was obvious, but the evidence against me was mounting by the minute. The end was near and we both knew it.

“That’s nonsense Angel, when you came to me the damage was done. You were deeply troubled before your treatment began. I don’t take the credit for your improvements, but I believe you have changed noticeable since our first session. If you were involved in the disappearance of those people . . .  you know what? I’m going to stop calling them disappearances, I’m going to call them what they are, killings. So, if you killed those people, you need to surrender to the police. If they find you guilty you can plead innocence by reason of insanity. I would testify on your behalf and you can probably be sent to a mental institution instead of a prison. And if you promise me that you won’t harm yourself I’ll give you twenty four hours to settle your personal business, but if you don’t surrender I’d notify the authorities. Now, tell me how many persons have you killed?”

Again, we were interrupted by her assistant to let us know she was leaving. It was 5:00 o’clock. We heard when she locked the front door. My shrink and I were alone. I could see fear in her eyes; she knew she shouldn’t have allowed her secretary to leave. But it was too late now. 

“Okay if you want to know how many people I killed, grab a pen and start writing,”

Then as I stood up, I took a heavy crystal ash tray from her desk and started walking behind her. Her expression was far from her usual look of professional dominance, arrogance and superiority. She froze and looked terrified, I walked around her chair and then I hit her on the right side of her forehead. She fell backwards on her fancy chair, bleeding profusely and said, “Please Angel don’t kill me, I’m pregnant,” and after that, every time I hit her on the head, she kept begging, “I’m pregnant Angel, please don’t kill me, I’m pregnant, I’m pregnant,” until she stopped moving.

She was the first person I killed outside my butcher shop, but I couldn’t get rid of her body the same way I did with the others. Too bad I’ll never taste her flesh.

When I walked out of her office I kept thinking about her last question. “How many persons have you killed?” Then, I began my list,

1.     My dad
2.     The thief
3.     Ana Suarez
4.     Leticia
5.     Fredo
6.     The hooker
7.     Father Fidel
8.     And her, my psychiatrist. (I don’t know if I should include her unborn baby.)

If I had been a normal person none of this would have happened. If my dad would have been nice to me, none of this would have happened. All my life had been boring and meaningless, until I killed my dad. From then on, my life was exciting, and I was always looking forward for the next day. Thirty boring years, and then thirty exciting months. I’m glad I killed my dad. I couldn’t have endured another thirty boring years.

If I had to write my autobiography, it would begin the day my dad died.

On my way back home, I promised myself not to cry in front of grandma. With the exception of my psychiatrist, my grandma knew about all my crimes. She condoned everything I’ve done, the carnage I caused and the sins I’ve committed. I know she wouldn’t resist staying alive without me by her side, but I don’t want to know what she’ll do after I’m gone. Grandma and Sadie were the only two persons I loved on this Earth. 

The distance between the psychiatrist offices from down town to my butcher shop in the Oval Park was probably around two or three miles. Since my driver’s license was taken away, I was forced to walk and until now that I’m running out of time, I hadn’t noticed how much I enjoy long walks and how much I love this small town. The best time I had was when I was a kid. Back then the city was greener, without so many roads and so many cars. On Saturdays, I used to walk along the river upstream, and go all the way to Three Rivers. It would take me all morning to get there, and then I would spend two or three hours swimming and fishing. It was easy to ask for a ride on my way back. As I grew older I would hike up all the way to the Sequoia Mountains. It was the best therapy for my heartache and misery. 

I know a lot of people in this town, but none of them I consider my friends, as I stroll around town many people greeted me, even if I try to be invisible. “Hola Don Angel”, Mexicans would say. The last few days I noticed a radical change in all the people that frequent the park, the homeless and winos don’t want to acknowledge my presence, they turn the other way when I go through the park. I don’t mind, I didn’t want to be their hero anyway. I used them too. One thing’s for sure, if I die today no one will miss me, except my grandma. However, I know she’ll find a quick way to follow me.

My grandpa and my dad used to love me when I was a kid. They were my favorite friends. Maybe they liked me because I loved them so much. I think love is a mutual emotion; if you give love to somebody they love you back. But it’s hard to know who initiates the circle. When my grandpa and my dad stopped showing me their love I didn’t know what to do. I still had a lot of love to give, and no one to give it to. Well, except to my grandma. In that regard my dad and my grandpa were alike. They were afraid to show their love to other males, unless, they were young kids. Stupid machismo, that’s what it is. And they never knew they broke my heart.

My grandma couldn’t hide her anxiety since the detectives came to investigate Father Fidel’s disappearance; she seemed more distressed every day. I’m sure she also felt my approaching demise. Every night during the last week, she came to my room to give me a kiss good night, something she hadn’t done since I was ten years old.

Edmundo Barraza
Lancaster, Ca. Jun-15-2015

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Nihilism Will Get You Nowhere

The world is a dog eat dog place. Nobody is permanently happy. Everything is temporary and everybody is eternally unsatisfied. I say this because my dogs keep barking at the moon or I don’t know what. One minute I love them, and the next I want to hit them in their heads with a shovel and bury them right there in the backyard. After some hesitation, I decide to come out and kick the hell out of them to control the pandemonium before someone calls the police. Instead, I pet them and sit next to them. Then, I lie down and they begin to lick my face. All is forgotten and forgiven.

The sky is dark blue and cloudless, all my troubles subside. My spiritual side emerges and I become a cheap philosopher, a deep thinker. The infinite number of stars, planets, rocks or universes amazes me like no other thing in the world. I read that you and your dog, the earth and the moon are made of the same kinds of atoms as glittering stars. Dark matter, dark energy and mostly empty spaces. Even empty spaces are full of miniscule nothings. From the smallest atom to the biggest solid star or planet, everything is made out of tiny particles. It must be hard to explain even to scientists, all the mysteries of the galaxy. Where does it end? Where does it start? What’s the smallest part of the smallest part of an atom? And to think that our planet is the only one that could support life is absurd. And like a little child I wonder, where do the stars go during the day? Behind the Sun? Yeah, behind the Sunlight. Did you know that in Venus a day is longer than a year? Yes, it's so silly but it's true.

I can't imagine what they'll find, if the world and the universe still exist in a thousand years. And then I go deeper in my thoughts and I ask myself, "is there anybody out there?" and the only answer I hear is Pink Floyd. And then I think about the Big Bang theory, and a silly show comes to mind. Maybe it will all end with a bigger bang. 

I don’t believe in Astrology, although I know that the stars can guide travelers, or is that Astronomy? Anyway, I think Astrology is the worst kind of baloney if I want to learn about my future or my love life.

Looking at the stars makes me feel small and insignificant, and I don’t need that, as it is, I feel inferior in size and in intelligence (without being a complex). All these profound thoughts have no importance in my everyday life, but they keep me more entertained than most things they show on TV or what I read in the internet. In the end it makes me think that nothing matters, nor my life, nor my friends, nor my future, much less what I'll leave as a legacy to this world. I’m nothing and I believe in nothing, life is meaningless. And if you are the opposite of me, I’m glad for you. 

I wonder what my dogs are thinking. Do they think I’m the best master in the universe? Or that I’m full of shit? No, for sure they believe I’m the best master that ever lived, and they’re right. I’m the only master they’ve known. I’m kind, smart and profound. Damn! The little dog just peed on my leg.

Edmundo Barraza
Lancaster, Ca. Jun-04-2015