Thursday, January 9, 2014

Ascending Psycho in a Descending Cycle (A book in progress)






ASCENDING PSYCHO IN A DESCENDING CYCLE


INTRODUCTION



This is the introduction of a book I'm writing about a butcher serial killer. A young man who had been mentally traumatized in his teen years by his abusive father finds solace in his grandmother, who loves and admires him. She also becomes a witness and an accomplice. 

First he kills his father whom he hates deeply. That act liberates a hidden killer instinct inside him. After he kills his father he accidentally kills a thief. To get rid of the bodies he begins to feed the homeless, winos and drug addicts that gather in a decrepit park across the street from the butcher shop. It’s a violent, graphic and cool story.

So far I've written fourteen chapters. I'm planning to write a few more until I find a good ending to the story. Each chapter can be read in approximately fifteen minutes. I'll publish it when I'm done. Your comments are welcome. 

I hope you enjoy it.





EDMUNDO BARRAZA
Visalia, CA. 09-01-2012
Please visit my blog:   
http://edbar1952-accomplishedignorant.blogspot.com/









CHAPTER ONE


My Grandma and Me.


My father left me the butcher shop and eleven houses that comprise the whole block where the shop is, except one. He also left me a scarred mind, full of sorrow and pain. He never hit me. He never abused me physically. But the negative impact of his cruel comments and the lack of support during my formative years, contributed greatly to my insecure and weak mind. Indeed psychological abuse could ruin your mind in a terrible way. Even as an adult, I hardly complained. I just kept quiet.

My dad was the first person I murdered. I never reported him missing. I never filed a police report. I just said to anyone who asked, that he had decided to retire to Mexico, and that he was staying there indefinitely. But in reality I made him disappear, yes, disappear is the right word.

The old neighborhood butchers are one of those occupations that are usually inherited or get transferred from father to son, by way of unconscious habit. Like my dad had learned from his father, I also learned from my dad by just being there at the butcher shop. You know, your dad expects you to follow his steps, without a spoken word or a promise made.

My grandfather was born in Mexico in 1912, during the revolution, in the 1930s he immigrated to the United States. At first, he worked in the fields of Central California, and after four years, he had saved enough money to buy a small grocery store, which he later converted into a butcher shop. When my grandfather died, my dad kept the shop and bought the house next door.

When I murdered my father, my grandma was a casual witness.

I consider myself to be an introverted and timid person. I'm shy especially around women. I could also say that I have a bi-polar personality, only because of my occupation, which requires me to be in constant contact with my costumers. Just like a barber or a taxi driver, they are very communicative. They develop an extroverted personality that they adopt for the rest of their lives. But in my case after I close the shop I turned into my own self and whatever I do, I become quiet even in my thoughts. My real self is the quiet one.
In high school I read a quote by Chinese philosopher Confucius: "Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life" Confucius was talking to me. I listened. When you enjoy your job, it's not a job anymore. I enjoy mine.

My grandfather was a big man. The hard work in the fields and later as a butcher made him strong as a bull. When he died, he was eighty years old and he could still lift a quarter of a cow to a six foot high hook. My dad became as big as him, and of course so did I. There was no other way, I had the genes and I also worked hard.

My grandpa never learned how to speak English. My father did but never cared for it. He never absorbed the American culture. He always felt a hundred percent Mexican. My grandpa never pushed my dad to go further than high school. He was never supportive of any goals my dad might have had and probably my dad never had any. My dad became like my grandpa and I became like my dad. I know I had a chance and a choice to go to college, but I had spent all my childhood and adolescence in the butcher shop and I enjoyed being there. We owned the whole block, except for one house. We were renting all those houses. I guess we were rich, though I never felt or looked like a rich person.

My grandma is my only true friend. Everybody else is just an acquaintance to me. She's eighty years old. She's in a wheelchair. Her knees are bad and she lost her ability to speak when she slipped in the kitchen and hit her head on the counter top. 

That happened a few years ago. Her head injury caused damage to the left side of her brain and she developed a rare speech disorder, called aphasia. Within days she became a mute. Partial recovery is possible but it depends on the patient's age, their health and motivation. None of those requirements were in grandma's favor. 

The doctor recommended treatment with a speech therapist, but she went to see him only a couple of times. She claimed the therapist didn't speak Spanish properly.

My grandma's increasing pain in her knees made me get her a wheelchair that remained unused for months. Until I stopped begging her to use it. Once she started using it, the pain in her knees went away and she never walked again. Well sometimes, just a few steps. I think she was happier that way. Without talking or walking, besides she never walked that much or talked that much.

Like my grandfather, my grandma never learned to speak English and hated anybody that didn't speak Spanish, including Americans. She still considered California to be part of Mexico. One day, before she lost her speech, a brown skinned boy, obviously of Mexican descent started talking to her in English and she told him, "Aprende a hablar en español, como tu papá, mocoso!" And she became furious when he responded, "Learn how to speak in English, like your grandson, old lady!" I couldn't help but laugh, but I turned away so grandma wouldn't notice.

I began to cook, after watching my grandma increasingly struggle around the kitchen, but she was still able to attend her own needs. Her hygiene had been impeccable all her life, and that was incorporated to all aspects of our lives. Tidiness was high on the list of grandma's virtues. The house was always clean, our cars were always clean and even the butcher shop.

When I bought her the wheelchair, the house was remodeled and adapted with wider doors and ramps, so she could gain access to every room in the house. She could do anything but cook. Gradually I started to enjoy cooking and I became a decent cook. 

My grandma was always expressing with gestures, the pleasure my dishes gave her. I was glad none of us were vegetarians. Over all, I appreciated her company, and the fact that she couldn't verbally criticize me made me feel like I didn't have a lot of flaws. I love our one way conversations. She uses gestures, signs and signals. I can read them all. Her face became very expressive. She spends a lot of time in church. I don't know why, she's not too devoted and above all she's not that saintly or virtuous. Her name is Sandra.

We live in Visalia, in Central California, population 130,000, in the old part of town. The butcher shop is located in front of what is known as the Lincoln Oval Park, a little and decrepit old park where the homeless and drug addicts spend their leisure time (all day) doing nothing. It's the poor side of Visalia, where most Mexicans live. Having the police station two blocks from here it's not a deterrent for crime and violence in the area. There are four second hand stores in the neighborhood, including the Salvation Army.

Mexicans are for the most part hard working, decent people. Considering the bad economy and the high unemployment rate, things aren't that bad. I know it used to be worse. Our house is in the back of the butcher shop.


EDMUNDO BARRAZA
Visalia, Ca, 08-27-2012






CHAPTER TWO


My father and the reasons why he had to go.



My father was a strange character, even stranger than me. He had his own demons, like me. He had his personality issues, like me, and I guess his mind was troubled, like mine. He was my father after all. My grandma says that I'm a replica of him, but I suppose I turned out a lot worse than him. Even though I can describe him with several evil adjectives, like deceived, nefarious, detrimental, hideous, etc. If my grandma is right, then I'm screwed. But if I'm all that bad, then nobody knows me, just like nobody knew my father.

My father was abusive in many ways, in many unnoticeable ways. He was an expert in mental abuse. As a father he was also absent, unloving, unsupportive and authoritative. He had many vices and defects I'm yet to find if I'm going to have. I think some of this stuff can be inherited through your genes, somehow. For now I have no desire to have a son. I don't need to bring another misfit into the world. Besides all that terrible stuff about my father, my grandma suspects my dad of having murdered my mom. 

I resented him a lot, not because he was a bad father but because he wasn't a decent enough kind of father. I just couldn't love my dad for a lot of little different reasons.

He was home all the time, but to me he was always absent. No person could be a hundred percent evil, but if I try to find the positive qualities my dad had, I could be thinking for hours and still come up empty handed. He was a good provider though. I never knew what hunger was and I always had shoes on my feet, but that's basic stuff. What he lacked was more important than that. I would rather be a poor kid with a great dad, than a rich kid with a bad dad.

When I killed my father three years ago, I was thirty years old. I had endured for over a decade, false accusations from him. He accused me of being a homosexual, and for all those years, I repressed my rage and resisted his suspicions and insults quietly. He never knew how badly he wounded my pride with his sarcasm, "I wish I had two sons, so the straight one could bring me a grandson." or "You'd make me happy if you could bring a girlfriend, but if you bring me a faggot like you, Id' kill you." And the more he accused me of being gay, the harder he made it for me to take the decisive steps to find a girlfriend.

I couldn't understand the reasons why my dad was so homophobic. He was born here in the USA. He had been here all his life, and yet, he acted like a typical Mexican macho man. I say this with all the respect that deserve my Mexican ancestry. But the most incomprehensible part is that I'm not gay. I'm terribly shy. I never learned how to behave in front of women. I'm just extremely timid. My dad had just worsened my traumas with years of constant false accusations.

One day we were watching a documentary on TV and they mentioned the Homo sapiens, and he turned to me and said, "Did you hear that? 'Homo' sapiens." Another time when I finally had enough, I said to him, "Dad, I'm not gay, please stop suggesting that I am, because I'm not." and he responded, "The day you impregnate a girl and make me a grandfather I'll stop thinking that you're a faggot."

Sometimes I thought that subconsciously, I wasn't trying hard enough to find me a girl, just to not give him the satisfaction. And the years passed. 

My grandma was also suffering, but she never intervened, she just consoled me afterwards. 
Above all, I was a loner who enjoyed his loneliness.

Of course I had had sex before, a few times. Once in a while I looked for fast and easy sex with prostitutes, but it was never satisfying. As for a long term relationship with a regular girl, it seemed too impossible for me. I was extremely shy. I would blush for nothing. At home my dad was unbearable, but at the butcher shop we never had any problems. We just worked, that's why I still enjoy being a butcher.

It's hard to pinpoint good memories that I shared with my dad. Perhaps just a few, when my mom was still alive. But maybe not worth remembering. My grandpa failed as a father, my dad failed as a father, so the odds are against me, but I'm not dying to have a son just yet. Actually, I don't want to risk it. I might stay single for the rest of my life. After all, my dad can't push me any longer.

I don't know if I'll ever be happy, for now I'm sufficiently content.

I don't care much about money. It doesn't bring me joy, and "happiness"I don't know what that is. But since my dad died, I don't feel so sad anymore.

The irony of it all was that my father, in his younger years wasn't a playboy either. He was as shy I as am. My grandpa had to take my dad to Mexico to find a wife for him. My dad was lucky to have found my mom, but my mom was unlucky to have accepted him.

My dad tried to do the same thing with me, but I could never accept an arranged marriage. I could never take a 'bought' wife. Although I have to add that I might get a better chance at success with a random marriage, knowing the high rate of divorces here in America.

One day, a friend of mine showed up at the shop and I introduced him to my dad. After my friend was done with his shopping and just before he turned his back to leave, my dad said, "You should take my son out one of these days and help him find a girlfriend . . . or a boyfriend, I still don't know what he likes." In an instant I could feel the heat coming out of my red face. It was by far the most embarrassing moment of my life. I dropped my apron and went out through the back door.

That day I killed my dad.

I went to my room, sat on the bed and started to cry. Then I heard the squeaking sound of my grandma's wheelchair. She looked at me with her sad face, with her bright black eyes, with two sparkling tears in them. I just shook my head and said, "Dad" and she nodded slowly and sadly. She comforted me tenderly. Without a word she could express a million thoughts.

Yes, I thought about suicide, but instead I decided to kill him. When I came back, the shop was closed already and my dad was in the walk-in refrigerator. I just slid the bolt and put the padlock in and locked it. When he heard the clicking sound, he turned his face to the door and through the small glass window I could see a look of shock in his eyes for one second and for the last time.

As if nothing had happened and without any remorse, I went to the kitchen and started cooking dinner. Later at the table, my grandma questioned me with a glance towards my dad's chair, the whereabouts of my father. I just moved my head sideways and shrugged. This time I didn't set a place for him, I knew my grandma understood that he was not going to show up.

We close the shop at 5:00 PM. It was past midnight when I went back to check the situation with my dad in the refrigerator. Seven hours had passed. Before I looked inside, I noticed some words written on the fogged glass window. At first I thought it was something written from the inside. It had been written backwards. When I figured out what it said, I knew it had been written from the outside. It said, "ti evresed uoy". 

My grandma! Of course, it had been my grandma!

Then I noticed my father on the corner, lying down on the floor in the fetal position. He was frozen dead. He had been cold all his life, now he was just plain frozen. The temperature in this room is -10 degrees F. I could never stay in this room for more than three minutes. I was a little nervous, because I thought he was going to move, but he was as hard as the rest of the meat. I grabbed the meat hook to move his body, but I thought it would be disrespectful. Instead I pulled him by his feet, and finally dragged him out of there, like a block of ice.

First, I sawed off his head with the hand saw because he was too heavy to lift to the band saw table. I had to dismember his extremities. His blood was frozen also. I wasn't too worried about making a whole mess. And for the first time in my life  I started talking to him, unafraid of his sarcastic and ironic comments. With unrelated sentences and with short intervals in between, I began:


"I told you a thousand times that I wasn't gay." - And then I made a cut in between his ribs, from his chest to his stomach,

"My grandma's right, you deserve it." - And then I removed his intestines,

"Now you'll never meet your grandchildren." - And then I removed his cold heart,

"You won't be so cold in hell." - And then I cut off his penis,

"Even your mother hated you." - And then I turned him over,

"Now you won't be calling me all those ugly epithets with your filthy mouth, like faggot, gay, homo, queer and homosexual." - And then I sliced his buttocks,

"I saw you killing my grandpa, you cold hearted bastard!"

And for the final question, I had to grab his decapitated head by the hair and put it in front of my face.

"Did you kill my mom? Mother fucker, did you kill her? Answer me, you piece of shit!"


Wasted body, wasted organs, wasted life. I had to use all the equipment in the shop, three different knives, the cleaver, the skinner, the cimeter, also the hand saw, the table saw and the meat grinder. I sawed all the bones to six inches or smaller sizes, even the cranium. They can't be recognized as human bones. Intestines and organs went straight to the trash, including his sexual organ, ugh! I put all that in a double heavy duty, black plastic bag, tightly sealed. In a separate bag all the bones. Hands and feet had to be cut into tiny pieces, then to the grinder.

Out of two hundred and fifty pounds, I could get only forty pounds of ground meat. Saturday morning, the homeless, winos and drug addicts are going to have free hamburgers. My dad is finally giving back to the community. He'll pay back for years of loyal support.

I ended up with a big mess after all. I'm glad my dad had tiled walls and floors, with lots of drains, stainless steel equipment and a commercial high pressure washer. When I finished cleaning, the place looked shiny new again, free of bacteria and parasites. My dad was gone!

We Mexicans have a few exclusive advantages, for instance we can kill another Mexican and if somebody asks for him, we can just respond, "He went back to Mexico, indefinitely."

In a few hours I'll open the "Carnicería Jalisco" or Jalisco Meat Market" for the first time, as a sole proprietor. 



EDMUNDO BARRAZA  
Visalia, CA. 09-02-2012






CHAPTER THREE


In a Descending Cycle



I have an abnormal fascination towards knives, butcher knives, hunter knives, Swiss army knives, etc.  I have a beautiful machete that my grandfather gave me. He said that he used it in the jungles of Veracruz when he was a teenager. I keep it under my bed. If you like knives you must have sharpening tools. Manual, electrical, even battery operated sharpeners. I keep all my knives sharpened to perfection and then I keep sharpening them even more. 

I’m missing half a finger on my left hand. 

One day I was in the store cutting meat with the cleaver, the cleaver is a heavy cutting tool with a 9x4 inch broad blade that is used like a hatchet. I was about to cut the meat when my dad bumped into me accidentally. I lost my aim and cut off a half of my middle finger, I wasn’t mad at him at all. When it healed, it looked funny. And when I gave the finger to anybody it seemed like half an insult and everybody would laugh. I think that’s the only good thing my dad did for me, cutting my finger off.

For a couple of years when I was a teenager, my grandpa, my dad and I worked together at the butcher shop. I remember those times with nostalgia. After my grandpa died the relationship with my dad deteriorated.

On Sunday my grandma asked me to join her to church. I was amazed at how much the priests like her. She is well known and respected by all the parishioners. After communion, she gave an envelope to the officiating priest, now I understand why they love her so much. 

Although her wheelchair is powered by a big battery, Father Fidel volunteers to push her. They appear to be old friends, and my grandma seems to enjoy his company.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               On the first day of the month my grandma collects the rent from the eleven houses we own, which is around seven thousand dollars. I take care of everything concerning the butcher shop. But she takes care of all finances and expenses of the house. Her donations to the church must be significant. I bet all her sins are forgiven in advance, even without a confession.

 
My dad bought the house next to the shop a long time ago, and after that he became adamant in owning the entire block. Every time they put up a house for sale, he would buy it immediately. The mortgages on all houses are paid in full, so all rent money is clear and free. 

The only house that doesn’t belong to us is owned by an old lady. She’s about my grandma’s age, her name is Ana Suarez. I heard some rumors that my grandpa and her were lovers a long time ago. My grandma and her don’t like each other at all, to say the least. The fact that we didn’t own that house started to feel like an obsession to me too. It felt like a stone inside my shoe. I needed to buy that house from her, I’m sure my grandma would be very happy if I did.

In one of the other houses lives a lady in her late thirties, she’s a single mother with a sixteen year old daughter. A few days ago she asked me if I could give a job to her daughter and I agreed. Since my dad ‘went back to Mexico’, work had been overwhelming. I’m definitely overworking. My new helper’s name is Leticia, she told me she’d run away if I didn’t give her the job.

Our store looks successful, and it is, but it looks out of place in this neighborhood. With its clean, ample parking lot and its freshly painted store front. We have a contract with a pest exterminating company. They come once a week. We have several inconspicuous security video cameras. I know they wouldn’t dare to rob the store while open, because I would jump over the counter and come out like a ninja warrior with my big knives and hatchets. 

They’ve tried to break in at night a couple of times. That’s the reason I keep the machete under my bed, which I thought I’d never use. Until one night while in bed, I heard noises in the store. Immediately I grabbed my machete and went in to the store as quiet as a cat. The back door was open a tiny crack. It had been forced open. Then I found a guy trying to open the cash register. The store is never completely dark, even with the lights off, because of the lights inside the refrigerators and the deli case. When he noticed me, he had a look of terror on his face. Then he tried to get away. To do so, he had to pass by me, to exit the same way he came in. But I thought he was trying to attack me, so I swung my machete and he tried instinctively to stop the blow with his left hand . . . And hand and head and body went flying in three separate directions. 

His beheaded body was spraying blood from the neck. His torso jerked on the floor for two seconds, oops, for three. His head kept rolling until it landed against the back wall, facing me, with his arched eyebrows and wide open eyes indicating perplexity.  I’m sure he was trying to say, “What the hell?” 

Then I heard the unmistakable squeaking sound of my grandma’s wheelchair. She had an inexpressive serious look and moved her head slowly examining the scene. With unnecessary hesitancy I said, “A thief broke in . . .  he tried to rob us . . . should I call the police?” She responded, “No.” with her head, and went back to the house. I guess that’s normal behavior after being in and around a butcher shop for forty years, where all you see is meat and blood.

As I started dismembering his body, unavoidably, I began to think about my father. It’s been a few weeks since he ‘went away’. I never missed him, on the contrary. My life was liberated, my body felt bigger somehow. I could breathe easier.

I had seen the thief a few times in the park. He was in his mid-twenties, medium built. It’s hard to say what his vices were. Sometimes he was with the winos group, other times with the drug addicts, or with the gang members. He had several tattoos on his body, one thing’s for sure, he won’t be missed.

According to my calculations, the homeless in the park will have to be satisfied with half the hamburgers they had last time.


*****


 Yesterday, Leticia asked me if I've seen the movie "Lolita"

I considered that to be a bad start. With that question, she displayed her entire perspective about her short life. Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita is about a ‘nymphet’ or sexually precocious young girl. Yes, I’ve seen the two film versions. With that question, she was telling me who she was or who, she pretended to be. She was very young, although probably not a virgin. When I was her age, I dreaded girls like her. I felt intimidated by their kind. Girls like her were the cause of my current traumatized state. Girls like her, forced me to run and hide in the corners of my room. I always liked them, but I could never go near them. 

If I’d accepted to be psychoanalyzed, I bet they could find in the dark alleys of my brain, dozens of traumatic moments that profoundly affected my mind throughout my childhood and adolescence, embarrassing  moments  that made me the way I am now. These psychiatrists would just conclude that I was ‘sanely insane’ or ‘insane only in the inside’ or something like that. My dad never knew about my “little insignificant traumas.” 

I was fascinated by that movie, utterly enraptured by it, by the boldness of the male character and by the seductive audacity of Lolita. She was my greatest fear and he was who I wanted to be. Both of them were at fault, but I couldn’t blame either of them. 

Leticia was attractive, in a common way. Nothing specific stood out, except her breasts and her spunky energy. She said she liked that movie and that she felt attracted to older men, but not that old, like in the movie, she liked them younger, she said . . .  like me.

I was glad my back was facing her, because my entire face was burning red.

“Yes, Leticia, I’ve seen that movie, why do you ask? Are you comparing yourself to her?”

If there was to be any kind of friendship or relationship, this was a decisive moment, as to who would be the one in control. I was seventeen years older than her. I was supposed to be a mature person, but I knew I wasn’t. My life had been a long procession of humiliation and mockery, unnoticed by most because I always walked away. But now I was the adult, I was the boss, I was the owner of the establishment, I was giving the orders, but I knew that a false start could send me to hide in my room. 

“No, I’m just making conversation,” And then she added, “Why don’t you have a girlfriend, boss?”

Shit! I just blushed in front of her, damn it! I’m losing ground here. I better come up with something bold.
“Listen Leticia, I never discuss my intimate life with anybody. But when I find a girlfriend, I know she won’t be from this neighborhood.”

“Why boss, are we all low-lifers in this neighborhood for you?”

“No, Leticia, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t mean it like that,” Oh no, I’m losing control again. She’s too sharp and direct. Then I continued,  “It’s that there are no cute girls in the neighborhood, well, except for you, but you’re too young.”

“Okay boss, whatever you say, but I know you’re right about the neighborhood. They’re a bunch of losers, I wouldn’t date any of them, besides there are no cute boys here, well, except for you, but you’re too old.” 

With her proximity and her ebullient nature, she might unknowingly, be able to lessen my stupid shyness. With her, as my employee, I have to confront my fears on a daily basis, make them part of my regular life, get use to them, and who knows; maybe even I could conquer them.





EDMUNDO BARRAZA
Visalia, CA. 09-09-2012






CHAPTER FOUR


Like father like son




I remember my father and my grandfather used to get along just fine. Their personalities were alike, I never saw them arguing about anything. They were quiet and respectful to each other. What they had in common was their lack of friendliness and warmth. They weren't famous for showing their emotions. But they weren't always like that.

Before I entered my adolescent years, when I was eleven or twelve years old, when I started to change, they also changed. They used to take me fishing and camping. We used to go to the ocean, to amusement parks. They used to love me. They enjoyed playing with me, acting like kids.

When I became a teenager, they stopped all the fun. My changes were only physical, I couldn't avoid it, but I still was a kid. They didn't have to change at all. But just like that, they weren't my friends anymore. It was indeed a rough transition for a little boy. At home or at school I couldn't find myself. It was all too confusing, so I stayed in the lonely comforts of my mind. I became withdrawn and shy.

Suddenly, only for them I guess, I became an adult, from a child to an adult, nothing in between. I started working for them, not with them, like before. When I came to the shop after doing my homework and they would take turns to teach me how to use all the knives and they were showing off their expertise. No, now it was a serious business, it was a job, like any other responsible job. I adapted, but not with a little disillusionment and sadness. Nevertheless, I began to enjoy my new stage, as a full-time 'hired' employee.

On one occasion, after closing time, while doing our cleaning chores, my grandpa was telling my dad about his intentions of retirement. My grandfather was eighty years old.

"I'm tired son, I'm thinking about selling the place and retiring to Mexico, I've lasted as long as I could. I should have retired ten years ago, but they say that you die two years after you retire, so I cheated death for eight years already. But really, I'm quitting. Your mom and I are going back to Mexico."

"But Dad, can't you leave me the shop? What are we going to do?" he asked with a preoccupied look on his face.

"I'll leave you some money, so you can start your own business, or you can get a job at the new big market on Ben Maddox. They'll need a lot of butchers, or better yet, you all can come with us. We're buying a small ranch in Jalisco. You are welcome to stay with us."

"But Dad, I've worked all my life for you. I'm forty-four years old, how can I start working for somebody else, and how can I follow you to your retirement ranch? That makes no sense."

"Listen Son, I can say the same thing. I've worked all my life for you. What am I supposed to do, retire to nothing, with nothing? You can always sell your house or save some money, like I did when I was twenty years old. We don't need to fight over this. It'll be okay. I'll give you some money. Besides, the decision has been made, we don't need to discuss it any longer."

A couple of weeks later my grandpa was dead.

We went fishing to the Sequoia Mountains, at my dad's suggestion. It all seemed natural. Three generations. Eighty-year-old grandfather Ricardo, forty-four-year-old father Ramon and fourteen-year-old son Angel. Having fun together, maybe for the last time, oh God is sounds so ominous . . .  for the last time.

Our favorite spot to fish was a small and narrow wooden bridge, very secluded, above a beautiful creek. 

From where we park the car, we had to walk up hill for half an hour. Once there, we sat down in the middle of the bridge with our legs hanging down from it. We got all our fishing gear, rods and bait and got ready to fish all day. Not five minutes had passed, when my dad said that he forgot the lunch box and asked me to go and get it. I grumbled at him, but I knew I had to do it anyway. He said that he left it inside the truck, behind the seat, and if I didn't hurry, the sandwiches would go bad with the heat. I got up against my will, and went to get them.

I thought that if I ran down hill, I would be there in fifteen minutes and If I hurry on my way back, I can make the trip in just thirty minutes. I liked the idea and I began to run.

We were the only people around. Few people knew about this spot and that's why we liked it so much.

On my way back, through a clearing in the woods, I could see the bridge. But no one was there. As I hiked a little higher, I could see them at the bottom of the stream, where the rocks were, and I could see my dad lifting a rock high above his head, and hitting my fallen grandpa with it. I couldn't believe my eyes, was it real? I rubbed my eyes and I opened them even more, but I saw the same image. My dad was killing my grandpa and I couldn't say anything, because I knew he would kill me too. He would have to.

After all, my grandpa retired to Mexico, but without my grandma. He always said that he wanted to be buried in Mexico. We fulfilled his wish and went to bury him there.

After that, my dad started treating me in a mean way. I never mentioned to him that I saw him killing my grandpa; it was useless. My grandpa was dead anyway. And if told, I would be left with just my grandma. I was fourteen years old. I was afraid of life having a family. I would have been more afraid without having one.

My grandma never learned the truth. My dad told the police that grandpa slipped on the bridge and fell. My dad was a good actor. They believed his whole story.

Next day, my dad opened the store as a sole proprietor. 





EDMUNDO BARRAZA
Visalia, Ca. 09-16-2012








 CHAPTER FIVE
 

Escalera al Infierno. (Stairway to Hell.)




All clothing Leticia wears is very suggestive, or it might be that all she wears looks suggestive on her. If I send her to the walk-in refrigerator for a piece of meat, she comes out with her suggestive erected nipples. If she wears a miniskirt, she’s not careful and shows her underwear left and right. I bet she hasn’t heard the words modesty or chastity, and if she has, she doesn’t know the meaning of them. Tight jeans, tight t-shirts or blouses, everything looks provocative on her. It’s a little distracting in a good kind of way. I don’t mind it at all. She brought new life to the place and to my life. She handles her job with great efficiency, most of the costumers already know her, but I find it inconvenient walking around with a hard on for most of the day.

She’s 5’7, her skin is light brown, it looks soft and fresh. She has short brown hair. Her long legs are beautiful and her breasts are outstanding. When she smiles, a dimple forms on her left cheek. At first, she appeared average looking to me, but now I think she looks prettier each day. She’s been working here for three weeks already. She never calls me by my name. 

Her dad was deported to Mexico three years ago, after three consecutive DUI infractions in one year, and hasn’t come back since. Her mom is a cashier at the Salvation Army. After closing time, we stay for an extra hour to clean and organize everything for the next day.

“Hey Boss, seriously, why don’t you have a girlfriend? You’re kind of cute.”

I’ve been adapting to her flirty nature, and I hardly blush anymore, now I feel comfortable enough around her. I don’t feel intimidated by her direct, almost aggressive behavior. I became aware that her personality is natural and innocent. Her intentions are never meant to offend or humiliate.

“I don’t know, Leticia, people can’t believe I never had a girlfriend in my life. They must think I’m gay. The fact of the matter is that I’ve been very shy all my life. The only time I asked a girl out, a million years ago, she turned me down, and I never asked any other girls again. I felt deeply embarrassed and hurt. The humiliation was so huge, that I didn’t come out of my room for a whole week.”

My dad came to my mind right away. Until now, I hadn't realized how obvious it must have been for him to think that I was a homosexual.

“Actually, I think that’s kind of cute, Boss, I’ve never met a guy so shy in my life. Most guys I know are pushy and they can’t take no for an answer. I wish I was that girl that said no to you, I would have said ‘yes’ and stayed the whole week in the room with you.”

Yeah, then my dad would still be alive. Where were you, Leticia, sixteen years ago? I was praying for a date and you were still in your mom’s womb. 




*****



My dad had offered 130,000 dollars to Ana Suarez for her house, but she refused. It’s the same old story. When you want to sell, no one wants to buy and if you want to buy they don’t want to sell, but everything has a price. She’s a retired teacher. She has a daughter in Arizona, but they’ve been estranged for many years. The rumor goes that after her affair with my grandfather was discovered, her husband left her, and a few months later, her daughter also moved away. She’s been living by herself ever since. I went to visit her last week to make her another offer. I have nothing against her. We barely greet each other each time we meet in the street. I never see her at the shop. She’s either a vegetarian or buys her meat elsewhere. My grandma and her hate each other or at least my grandma hates her. 

She also turned down my offer of 160,000 dollars, which is well above the current market price. She said that she’d rather burn the house than please my grandma. She said she'd lost her husband and her daughter, but she would never lose her house, and that my grandma never knew how to keep my grandpa happy, so he was looking elsewhere. She struck me as a sad old lady still embittered by events that happened decades ago. I was hoping to give a nice surprise to my grandma, but instead I gave her the bad news and told her everything Mrs. Suarez said. 

My grandma was enraged. She carries a notepad to communicate anything that’s long or hard to express, and wrote with a shaky hand that she’d be happy when that old bitch dies, and that if she were younger she would gladly kill her herself.

That gave me an idea.

The house of Ana Suarez is adjacent to the back of our house. Throughout the years there had been a few unspoken disputes or incidents involving Mrs. Suarez and my grandma. One day a dead rat appeared in our back yard, my grandma suspected that Mrs. Suarez had thrown it over the wooden fence, so she threw it back. Next day, it showed up in our yard again, it went back and forth for a whole week. Until I put it in the trash. 

On another occasion, a branch from one of our old trees fell on her side of the fence and next day that branch and other branches that obviously were not part of our tree appeared on our back yard and she demanded that we fix the whole fence, which I did. Sometimes I would hear the two old ladies grumble at each other, exchanging unintelligible insults over the fence as they tended their own yards. So their anger and differences, instead of disappearing, were increasing with their infantile behavior. Hate existed on both sides of the fence.

One day, on the sly, I loosened three wood boards from the fence and left them still there, loosely hanging, so when the opportunity came I could remove them quickly. My plan was to kidnap Ana Suarez from her back yard while she was hanging her clothes on the clothes line, or while she was tending to her tomato plants. I could grab her from behind and drag her to my butcher shop, which was in the front of our house. I just needed to be patient and wait for the right moment. It could be any day after 6:00 pm. when the store was closed.

When I told grandma about my plans, she nodded and smiled morbidly. My grandma knew about my dad and about the thief, that makes her my accomplice, but I didn’t know how twisted she was. She knew about my father like I knew about her father, and we both kept our mouths shut. Neither of us reported the crimes because we didn’t want the killer to be put in jail, for the same reasons  . . .  we still needed the killer for our own survival.

On the third day, I found the perfect opportunity. Mrs. Suarez was hanging her clothes with her back near the fence. She almost had a heart attack when I grabbed her from behind. I covered her mouth with my left hand and lifted her body. She was light as a feather, but she was kicking her legs like a mule. My grandma was watching the whole thing and was following me in her squeaky wheel chair. 

Once in the shop I covered her mouth with duct tape and tied her up to a chair. My grandma was in front of her with a wicked smile on her face. I bet my grandma was wishing she could talk again, but it was better this way. 

Next, I wrapped her long pony tail with duct tape and pulled a long piece from the roll until I reached the fan on the ceiling and wrapped the other end to it, so I can have a clear shot at the back of her neck. Then I moved my grandma aside and grabbed my always useful machete, and with a clean stroke Mrs. Suarez’s head was swinging like a piñata in the middle of the butcher shop. Not a second too late, my grandma hurried to steady Ana Suarez’s head and said to her head: “P U T A” with a hideous, sneering gesture.

My grandma was now, not only my accomplice but my willing partner.

The following Saturday my homeless friends were having hamburgers again, only this time when they were done, one of them said to me, “It tasted like old meat, but it was okay. Thanks anyway.” 

A few weeks later Mrs. Suarez’s daughter showed up after someone reported her mom’s disappearance. Afterwards, she put the house for sale. I offered her 120,000 dollars and she accepted.





EDMUNDO BARRAZA   
Visalia, CA. 09-23-2012







CHAPTER SIX



My dad killed his dad. I killed my dad. Should I have a son?





I’ve been feeling abnormally normal lately, due to the combination of two events in my life. The disappearance of my father and the appearance of Leticia have been like a therapeutic pause to my prolonged mental wounds. I bet it’s better than a hundred visits to a psychiatrist, my mind has been appeased. For a while my deviating thoughts had been distracted. Even my habitual dreams that I have, in which I chase people with my knives, have subsided. The usual evil desires that I have, of killing people, have faded a little bit, like the desire to push people to incoming cars, or to push people from bridges, or to stab them in their backs. It gives me great pleasure just to imagine that I can take their lives. 

I remember how mad I used to be at most people around me, I felt that they either pushed me to the brink of insanity or they failed to help me move away from it, and I  had to blame them equally. 

Last night I had a dream  . . . I was six years old and a little girl about my age was chasing me. She wanted to kiss me, but she looked aggressive and I was confused. I was running away from her and I crawled under my bed. I was in the corner, I had my back against the wall, it was as far as I could go. She finally succeeded and kissed me against my will, then she went away. I stayed there until dark. I felt safe in the dark.

But that dream happened in real life when I was six years old and since then, it’s been a recurring dream my whole life. Since then, I feel secure behind the shadows. Behind the dark, I am anonymous and I like it that way.



*****



Today I had a beautiful vision. Now I know what all those Saints feel when Virgins appear in front of them. After closing time I was taking the money from the cash register and when I turned, Leticia was standing up on a stool, cleaning the top of the refrigerator. She was wearing her favorite (and mine too) mini skirt. I could see the entire magnitude of her long beautiful legs. She was wearing white panties, exposing the lower part of her butt. 



She wasn’t the Virgin or a virgin, but she was as beautiful as any of them. Then she turned and caught me looking under her skirt. She didn’t cover herself, she just gave me a flirtatious smile. I didn’t blush, which was in itself a small miracle. Perhaps I was cured.

Her attitude had been very insinuating lately, my mixed emotions were torn between my sexual excitement and the forbidden desires she was openly provoking. I didn’t know how to manage the situation. I wasn’t sure what to do. I wanted to have her. The consequences didn’t worry me, but I didn’t know how to approach her. Maybe I needed to rape her to show her who was in charge. She was tempting me impudently, she was a snake and I was the victim, but my physical strength could destroy her controlling mind in a second. I know her attitude wasn’t mean. She was offering herself to me. I had two options, the first one was to ignore her and hide in my room, and the second was to rape her. There was nothing in between, because I didn’t know how to handle romance, passion or tenderness. I opted for the second option.

While she was still on the stool, I grabbed her by the waist, brought her down, ripped her panties, spit on my hand, rubbed her clitoris for two seconds, and penetrated her. I had her mouth covered with my hand to muffle her screams. After I noticed that she was starting to enjoy, I removed my hand from her mouth. I was insatiable and so was she. I didn’t have to force her anymore, in an instant, I noticed that my ‘forceful rape’, had turned into her own fantasy, and in fact she was now taking the lead. She was more experienced than I was, and I felt a little disappointed about that, but I kept satisfying my long repressed sexual abstinence.

For a moment I was transported to my teenage years. I wish this was taking place sixteen years ago. When I was a stupid shy kid, when the only thing that stood out in me was my inferiority complex. Then she interrupted my thoughts and said, “I’m on the pill.” The enchantment was totally broken. She was far from being ‘Lolita’. Perhaps she had been a ‘Lolita’ for someone else, a few years back.

I thought that during our heated sexual encounter I heard my grandma’s wheel chair. Later, while I was preparing dinner, my grandma wrote on her notepad, “I knew your dad was wrong.” As she handed me the note, I noticed a mild approving smile on her face.

Love had always been a distant and foreign feeling to me. Even friendship and affection were unknown to me, but certain emotions had been awakened in me by Leticia, I couldn’t explain what it was, it could be that I was getting a chance to learn what normalcy was, and I didn’t know if I should accept it or repel it.

I think I lost an entire decade of my life, most of my twenties. I don’t know where all those years went. Even if I dig deep into the matter I might not be able to find anything worth remembering. No friends, no dates, no distractions or attractions. It seemed like I’d lived in a cave. A whole decade of voluntary confinement. I had been an abject subject, a suppressed individual. I wish I had met Leticia a dozen years earlier. I could have been married and with children. Wow, that’s a scary thought. But wait, she would have been only four years old, that’s not right. Yes, twelve years ago, she was only four years old.

Leticia and I kept having sex every day after work for several weeks in a row. Since Leticia entered my life, my slightly mental derangement had taken a break. My mind was no longer subjected to attacks of anxiety. My usual evil thoughts had been less common. Leticia had been a good therapy and the main cause of what I think was a welcome pause, after a long tormented and miserable life. I wish I could be capable of showing my appreciation, but I know I'm lousy at expressing my emotions. 

One day, I invited her to the movies. I was a little afraid of being rejected, but I felt confident enough, I was even prepared for a negative response. That was something new in me. She said yes, and I couldn’t hide my excitement. That provoked Leticia to smile and her smile made me smile too. For a second I was the happiest man on earth.

She was sixteen years old, but she looked older, I was thirty three years old, but I looked younger, so I guess we looked like a normal couple to the passersby. I was glad, because otherwise I would have ran to hide in my room under my bed. I couldn’t believe it, my first date, at thirty three, how absurd was that?

Was I breaking the law, just by going out with her? Probably not, she could be my cousin, my niece, my friend, who cares anyway? But if they'd find out I’m having sex with her, then the cops would care and society too, her mom too. I wonder if a thirty three year old male can marry a sixteen year old girl, probably not. Probably not even with the permission of her parents. Anyway, those were not my intentions. I don't think I want to be a father. I can say that my grandfather was a good father, but he raised a killer. My dad wasn’t a good father, and he also raised a killer, so the odds aren’t in my favor, why risk it?

I had a good time at the movies. Apparently she had to ask her mom for permission to go to the movies. How weird is that? We’ve been having sex for two months and she needs permission to go to the movies.

The following Friday, she asked me out. She wanted to see a new band, I didn’t know what kind of music they played. It didn't matter.

The place was very loud and crowded. I was having a decent time until Leticia went to the restroom. I saw her talking to a guy, he was probably two or three years older than her, and they disappeared in the crowd. I didn't see her again, until next day at the shop. When she showed up, she had a couple of hickies on her neck. I always thought that to be the lowest of all vulgarities.

I had the presentiment that guys like me couldn’t be so lucky for a long period of time. It had been just a mirage on the desolated desert of my life. I don’t know what reasoning my mind used, but her fate had been decided after a short discussion that took place inside my brain. Someone came back with the verdict and the sentence. I know I didn’t take part in that decision.

The first thing she said when she arrived at the butcher shop was, “I’m pregnant and I’m sure it’s yours. I lied to you when I said I was on the pill. You’re the only one that I allow to have sex with me without wearing a condom,” She added, “I’m telling you this, because I don’t like to be scolded. Last night I took off with an old boyfriend of mine, but I don’t need to give any explanations, after all we’re not in a relationship or anything. I’m sorry I didn’t let you know I was leaving.”

I just shrugged and said, “It’s alright, never mind about last night, but what are you planning to do with the little person inside of you?”

I couldn’t say ‘the baby’ or ‘our baby’. First, I didn’t know it was mine, and second I didn’t have any feelings or illusions about having a child. And of course I wasn't sure she was saying the truth about being pregnant.

“You can marry me and we can have the child, or you can fire me and never see the child.” She said.

I couldn’t believe she was attacking me with an avalanche of illogical arguments and aberrations. And I couldn’t believe it was me, the one criticizing Leticia about her irrationalities and bizarre behavior, me, a heartless killer psychopath.

Then I said, “What a drastic change Leticia. I don’t understand why you’re acting this way. Are you using me? Do you think I’m using you? I know there’s no love between us, but I thought that we were at least . . . some kind of friends. I don’t want to be a father, I’m not ready for that, and I don’t think you’re ready to get married or to have a child either. Actually, you can do whatever you want with your life or with your child. Anyway your fate has been decided. It’s over.” 

“What do you mean by that? She replied, "Are you erasing me from your life? Are you? I didn’t know what I was doing, I’m sorry. I wanted to defend myself before you started to attack me. I know I shouldn’t have gone with somebody else and left you there. I apologize, for that I’m sorry.” But she wasn’t done, she had another excuse, “When they deported my dad, I was thirteen years old and I’ve been doing whatever I pleased with my life since then. I’ve never been a nice girl, but I was trying hard to be one for you. I could last only two months. I know you didn’t do anything bad. Please forgive me . . . Boss . . . please.” She sounded regretful, but I doubted her sincerity. 

“All right, just forget the whole thing. We need to open the store.” and with that sentence, she probably thought everything had been forgiven.

The rest of the day, my pseudo-nymphet had a wonderful normal day. The minute we closed, Leticia was out of her clothes and going down on me. I couldn’t help but think that last night she was doing the same thing to another guy. And that the same guy had been biting her neck like a lowly vampire. I almost refused her, but by then I was enjoying it too much. 

Just when I thought I was finally being regenerated, just when I thought my salvation had arrived, just when I thought I was on the right side, the normal side . . . She betrayed me.

I almost felt bad for what I was about to do, my mind was struggling and doubting. But then I came to the conclusion that I had been faithful to her my whole life, and she could only be faithful to me for two measly months. She was talking about matrimony right after she betrayed me. That wasn’t right. I could only be deceived once.  

I was inside her, but my mind was elsewhere. I was thinking what my life would have been if she hadn’t betrayed me. I felt a rush of rage invading my mind. I was now attacking her forcefully. I was on top of her, but this wasn’t normal sex anymore. I was raping her. That was my intention, and it bothered me that she was on the brink of another orgasm, so I grabbed her by the neck and started squeezing it with all my strength, and the harder I tighten my grip, the harder I continued bumping her. 

I guess that wasn’t a bad way to die . . .  having a sexual climax during her last breath. The look in her eyes was saying so many things. She wanted to be forgiven, she was begging for her life. With her eyes she was saying that instead of taking her life she could offer it to me, unconditionally. She had a look of repentance, of incredulity. I saw her desperate desire to continue living. Perhaps she thought it was a joke or a sexual game or a temporary punishment. When I killed my dad, I didn’t see his eyes the precise instant when he died, neither the thief’s eyes nor Ana Suarez’s. This time I saw death in Leticia’s eyes and I saw her soul leaving her body. I saw sadness, terror and pain. And above all, I felt omnipotent and with the infinite power to end anybody’s life.

The following day, Leticia’s mom came to the store to find out if she was here, because she didn’t show up at home the night before. I told her she didn’t show up to work either and that she had asked me for eight hundred dollars in advance the day before. And I told her that Leticia had mentioned her plans to go to Las Vegas or Hollywood to look for fame and fortune. Her mom said she heard about that too, and then she lowered her shoulders, sighed sadly and went away. 

The following Saturday, three persons in the park mentioned how good the hamburgers were, I didn’t taste them, but I saved two portions of ungrounded flesh for my grandma and me. 

My grandma had excellent table manners. She was always boasting about her European ancestry and the superiority of the French cuisine. Well, this time I used a fancy French recipe, with lamb being the main ingredient, but instead of lamb, I used Leticia’s breasts. I put them in the oven for thirty minutes, one for my grandma and one for me. 

The plate looked impressive, the breasts looked proud, pompous and real. My grandma knew Leticia had been missing for two days, but had never inquired about her. When I served her plate, immediately and with an inquisitive look she asked, “Leticia?” As she pointed to the plate, I assented, and she proceeded with delicacy and finesse to handle the utensils. She even looked a little comical.

After she was done, and her plate was clean, she wrote on her pad:  “Too bad they only come with two of them.”




EDMUNDO BARRAZA
Visalia, Ca.



  

 
CHAPTER SEVEN
  

Where’s Mommy?





It’s been less than a week since Leticia ‘went away’ and I miss her. I miss her company, her smile, having sex with her. I could have waited two more years, and legally married her. In which case, I could probably have simply erased my prior life, but with me, she needed to be straight as an arrow, otherwise bad things can happen. Now that she’s gone I think that I really had feelings for her. It took me thirty three years to find my first opportunity at ‘romance’ I wouldn’t wait so long for my next chance. And on top of that I lost an excellent helper. It’ll be hard to find a good replacement.

In the morning, I put a ‘help wanted’ sign on the window, and by day’s end, four people had applied and none of them I liked, and because I felt bad when I turned them down, I gave fifty dollars to each of them for applying. Next day seven more people showed up, but I turned them down too, so I removed the sign, it was getting a little too expensive. Besides I think deep down I was looking for a Leticia’s replica.

As I was driving aimlessly through town with nothing to do on a Sunday afternoon, I pulled over to pick up a hitchhiker, she was in her early twenties, she seemed too clean, decent and attractive to be a prostitute, but I know decent girls don’t ask for rides, she might be a ‘rookie’ street walker or a ‘virgin hooker’, but she wasn’t bad looking.

“Where are you going?” I asked her as she got in the car.

“Nowhere in particular I’m just killing time, I’m just passing through. I’m staying in this town for a couple of days. I need to make some money to continue my trip, if I find a job I might stay for a couple of weeks, how about you, where are you headed?”

“I was heading for the movies, but I wasn’t too enthusiastic about it.” I replied.

“Well, if you’re looking for some fun, I can help you find it, like I said I need some money, you want to go somewhere?”

I found out that prostitutes are easy to talk to, they don’t intimidate, most of them are friendly. They have to fake they’re attracted to you.

“Yeah, there’s a secluded park by the river at the edge of town, you want to come and join me?”

I began to feel excited about the possibility of having sex, or at least oral sex. Leticia had me accustomed to regular sex and because she enjoyed it so much, I enjoyed it as well. Before I met her, I could last for months without sex, mainly because I had to overcome my shyness to obtain ten minutes of pleasure, so I usually resorted to other means.

I parked the car at the far end of the park, where few people could see us. She said she was from Oregon and her objective was to reach L.A. and try her luck at acting. (How many of them have the same dream?)

She’d been alternating the Greyhound bus and hitchhiking, depending on her luck, she said she’d been abused at home. (She didn’t say how and I didn’t ask.) Parents and grownups abuse kids in so many different ways, no wonder there are so many unhappy adults in the world, misfits, insane and unbalanced people, not to mention psychos. 

Then she went straight to the point and gave me the rates. Fifty dollars to go down on me or a hundred for regular sex, I chose the first option. The place wasn’t very private for the second. I paid her in advance and I’m left with two hundred dollars. I’ve never been a big spender, but I always carry two or three hundred dollars with me. The park is empty now, I see no cars left and it’s near dark.  

After she showed me the entire cosmos, stars and comets for three minutes, and as she was performing her duties, I managed to remove her blouse and bra, I wanted to compare her breasts with Leticia’s. Leticia won by a small margin. I told her that I would give her another fifty dollars if she could join me for a couple of beers. 

When I put my pants back on, I noticed my money was missing, so I confronted her, but she denied having taking it. I checked her clothes, pockets, shoes even under her underwear and while doing so I got excited again and I offered her another hundred dollars for sex, if she’d gave me my money back, but again she said she didn’t have it, and since I don’t want to become violent for a few dollars, I pushed her out of the car, but without her blouse, bra and shoes and slowly drove away. I could see her getting smaller in my rearview mirror, and mean and heartless as I am, I still felt bad for her, so I returned, I opened the door and let her back in. Then she gave me my money back.

“I’m sorry, thanks for coming back. You know, sometimes I meet real bad guys that abuse my vulnerability and hit me, rape me or rob me, so I have to balance it out. I’m not a professional hooker, I enjoy sex a lot, but I figured why not get paid while doing it, right? Is the offer for the beer still valid? What’s your name?” 

“Angel” I replied.



*****



She invited me to her room in a cheap motel. We had sex and talked for hours, she seemed as lonely as I was, but I knew her loneliness was only temporary. I returned home a little before midnight. I might regret it, but I offered her the job and she accepted it. I can still back out and blame it on the alcohol.

In the morning I was very clear with her and I asked for her driver’s license and while holding her license in one hand and a knife in the other I said, “Okay, we started with the wrong foot. I don’t know if I can trust you, but I have two collaterals, your license and the Law. The knife is my law, respect me and my property and I will respect you back. My former employee didn’t follow these rules and I had to terminate her. Behave properly and you’ll be rewarded accordingly, I swear.”

“Don’t you think, you’re being too dramatic, it’s only a temporary cashier’s job”

“Yeah, you’re right, but I don’t want you to end up like the other girl.”



*****


A letter


“I’m afraid for my life. If I’m dead while you’re reading this letter, let the police know that I only suspected my husband, if I disappear or end up in the desert, my husband should be the only one to blame. I love him dearly and all my family too, but he thinks that I had an affair with my cousin while he stayed here with us for a few weeks. I’ve always been very close to my cousin, we had been very good friends all our lives. I truly love him like a brother, but my husband Ramon is too stubborn and irrational. I know he’ll never believe me. 

I’m afraid he wants to kill me. I might look like a lunatic if I accuse him without any proof. The last two months have been a long continued suffering for me, the more I tell Ramon that I love him the more adamant he becomes and the more he makes me suffer. A few days ago he was on the verge to physically abuse me when he found out that my cousin gave me a crucifix and he ripped it off from my neck. I’m living in a sour agony. When I’m in bed, beside him he refuses to touch me. Last time we had sex; in the middle of it, he suddenly interrupted it and asked me if my cousin was better than him. I wish to die instead of continuing this way, it’s truly unbearable. I finally suggested to him that it might be better if I went back to Mexico and he became furious and said that all I want is to return to my cousin. I thought about leaving him without saying a word and take my son with me, but I’m sure he would find and kill us both. I keep praying but it’s no use. 

I’m getting tired, I’m just too exhausted. I just want to live with a little happiness in my life, is that too much to ask? Whatever happens let my husband know that infidelity is a horrible and hateful word that never crossed my mind.”


Luisa Martinez Junco Visalia, CA 09-25-1984


Last night my grandma gave me this letter, she said she found it under the mattress, in my mom’s unused bedroom. I kept crying all night with immense pain in my heart. My dad always said that my mom abandoned us and that she went back to Mexico . . . indefinitely.

On the day this letter was written, I was six years old.




EDMUNDO BARRAZA
Visalia, Ca.








 CHAPTER EIGHT
 

Ascending psycho




Her name is Joy, she’s twenty years old, she said she’d been waiting for a long time to get away from home. She wants to get established in Los Angeles, and then go back to Oregon to get her sixteen year old sister, because she doesn’t want the same miserable life she had. We made an oral agreement, she promised to stay for at least three months and after that, we could make new arrangements. 

I offered her to stay in a small house that was recently vacated and she accepted. She seems to be smarter than Leticia. At least she’s more mature. She has short reddish, brown hair, clear brown eyes. She has a strong healthy body. Attractiveness level, 7.0 or maybe 7.5 Leticia was a solid 8.0. After a week, she’s handling the job without difficulty. She doesn’t speak Spanish. I hope she gets along with grandma.

On Saturday, I invited Joy out for a beer or two. We went to a bar, and it turned out to be gay night, but we stayed anyway. She says most gay people are nice, and that she feels fine around them. When she asked for my opinion, I said I’m neutral, and that I don’t ‘dislike’ them.

“You want to dance?” she asked me casually, probably anticipating being declined.

“I’m not drunk enough,” I replied. I just noticed something, she hasn't provoked me any embarrassing moments, she doesn’t even know how easily I blush.

“I’ve never danced in public in my whole life, I’m sure I don’t know how to dance to any kind of music, but if I’m drunk and if it’s crowded I might give it a try.” I said.

We never found out if I could dance, because we got drunk and forgot about dancing, we returned home around midnight. I stayed with her and we had sex (like I say) or made love (like she says). I think you should only call it ‘making love’ when you’re trying to make a baby. She enjoys long conversations. She does most of the talking. 

She said she was raped when she was sixteen by one of his dad’s friends, and that her dad stabbed him on the back. They sentenced her dad to five years in prison, he did only two. Her mom left them while he was in jail. She’s afraid something like that can happen to her younger sister too. 

In the morning Joy took my grandma to church. It might be fun to see how they communicate, one doesn’t speak Spanish and the other doesn’t speak at all in Spanish, or in English. 


                                             ***** 


So far, the murders I’ve committed have been ‘hate crimes’. I hate being insulted and denigrated, I hate being robbed, and I hate betrayals. Lately I’ve been feeling like a shark when it smells blood or like a wolf when it’s extremely hungry. I feel like I could kill anybody without any motive, just for the simple reason to give release to my devious and degraded desires. Could it be possible that killing can become an obsession or even worse, an addiction?

My mom’s letter could be the reason I feel this way. When I finished reading the letter, I wished my dad were alive, so I could kill him again. I’m glad I’ll never know how my dad killed my mom. 

I can’t extinguish my rage, unless I kill somebody. Meanwhile I’ll have to deal with the violent images that flash in my mind several times a day. My mind is troubled. I know it.

Last night I found an unusual note from my grandma on my bed: 

“Dear Angel: When are you going to grant me the enormous glory of another of your fancy feasts?” 

I knew she meant a French dish, like Leticia’s breasts. Can she possibly be thinking about Joy? Well, I love my grandma a lot and I’m planning a ‘big’ surprise for her, but not yet. First I need to find me a victim, but Joy’s not it.

Joy says she feels happy in this town, with its thousands of cows and unknown bad smells, even if it’s a whole world different from Oregon. Before she arrived in Visalia, she’d been on the road for a month. She had many adventures, mostly bad experiences. Especially in California where there’s a lot of ‘psychos’. She says she’s glad she fell into my arms, and that she feels safe with me. We’re going out again on Saturday, she says the gay bar it’s perfect, because she’s not looking for a boyfriend and I’m not looking for a girlfriend. 

We’ve been having sex regularly, but now I’m using protection. I don’t want another surprise and I don’t want to get rid of her. I don’t care if she’s been a part time ‘street walker’, I feel comfortable around her. 

“I’m not a prostitute, that word doesn’t fit me at all, not even a ‘street walker’.  I enjoy sex and I needed a job to raise money to continue my journey, I never did that in Oregon. In my case, it was the perfect exchange, money for sex. Normally, I would do it without asking for money, just because I like it, but I still have my ‘dignity’. I never accepted going out with dirty old men, just good looking men like you. I got tired of it, I don’t think I’ll do it again. It was just the convenience. If you’re on the move that’s about the only thing you can do to get money and keep moving. Everything changed because you offered me this job.”

“You don’t have to explain anything to me. I think you’re a nice person. You’ve been very helpful. In the beginning my costumers felt a little intimidated by you. Most of them don’t speak English but now they all seem to like you, because you’re trying to speak Spanish and they think it’s funny.” I said.

“It’s incredible to find so many people in America that don’t speak English, I never saw this in Oregon but I like Spanish people, I like the language the food and their music.”

“But we’re not Spanish, we’re Mexicans.”

“Well, you know what I mean, Latinos, Hispanics, Mexicans, all I’m trying to say is people that speak Spanish.”  And then she continued “Oh, I wanted to thank you for your hospitality and your friendship I really needed a break from the instability and dangers of the road.”

“Don’t mention it, you can stay all the time you want.”

After a few beers, I realized how good alcohol helps me to feel relaxed, I feel less inhibited. If I had noticed this, fifteen years ago I’d be a happy alcoholic instead of the recluse, introverted asshole that I am now.

A couple of guys are playing pool in the back, there are more males than females, half the people are in their underwear, even the bartender. Joy must be a good pool player she’s beating everybody, she just found out that tonight it’s underwear night and asks me if I’m daring enough to remove my pants.

“I’m not drunk enough.” I replied

“Seems to me that you’re never drunk enough, come on, drink up, two more beers and we’ll be playing pool in our panties, come on!”

"Hey, I'm not wearing panties." I said.

"Ha, you know what I mean."

I’m not even brave enough to take communion at church and here I am, shooting pool in my shorts, surrounded by gay people, nobody cares, and I feel great. If my dad could see me now he would kill me for sure. There’s a guy who’s been paying for our drinks without interruption. He’s been staring and laughing at us. I don’t know if he’s after Joy or me, and I can’t tell whether he’s gay or not. When he finally approaches us, instead of grabbing my hand to introduce himself he grabs my balls and says, “nice package.” I must be a little inebriated because I think it’s funny, in my normal state my attitude would have been different, very different, he turns out to be a charming guy, Joy and him act like old friends.

He says we can call him Al or Fred or Alfred, but I call him Fredo because he looks a little like Fredo, from the movie the Godfather. All is clear now, he’s after my bones, but if you’re not gay you’re not attracted to homosexual sex. It bothers me seeing two guys kissing each other, two girls not so much, but I could never have sex with another man, not even drunk. He invites us to his place, but Joy declines and says that she’s too drunk, and then she calls for a taxi cab to take her home. I stay a little longer. Fredo might be expecting a sexual encounter with me, but I have other plans, more exciting plans and instead of going to his place I take him to my butcher shop.

If he could see what I have in mind for him, he would feel safer in hell. 

At the shop, we’re happily drunk and I smile each time he grabs ‘my package’. I put on my apron, I got my knife and I start sharpening it while I say, “You’re going to be my slave for the rest of the night.” and he says, “ooh, I like it. You’re so cool. I like your games, I’ll let you  do whatever you want with me.” 

I told him to sit on the stool. I covered his eyes with his own tie, put a rag in his mouth and covered it with duct tape. Then I tied his hands with a brown electrical cord and put both of his hands on top of my butcher’s block. Then I grabbed my heavy and reliable machete and with savage force, like a guillotine, in an instant, both his hands were severed from his arms. It was a glorious bloody sight! 

For at least a full second he didn’t react. Then he tried to uncover his blindfolded eyes, it was indeed a surreal and bizarre vision . . .  with the sensation of still having his hands attached to his arms, he was trying to remove the tie from his eyes and the duct tape from his mouth, but all he was doing was to rub his bloody stumps all over his face. He was screaming to the top of his lungs, but nobody could hear him because his mouth was still gagged. He started to jump wildly like a chicken without its head. His actions were a total sign of impotent desperation. Then he began to run, but where do you run to, with your eyes covered and no hands to help you avoid crashing into a wall? He did crash into the metal door of the refrigerator and bounced back facing me, and then with a potent blow and a swift swing of my machete, he really didn’t have a head anymore. 

Al, Fred, Alfred or even Fredo didn’t exist anymore, our lives converged only for a few hours and now he’s gone. Satan sent him my way at the wrong time. Who could you blame, was it a decision Joy or Fredo or I made? Was it a casualty that all three of us had to be at that bar tonight, that Joy invited me to that specific bar or that I accepted the invitation, or that Fredo chose me as a possible sexual partner or that Joy got too drunk and didn’t join us? I could have pushed him away when he touched my crotch for the first time. Just a different choice would have changed everything.

Fate, destiny or whatever it is that determines your future, put Fredo in my path and now he’s gone. He found his inevitable destiny.

Happiness returned to the faces of my homeless friends, some of them were calling me ‘Don Angel’; they formed an orderly long line to get their hamburgers. There were enough for everybody. I saved two portions of ungrounded meat for my grandma and me.

A strange feeling had crossed my mind a few times. I believe that my grandma, without doing anything irrational, could be even crazier than me. I was about to test her true limits. She’s never been mad at me, I’m sure I’m her hero, she idolizes me. I’m the only person she loves in this world, but I’m sure it’s mainly because I’m all she’s got.

That night, I fulfilled my grandma’s wish for a fancy feast. I prepared another exquisite dish, out of her French recipe book. The main ingredient was Fredo’s penis and testicles for my grandma, and for me several thin slices of fillet, taken from his buttocks combined with various fruits and vegetables. I took extreme care in shaving and cleaning Fredo’s member. For the inside I chose a zucchini, stuffed with Roquefort cheese and for the testicles stuffing I used the sweetest and biggest peaches I could find. I put it in the oven at 350° for ninety minutes and then I surrounded the plate with steamed vegetables and my favorite fruits, grapes and tiny squares of apples and pears, all sprinkled with cinnamon and a few drops of honey. Hmm, mouthwatering, right?

When I served the plate to my impatient grandma, with an astonished look, she jerked her body an inch backwards, as if she had the hiccups, and after a brief instant, with a subtle smile, she took my plate and gave me hers, and she began to eat with her singular elegance and excellent manners.

My grandma wasn’t so twisted after all. 

I didn’t touch that plate, it looked totally gross. Instead I grabbed some cereal and milk and kept looking at the grotesque organ, and I thought that maybe even Fredo’s boyfriend wouldn’t have eaten it.




Edmundo Barraza
Visalia, CA. 10-22-2012







CHAPTER NINE


Knocking on hell’s door




Last night Joy and I were watching a movie at her place, about a serial killer, I was engrossed in the story. I couldn’t blink. 

The character had two brothers, his father was a compulsive gambler and alcoholic, his mother was also an alcoholic. She frequently left them in the care of their grandfather, a convicted child molester. They were neglected and often fed by neighbors. When he was six, he was placed in an orphanage, where he remained for three years. At age ten he was arrested for minor crimes and ended up in a juvenile detention center, where he was sexually abused by older boys. 

By his teens, back home with his mother he began molesting younger children. In his twenties he was in and out of prison for ten years for sexually assaulting youths between the ages of 12 and 18. At some point he was released after doctors concluded he was “no longer a danger to others”, a year later he was back behind bars for raping a 14 year old hitch-hiker at gunpoint, he was sentenced to one to 15 years in prison, four years later he was released again and he told a friend, “No one’s going to testify again. This is never going to happen to me again.”

After killing more than thirty boys from twelve to nineteen years of age in a period of little more than a year, he was caught thanks to a tip from one of his accomplices. After he confessed, he expressed no remorse and he said, “If I was free I’d still be killing. I couldn’t stop killing. It got easier each time”.

The first murder he committed was a thirteen year old hitchhiker. The autopsy showed that he had been emasculated, (castration or removal of his testicles) bludgeoned, stabbed and strangled to death. All of them were raped. One was stabbed more than 70 times, one was forced to drink acid another was killed with an ice pick driven into his ear.

He was sentenced to the death penalty and after 16 years in prison he was the first person in California to be executed by lethal injection, because the gas chamber was found to be a “cruel and unusual” method of execution.

Joy and I didn’t have sex, the movie was too disturbing. I left for home instead, to keep digging in my head in the comforts of my dark room.

The movie made me reflect on my own depravity and perverse character. I know I’m not as vicious or cruel as this killer. I’ll be going straight to hell, no doubt about it, but there’s got to be a difference on the punishment I would get. What if a kill only one person, or what if I kill thirty? Would I be in the same hell as Hitler? Would we deserve the same punishment?

If I analyze the different methods of executions, what would be the worst, shooting squad, hanging, gas chamber, electric chair, lethal injection? They should also consider the guillotine. I would say that I like my method better. My machete is like the guillotine. It only takes a second, no suffering and no torture. I might enjoy the suffering of others, but only for a second. I don’t even know if I find happiness in the misery of others, (my father did with me). Nevertheless, I still think that I’m a cold hearted killer.

I’m sure I inherited some of my dad’s ‘bad blood’. What he did with me had a devastating effect on my sanity, but if I can recognize what a monster I am, then I’m not too far gone. In the end I gain nothing by blaming my dad for all my defects and my evil acts. 

Any kind of death penalty doesn’t scare me at all. I might never get caught, and if I did, I wouldn’t care. I bet most killers (if not all) don’t care about capital punishment and if you’re in favor, that should make you a killer too, at least in a lesser degree, because you’re approving for someone to be killed. I guarantee you death penalty is not a deterrent in my case. 

The movie was based on a true story his name was William Bonin he was 49 years old when he died in 1996 in San Quentin, CA. He expressed no remorse for his crimes and left a note that stated. “I feel the death penalty is not an answer to the problems at hand, I feel it sends the wrong message to the people of this country. Young people act as they see other people acting instead of as people tell them to act. I would advise that when a person has a thought of doing something serious against the law, that before they do, they should go to a quiet place and think about it seriously.”  

I’m in a quiet place, thinking about it seriously, and I’m thirsty for more. I don’t know what can stop me.

When I arrive in hell I’ll be dead already. Why should I be afraid of hell and all its terrors, if I’m dead already and I can’t feel a thing? Why should I be afraid and be remorseful, if I cannot die a second time?  



*****



It’s been three months since Joy showed up in Visalia. She says that she likes it here and that she had sent money for her sister to join her. It took Joy two months to get here from Oregon, and for her sister it’ll be just seventy five minutes by air. Joy’s very methodical. It seems that she can achieve any goals she might have. She still takes my grandma to church every Sunday and keeps learning new words in Spanish. We’ve been having sex only to satisfy our desires, but we don’t have a serious relationship. It’s just friendly sex and very convenient for both of us, having no compromises of any kind. I’m sure we passed the phase where we could have ‘fallen in love’.

Last week I got a ticket for driving under the influence of alcohol. Joy and I went to a bar and we had bad luck in our timing when we got out of the bar. They suspended my license for six months and I had to attend twenty six Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. I’m not proud about it, but I’m not worried about it either. It was my first driving infraction. I gave my car and keys to Joy. She’ll be my driver until they give my license back and that’s fine with me. 

The place where I go to my meetings it’s only a few blocks from home and I don’t need to drive. On my second meeting, one of the guys in the group gave me a ride home. His name is Pablo, he’s twenty four years old and works at the Rescue Mission on Santa Fe Street, not too far from my shop, he seems to be a nice guy. When I told him that I was the owner of the butcher shop, he said he needed to buy some meat, and I introduced him to Joy.

On Sunday Joy and I went to the Fresno airport to pick up her sister. Her name is Sarah, but she says they call her Sadie. She’ll be seventeen in two months, she just finished High School. She said she’ll take a year off to figure what she’ll do next. She has reddish, brown hair like Joy, but hers is longer and curlier and the freckles above her cheeks, make her look even more beautiful. She’s full of energy. She reminds me of Leticia, but Sadie’s more curvaceous. She’s all smiles and kisses. She seems genuinely pleased to meet me. One thing I notice is that I don’t blush anymore, I must be cured. Good.

Sadie is the one who should have been named Joy, because she is full of joy. On my scale of gorgeousness she might be an eight and a half.

Every time Pablo gives me a ride from our AA meetings to the shop he stays for a while to talk to Joy. He finally invited her out and that’s okay with me. I know her next step would be to refuse to have sex with me and that’s also fine with me. I proposed to Joy to let Sadie work in the shop with us, after all, business is good and we can afford another employee. She reminds me so much of Leticia, but not in the ‘Lolita’ kind of way, but in her joyful enthusiasm and attitude. I was about to describe her as a mature ‘Lolita’, but if she’s mature, she can’t be ‘Lolita’ at all. 

She’s also attracted to the Mexican folklore, the radio is always on a Spanish speaking station, and I know soon she’ll be singing all mariachi songs. I enrolled her to driving lessons and she was happy about it, Joy didn’t oppose to it, but she told me to always keep in mind that she is seventeen and to stay away from her. She didn’t want anybody to break Sadie’s innocent heart, like so many people broke hers. Fair enough, but I had never broken anybody’s heart. It’s always been the opposite. Leticia broke my heart. My dad crushed my spirit, but in my spirit I carry my soul and my heart. So my dad broke my heart too.   

Sometimes I wonder when my thirst to kill will be quenched, nobody is tormenting me anymore.  I don’t know if I can stop killing people, I probably won’t, because I don’t feel particularly bad about it. I’ve been touched by the devil and he is too attractive and convincing. I’ll always blame my dad of my ‘evilness’, but sometimes I think that I should also thank him because I also enjoy being evil. It’s confusing, but I also enjoy my ‘confusedness’.


One night, I took a cab and went back to the bar by myself. I’ve been feeling less of an introvert lately, because I noticed nobody cares about my phobias or fears, I guess everybody has their own problems to control. I can’t believe it took me almost thirty four years to notice that. 

I found an empty stool next to a guy who’s wearing an ear ring and I started a conversation.

“I’ve been thinking about getting an ear ring, but I’m a complete ignorant about the subject, like for instance, what side should I wear it? I’m heterosexual. I just want to be sure.” 

“It seems that you’ve been in the closet for too long, ha, I’m sorry, I don’t mean to offend you,” he said with a sarcastic smile, “but seriously, it used to be that homosexuals wore their ear rings on the right side, because they claimed they fought too long for their ‘right’ to express their sexual preference, but nowadays nobody cares, anybody can wear ear rings on either side, after all it’s your body, what you ‘feel’ you are, it’s only inside of you, and by the way mine it’s an ear stud. I’m also heterosexual and nobody cares about it anymore, except my girlfriend.”

“Wow, I am a complete ignorant, really, I don’t come out that much, I don’t know anything about fashion or trends or cool stuff.” I replied, not feeling a bit ashamed of it.

“That’s good for you, all this shit will become obsolete next year anyway. I think that real fashion and trends used to last for years, but now we’re living in faster times, so things change faster. Remember the ‘ghetto blasters’ or ‘walk mans’ or ‘skorts’ or even ‘pagers? Same thing with music and hairstyles, remember the mullet?”

“Yeah, I remember the pagers, but not the rest. I remember I had a beeper in High School, now it seems so last century.” And now we’re both laughing, and I order another round of beers.

Around midnight he gave me a ride home, I didn’t kill him, which is good. 

I feel fine, I might be a good killer after all, or it might be that I can only kill bad people, or maybe I’m just too drunk and tired.

I feel hollow, like something is missing. My hands are restless or is it my mind? I still have to learn so much about me.




EDMUNDO BARRAZA
Visalia, Ca.






CHAPTER TEN


A Glimpse of Paradise





On Labor Day, the week before Sadie’s seventeenth birthday, Pablo invited the girls to Disneyland, and they convinced me to join them. Last time I went there, I was with my grandfather and my grandma, I was eleven years old. Pablo brought his cousin Julian with him, he’s twenty two years old. Both of them are good people, nice and handsome.

I think that Pablo and Joy were trying to set up Julian with Sadie. I felt out of place in the beginning, but Sadie preferred to be with me on all the rides. Maybe I shouldn’t have accepted to come, perhaps Sadie didn’t want me to feel bad, but we all had a great time. Sadie kissed me a few times during the rides and I didn’t know how to react, like a friend, boyfriend or a big brother, but brothers or friends don’t kiss like that, in any case, she was being a little too effusive and I was enjoying it a lot.

Half the people at the AA meetings, without a doubt look like losers, hopeless losers. At least half of them haven’t touched a drop of alcohol in years, yet, they keep coming. They’re not shy at all. They go to the podium and without shame, tell all about their lives. It seems so futile. The other half are people sent by the Court, for alcohol or drug traffic violations, we’re the decent looking ones. It also appears that for some reason rich people don’t commit this kind of infractions. 

Half of them have tattoos, half of them have long white hair in a ponytail and look like hippies or Vietnam veterans. I don’t think I belong here. I bet most of them have the same opinion I have. I wish I can bring the ones I don’t like to my shop and perform my favorite ritual on them. Not all of them are pathetic, some of them make me laugh. When the long hour is over, I’m glad. Pablo didn’t show up today, so I start walking back to my house.

It’s been too long since ‘Fredo’s affair’ and I believe I have contained my adrenaline for a long time already. Now that I’m walking on the streets I see everybody as a potential victim. The Mexican guy selling corn on the cob, the black homeless guy pushing the cart with the aluminum cans and bottles, the middle aged chubby woman crossing the street, coming from work or going to the market. But I don’t see them as a great source of excitement. 

The other day I was thinking about killing a rich person, a wealthy female lawyer or a smart and successful doctor. I wonder if there are any stupid doctors. There has to be.

Then I see a woman waiting at the bus stop and I sit next to her, she smiles and asks me if I’m looking for a good time, and I say yes and I know this is it. The drought is over. She’s just average, she’s in her thirties, no distinctive attributes, just plain average, she asks me if I have a car, I say no, but I have a place, she says, she charges fifty dollars, I say okay, but you must be blind folded while we do it. She agrees. Then we head for my butcher shop or chamber of torture, no, not torture, just chamber of terrors, short terrors. It must be past nine, the streets are almost deserted. We use the side gate very quietly I don’t want to disturb my grandma.

It’s very convenient when they volunteer, less of a hustle, less of a struggle. First she gets naked, then she sits on the stool, then I cover her eyes with a soft cleaning rag. I get an immediate erection, but I don’t want to have sex with her. I just want to get my beautiful sharp machete and slice her neck with it . . .  I wonder how it feels to have your life disappear in an instant, without even the slightest warning. To have cut off all your connections, veins, nerves, muscles, feelings and all of your senses, to just cease to exist in a second. All your goals and ambitions and entire future, gone forever. If it works out like some people say that the next second you die, you’ll be in front of God. It’s not a bad deal.

Her head falls to the floor . . .  she didn’t suffer and both of us are happy. My orgasm lasts until I cut the last piece of her. I love blood, warm red blood. I feel like I’m the master of the universe, in my butcher shop in the middle of all this blood with very little light in the room. The large glass windows in the front of the shop have double venetian blinds, horizontal, inside the window frame and then vertical from floor to ceiling. Everything’s sealed and secure, this is my world. I wouldn’t change my life for anybody else’s. 

Then, I remembered that I forgot to ask her name. How can I be so disrespectful?

At the park, they all like me now and show me their appreciation. I’m getting good at this too, flipping hamburgers on my commercial barbeque grill. I brought a giant ice box full of soft drinks, everybody is in line and they all look very happy. I’m very popular now. Sadie comes from across the street from the store, she’s coming to get hamburgers for her and Joy. She looks radiantly gorgeous. She gets lovelier each passing day.

Again, I received a lot of compliments for my hamburgers. They think I’m a saint.

At night, I served another feast for my grandma. The same dish I prepared for her with Leticia’s desirable breasts. This time they’re C or D size or I don’t know what size, but they are bigger. My grandma boasts a smile as soon as I put her plate on the table and then with an inquiring look she asked me who they belonged to, I know my grandma too well. I had anticipated her curiosity. On the center of the table I placed a round tray to display cakes, but instead of a cake, I put the head of the girl with no name, inside. The whole thing is covered with a kitchen towel. I had taken my time cleaning her face, and combing her hair. After I removed the kitchen towel, she looked like another guest. Then we proceeded to enjoy our meal on our table for three.

When we’re done, my grandma gives me a kiss and goes to bed. After I cleaned the table, I put the head in a big kettle on the stove to boil it, because I’m going to keep it as a souvenir. I’ll be using the skull as a piggy bank. I’ll put it on my night stand, next to my bed.

To start, I’ll put fifty dollars in it.


*****



I bought a pair of ear studs. They already pierced my ear, the left one, just to make sure. They have a diamond in the center. I figured, if I don’t like how it looks I just don’t wear it, it’s not like a permanent tattoo. But I do like it. I gave the other one to Sadie for her birthday. Joy gave me a look of disapproval. I told Joy that it didn’t mean anything, that I didn’t know what to do with the extra one. It was really just a coincidence that today was her birthday. Sadie was in seventh heaven and she kissed me a on the lips . . .  in front of Joy!

What happened with Leticia it’s happening again with Sadie, her constant proximity it’s an inhuman temptation. I can’t help it. I’m attracted to forbidden pleasures. 

In High School I fell in love so many times, with so many girls. I had so many romances of unrequited love. I fell in love with girls I’m sure they never knew I existed. I wrote poems I never delivered, for my exaggerated fear of rejection. I wasn’t ugly but I always anticipated rejection. Now my curse is to forever fall in love with teenage girls. And because I was rejected so many times, my mind got stuck in that period. 

Now I want my revenge.

They say ‘you can’t have your cake and eat it too’, I find that sentence so simple and stupid, but I also think that it is profound and true. 

My anxious desire for Sadie is to eat her and to have her, to protect her and keep her, to love her forever. At the same time, I feel the unnatural desire to kill her. Then I could obtain the ultimate orgasm. But then, I wouldn’t have her. It’s either one or the other but never both. She’s so fragile and vulnerable and innocent and all of it attracts me to her so much. I don’t want her to change, but for whatever reason, she will anyway. I know that if I touch her I might ruin her.

I wrote a poem for her. I had it in my back pocket for a whole week already. I might never give it to her, it seems so silly. It seems that nobody writes poems anymore. I fear she might laugh at me and that might bring tragic consequences.

Early in the morning, I sent Joy to the bank to deposit the weekly sales with the intention to have some time alone with Sadie.

“You look cool and handsome with your new ear stud, Angel.” Sadie initiated the conversation, after Joy left.

“Thank you Sadie and you don’t need a thing to look like the most amazing creature in the world. You really are, but maybe I shouldn’t say any compliments to you, you’re too young for me.”

I remember I said those same words to someone else before.

“Only one more year, and then I can do whatever I want. Joy says that you look at me behind my back ‘with lustful desires’, I don’t mind that at all, it makes me feel ‘desirable’. I know all relationships start as friends, so we can be friends for a while, after that who knows . . .”

“Sadie, you’re talking like a ‘femme fatale’ and not like the seventeen year old innocent girl that you are.”

“Ha, I’m not a famine . . . whatever you said. I just want you to take me to the movies or some place. I don’t want to be my sister’s chaperone forever. And you know what? I might not be so innocent after all, last night I had a dream with you  . . . hmmm, I woke up sweating.”

“I like you a lot Sadie, every way I look at you. I think you’re great, I wish I was ten years younger, but I don’t wish you to be ten years older, you’re perfect now.”

Oops, that was very direct, but nonetheless, that was a true statement.

“When you gave me the ear ring and I kissed you, Joy scolded me all night, she kept nagging for hours, she begged me not to get involved with you, but I know her, she loves me more than anything in the world. She protects me like a mother and I adore her, but I know after a while she’ll leave us alone. Besides, I know you’ll never hurt me." She said.

Then I remembered about the poem in my pocket and after hesitating for half a second I gave it to her. I turned away and began laboring on a large chunk of a cow, cutting some ribs on the table saw. Right after I gave it to her, I regretted it. I was a hundred per cent sure of its silliness, I wanted it back. But it was too late now. I swear if she laughs or throws it to the trash I will not kill her. Okay Sadie, just ignore it. I don’t want to kill you. Like it or not, don’t say a thing, please.




Earthly Angel



Half my life was filled with emptiness

I kept floating in a dense fog

Empty space suspended in nothingness

Thus, we are the same age.

I feel I can touch you,

But you are light years away.

Galaxies, your freckles seem to me,

My soul, I could sacrifice,

For a kiss from your Celestial lips

Your Astral eyes, full of universal happiness,

Fill my vacuous solitude.

Your Cosmic blue eyes,

Shame the ocean’s blue waters.

I want to transfuse your translucent love,

Into my chaotic and confused heart.

I want to transform and translate a word:

Beautiful

Into what you really are:

Full of Beauty.






“Listen, I’m new at this, but tell me, if you know so much about it: How do you tell your heart not to fall in love with a certain, specific person? How do you tell he’s off limits? How do you say not yet. When I know my heart has its own mind. And by the way Angel, I’m not light years away. I’m next to you and you can love me if you want to. Wdon’t have to wait for anybody’s permission” She said, with unexpected maturity after reading my inferior, third class poem.

Sadie looked even more beautiful with water in her eyes.

“I can only tell you one thing Sadie; if you know nothing about love . . . I know less. And please, if you start loving me, never, never stop.”

A minute later Joy appeared at the front door and found us working. But our conversation wasn’t over.
I spent all week trying to find an unsuspected excuse to send Joy away for a few hours and my mind went blank, trips to the bank only gave me one hour. The opportunity emerged unpremeditated. Pablo invited both of them to camp overnight at Pismo beach and Sadie declined. 

They left on Saturday, around noon. Finally, Sadie and I were left alone.

I’m exploring new terrain. I’m thirty four years old and I’m very nervous about this infatuation. I’m experiencing a new sensation. I felt this before, but all those times the other girls didn’t know I was in love with them; it was a one way love. I was a single participant in a “love story”. I was hidden and locked in the confines of my room, creating scenarios, images and conversations that never took place in real life; it was all inside my head. This time it was real. Sadie was looking at me out of the corner of her eye, with a soft and playful smile. It was real.

I’ve killed six persons in this room, my father, the thief, Ana Suarez, Leticia, Fredo and the hooker. Three of them I killed on the same stool Sadie is sitting on. Now I truly believe I have two different persons in me, otherwise how can I fall in love with an innocent young girl and simultaneously be an insatiable murderer without any regrets or remorse whatsoever. I can still lead a normal civilized life. But which one is the real me? It feels even stranger to me, to be able to acknowledge my own situation. I think I can adapt better to my mean side, I feel more in control. But, is it possible to be a sensitive man and a sadistic killer at the same time?

I can feel the tension in the atmosphere. I bet Sadie can feel it too. Heavy and dense, at moments my body trembles anticipating what’s coming. This is what I felt when I saw Leticia standing on the stool, but on that occasion the ambient was purely sexual. This time the mix is perfect, the climax of a perfect encounter: Love and sex, innocent love and unrestrained sex, a divine combination of body and mind. Both of us know what’s coming, we both are aware of an unnecessary and prolonged courtship, we’ll skip the romance. This is the beginning and the culmination. The flames existed before the fire started.

After we closed the store, we performed our cleaning chores silently. All excuses have expired, let’s hope for the best. I see my Scandinavian/Amazon with her flaming reddish hair, approaching me. She looks ultra-sexy, without trying to be. I don’t know what part of me is more excited, my soul, my heart, my mind or . . .  

She’s more modest than Leticia, she doesn’t flaunt her charms she’s wearing a regular girlie white dress and a blue blouse, she could be in one of those Target fliers advertising teenage clothing, even there, she would stand out. Her lips look soft and succulent, her skin smooth and mild. When we kiss each other we faint and disappear from this world. Then I grab her by her waist and lift her to the stool, where she stands. Then I remove her dress and underwear. I embrace her and bury my face in her curly red, pubic hair at the center of her body. Her lower lips are just as sweet, and my tongue, like a fish begins to swim in the depths of her red sea, her juices flow like lava from a volcano. She raises one leg and wraps it around my shoulder. Paradise couldn’t compare to this.

All roads taken, all decisions, failures and achievements (if any) from the day I was born until today, I consider that absolutely everything I’ve done up to this point in my life, led to this moment. My life has just begun.

We spent all night in my room, the same room where I endured countless moments of profound bitterness and intense grief. With this single night I could erase all my accumulated pain.



*****


That night, another note was left on my bed by my grandma.

“Dear Angel: I love Joy and Sadie, I love them and I don’t need to taste them. Te has fijado que sus nombres significan Alegría y Tristeza?”

(In Spanish, Alegría y Tristeza means ‘joy and sadness’ or Joy and Sad-ie.)
They had begun to call her ‘abuela’ and my grandma loved it. Now, both of them will live a long life.




EDMUNDO BARRAZA
Visalia, Ca. 02-06-2012





CHAPTER ELEVEN


Limbo




At the break of dawn we made love again. This is the summit of my life. My pessimism forces me to think that things can only go down from here, but I’ll try to stay here for as long as I can. Or alternate ups and downs, without staying on the down side for a long time. I wouldn’t want to be the one responsible for destroying such a perfect bind. I can be her puppy forever, even her slave. I can even try to end my murderous life. I never thought I could come so close to happiness. I won’t be the one who ruins it.

After Sadie went to her house to shower and change, we took my grandma to church and to a Mexican restaurant on Main Street for breakfast. My grandma looks proud and I’m also proud to be the cause of her pride. Sadie got her temporary license to drive, but we’d rather walk and push my grandma’s wheel chair.

I was watching my grandma taking communion and it occurs to me that I have never seen her in the confessional, her chair doesn’t even fit there, but how can she confess? I mean she is mute! Maybe she can make a list at home and bring it to church. I just hope she doesn’t mix my sins with hers.

Oh well, maybe the priests think she can’t commit any sins because she can’t talk. In any case, she takes communion every Sunday. I bet cannibalism is a big sin, especially if you own a butcher shop. I mean, you have no excuse, it’s not like you’re lost and stuck in the North Pole with a bunch of dead friends and nothing to eat. Plus she’s been an ‘accomplice’ to several murders. I can still remember her malicious facial gestures when she ‘called’ Ana Suarez “puta” full of repressed and accumulated anger. 

I think her donations make her an automatic saint. I understand the reasons why I am a cold hearted killer. I have my excuses, but my grandma, where did she come from? She’s not ‘pulling the trigger’, but she is as perverse and pernicious as I am. 

As for me, when I come to church, I’m muter than my grandma. I don’t pray and I don’t think. I have nothing to say. I don’t ask and I don’t give. I know my sins, but I’m not looking for redemption or absolution. I’m guilty as charged and I know my place is not in heaven or even in this little church. Give me my punishment and send me to hell. But not yet, the first thirteen years of my life weren’t so bad, but then I suffered for twenty years, now let me enjoy the next twenty years and we’re even. Anyway, I love my grandma and I know we’ll continue to be together, even after we die.

Before we exit the church my grandma made us stop at a statue of the Virgin Mary, she attached some silver Milagros to the hem of the Virgin’s velvet dress. I wonder what she asked the Virgin for . . .  Maybe more fancy food on the dinner table. 

My grandma is 81 years old, she was born in 1930. She’s been my protector and my friend all my life. She had sheltered me in her arms in my times of despair and devastation, which have been many. I was six years old when my mom died, and my grandma took over since then. She’s a weak soul, but still, in times of need she comes to my rescue. She knows the story of my life and maybe she knows the reasons why I turned out the way I am. 

Perhaps because I was concentrating in my own survival, I never knew about her life. 

Before we retired to our rooms, I asked her to tell me about her life and after a long pause, she sighed and replied with her silent lips: “Mañana”. 


In the morning, she gave me an envelope, inside was a letter written by her.



My story:

My mom died the day I met your grandpa.

The day I met your grandpa was a sad day. We used to live in El Pueblito, a tiny little town outside Jerez, Zacatecas, I was eighteen years old. I was crossing the road holding hands with my mom. We were on our way to the market. It had been raining for two days; the wet dirt roads had sporadic puddles. We were laughing and jumping, trying not to get our shoes wet. Every day was beautiful in that little town for an innocent adolescent girl like me. 

Then suddenly my mom disappeared from my hands. Poof! She just vanished. 

Like a bat out of hell, a horse galloping at full speed had taken my mom out of my hands. It all happened in a fraction of a second. Then, when I took hold of my sad amazement, I saw my mom several yards up ahead on the road lying face down on a puddle of water. I ran to her and when I turned her over, I knew she was dead, and then a man in muddy clothing and out of breath arrived to our side, saying that he was riding that horse and had just thrown him from his mount. I kept crying disconsolately in the middle of the muddy road with my mom on my lap, and then I heard a shot, the man had just killed his horse. 

A couple of days later, after the funeral, and even though it had been an accident, the man showed up with five cows and offered them to my dad for the pain he had caused, and my dad accepted them. They kept talking until dark. The following day he appeared with ten more cows. A week later, with my dad’s blessings, (orders?) I married that man. I had no saying in my dad’s decision. 

When I said “I do” my heart was still full of sorrow and pain for the loss of my mom, a funeral and a wedding took place almost simultaneously, with no time for a prayer or a honeymoon, no time for tears or celebrations.

That man was living in California and had come back to look for a wife and he found me, he was thirty six years old, the year was 1948.

Even then your grandpa calculated everything in cows. To him I was worth ten cows. I could have refused and accepted the consequences of my rebellion, but with my mom gone, I couldn’t stay and besides your grandpa was handsome, tall and imposing. He seemed like a good man, “a good specimen”, they used to say. 

My dad lost his wife and a daughter, but gained fifteen cows. I lost my mom, but I gained a husband. My mom lost her life and everything else. I lost my mom because your grandpa couldn’t ride horses. (He never rode horses again) Those times were in another century, another world. I was pulled out and uprooted merciless from my simple and uncomplicated life. I felt the aftershocks for decades. For many years I felt out of place.

But I learned to love your grandpa. He was a strong, hard and untamed man, an utterly stern old fashion man. He was just like the desert.

More than forty years later, I was happy for him when he decided to retire to the same world where he had met me. He had worked hard all his life, he deserved it, but I guess God disagreed.

I still think your dad killed him. 


Sandra Cortez Lomelí.




The manuscript was written in Spanish, like drawings of letters and words, elegant and adorned. It must have taken her all night to write it. A beautiful (and sad) story, which could have remained untold, had not been for my curiosity.




EDMUNDO BARRAZA
Visalia, CA. Nov-27-2012






CHAPTER TWELVE

Meet my dysfunctional brain




I made an appointment with a psychiatrist. Maybe she can fix my mental disarray and the anarchy I carry in my mind. I did it because I see a remote possibility to have a normal life. Sadie opened the door to that possibility. She’s half my age, but like I said in my poem the first half of my life doesn’t count. I didn’t have a life. I was absent from this world, because of my stupid shyness. Then Leticia showed up and in the end, she was also cruel to me, like my father. I’m glad both of them are gone. Now I don’t have an excuse to be a psychopath. Now no one is pushing me over the cliff. 

I think I can compare a priest with a psychiatrist, they have the same objective: to help you put your mind at ease and to erase your wrongdoings or fears.

If I want to be exonerated from my sins or if I want to get rid of my repulsive thoughts, I need to appeal to two people, a priest and a psychiatrist. The last time I had a confession I was thirteen years old. That’s when my dad and my grandfather forced me to become an adult. At that time my childhood disappeared. There wasn’t a transitional period, just a drastic traumatic change. When I lost my innocence I also lost my faith.

To have your soul cleansed and renewed you need to be sincere with your priest without restrictions. It’s the same thing with your mind. You need to be genuinely open with your psychiatrist, if you want to have a sane mind. But how can I confess my sins or crimes without expecting a deserving punishment? Actually, my sins don’t concern me too much, because I can confess just before I die and it would be okay. That’s the only thing I like about being Catholic, but even if the psychiatrist doesn’t denounce me to the authorities or the priest convinces me to voluntarily surrender myself I wouldn’t dare to tell anybody about my homicidal record. Still, I have to give myself an opportunity to clean up my act. I need to rearrange my life. My dad was one of the main causes for my erratic behavior, and thank God, he’s gone. (Actually, he's gone thanks to me.) The other reason for my suffering was my stupid shyness and inferiority complex, and I believe that miraculously I overcame that bothersome defect. 

I chose a female psychiatrist. I believe that a woman might be less aggressive and more patient than a male counterpart, or it might be that a woman might be easier to get rid of, if things get out of hand. I don’t mean ‘get rid’ as in ‘make disappear’, but I think that it might be easier to ignore the treatment and quit. That’s what I’ve been trying to do all my life with women . . . to ignore them. But obviously without any success.

When she asked me what was wrong with me, I said that my mind had irrational thoughts. That I was mixed up, that I was in constant turmoil and chaos. I told her about my shyness and insecurities, but not about the heavy stuff of course.

The entire first session was dedicated to tell her about my life since I was a kid. She let me talk for an hour.

At some point I felt profoundly ridiculous. I mean, I felt that nobody could help me but me. I know what’s wrong with me, and I know that all I have to do to change in a positive way is to stop killing people. But there I was, thinking about ways to kill her in her own office. Going behind her chair, removing my belt and strangle her, or hitting her in the head with the over sized crystal ashtray that I see on her desk. But I know I wouldn’t do it, or would I? First she needs to help me. If she succeeds, she’ll go on living but if she fails, well . . .  she dies. It’s up to her. Her life is in her hands, but she doesn’t know that.

The reason I’ve never been to shrinks, it’s because they seem so arrogant to me so sure of themselves, like they underestimate and underrate the rest of us. Well, they must be analyzing themselves all the time. At least, that’s the impression I get from watching them in the movies.

She is in her forties, she’s elegant and professional. Anyone would notice or assume she is smart just by her looks. Women like her, I never saw at my butcher shop or at my AA meetings. Actually, I never had contact with any smart ladies in my life. But I don’t feel inferior because of the thoughts I now carry in my mind. I know her life is in my hands. But the real reason I’m here is to lose that absurd feeling that I have. That I can destroy anybody’s life without any motives. I want to become normal. (If possible)

I feel like I’m in front of two doors. One leads to heaven and the other to hell. Both doors are closed, and I don’t know which one I’ll end up opening.  


*****


The other day, as I was crossing the park in front of my shop a homeless man asked me when I was going to prepare hamburgers for them again. I said, soon. I know it’s been a while. Who did they have last time? Was it Leticia? Was it Fredo or the hooker? Hmm, I don’t remember. I think it’s time for me to sharpen my knives again and look for a temporary friend. I felt certain pride to know that I’m appreciated by my cannibal friends. But if my shrink succeeds with me, they might as well go on a hunger strike until they die. Or perhaps, I’ll start giving them animal meat instead.


*****


I took Sadie to the Sequoia Park, I thought she was going to be impressed but she said that all of Oregon was like that. We were on the same bridge where my dad pushed my grandpa. Sadie and I were lying down on our backs with our feet hanging from the bridge, watching the clouds. 

“I read somewhere that God hides behind the clouds when he is ashamed to see some of the things we do, but I think he hides because he is unable to help us. He is ashamed he can’t help us. I wonder what he feels when he sees we’re killing each other. If he watches a man killing another man, why doesn’t he intervene? 
For centuries he’s been watching war after war all over the world, a war gets solved here but another war starts over there. Obviously he can’t help us, because this is never ending. What do you think, Sadie?”

“All that you’re saying makes sense, but I hope you’re wrong. Otherwise, why do we have a God, if he can’t do a thing? Why do we need him for, if he can’t fix what he created?”

“Maybe he just created marionettes or puppets, and he’s just pulling our strings?”

“I don’t know Angel, but I think he did at least one thing right. He brought us together.”

When she finished her sentence, I felt supremely happy. I thought it was great to have her next to me on the same spot where I had the worst moment of my life.  

“I told Joy about us. She was a little upset, but in the end she accepted it. I’m glad she did because I didn’t know what I would have done if she had opposed to it. I love her so much. She’s like a mother to me. Did she tell you, she was raped?”

“Yes, she did.”

“I remember my dad went to pick me up at school that day. My mom was at work. When we returned we heard noises coming from Joy’s bedroom. Joy wasn’t supposed to be back home yet. To reach Joy’s bedroom we had to go through the kitchen, my dad grabbed a big knife from the table. Without making any noise my dad opened the door and we found a guy with his pants down on top of Joy. He had Joy’s mouth covered with his hand. Joy wasn’t screaming, but she had a look of terror in her eyes. She was just lying still. Then, my dad stabbed the man on his back. The knife went all the way in and the handle was all we could see. That man was my dad’s best friend. I’ve never seen so much blood in my life, not even at the butcher shop. Joy didn’t move, she was paralyzed, for a moment I thought she was dead too, she had so much blood on her. When we cleaned her, we noticed she had been stabbed too. After the knife penetrated the man’s body it had entered an inch on Joy’s chest. If the man had been a little skinnier, my dad would have killed both of them.”

Of course, I’ve seen that scar in the middle of Joy's chest. When I asked her about it, she didn’t answer and changed the subject. I didn’t insist and I never asked again.

Then Sadie continued, “The police took my dad to jail, for an interrogation they said, but they kept him there for two years. Joy remained in shock and couldn’t talk for a whole week. Two months after Joy was raped my mom moved to California with her new boyfriend. She left us when we needed her the most. She said she had it all planned even before our dad killed that guy, she didn’t say, "before Joy was raped." The following day our mom left, Joy quit school and started to work. She was sixteen years old, I was twelve.”

I had tears in my eyes when she finished. I thought my life had been hard. What a fool.

For no apparent reason or maybe just because her story broke my heart, I told her about the events that happened on this bridge. About my grandpa wanting to retire to Mexico, about his plans to sell the butcher shop, about my grandpa wanting to return to the place where he had met my grandma, about that time when my grandma’s mom disappeared from her hand. And about all that sad stuff that happens in most normal lives, not just mine.

The sharing of our stories brought us together even closer. Sadie learned that day to love my grandma even more. She kept calling her ‘abuela’ or grandmother, which made my grandma very happy. A few years later, just days before my grandma passed away, she gave all her jewelry to Sadie, all her letters and memories too. My grandma loved no one more than she loved Sadie, not even me. 


*****


My shrink began each session with just a question, and then I spoke for an hour. I began to like her. She was very quiet, almost shy, or maybe, that was her method to learn more about me. It was a good therapy, like a massage to my mind. All I had to do, was talk, talk, talk, I didn’t have to worry about being judged, criticized or scolded. There was so much to tell, even if I didn’t tell about my crimes, which were the consequences of my traumas. My damaged mind hadn’t suffered any wounds lately. The last one had been when Leticia left me for her ex-boyfriend, and before that, when my dad humiliated me in front of my friend at the butcher shop. My solution had been to kill both of them. Some might say that my decisions had been too drastic for the little mistakes they had committed, but my fragile impatient mind couldn’t bear any more deceptions. 

“Of all the movies that you’ve seen, who’s your favorite villain?” My psychiatrist asked.

I loved that question. Right away I thought about all those miserable moments I had spent hiding in my room. The only thing that could help me deal with my vulnerable mind was to watch movies. And almost all the villains in all the movies I’ve seen, were my heroes too. I was on their side.

“Without a doubt, Nurse Ratched,” I replied. 

“And what about your favorite heroes?” she asked.

To me, super heroes were super false. Superman, Iron Man, Spider Man, they never came to my rescue. In that case my only superhero would be my grandma. My grandma had been a real hero. Just like my dad had been a super villain, even worse than Nurse Ratched. Now that I think about it, my dad is the only villain that I hate.

“Wait, I have more favorite villains than heroes. Another villain that I like a lot is Hannibal Lecter. I love cannibals.”

“You do?”

“I mean, I love stories about cannibals, zombies, vampires, and all those bloody suckers.”

I better control myself, she’s making me talk too much, and about things I shouldn’t talk about. I almost forgot that this is not a conversation. She is studying me, getting information to make me sane.

“So, what about your heroes? You must admire some of them, who are they?” she asked.

“No, not really, I always wanted the villains to win. I’m always on the loser’s side. That’s why my favorite movies are One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and Silence of the Lambs. The villains win on those two movies. I don’t like heroes, I hate them.” 

“What would you like to be, a hero, or a villain?” 

“A villain of course.” 

 I know I fell on her trap, but I didn’t care.




EDMUNDO BARRAZA
Visalia, CA. 12-05-2012
http://edbar1952-accomplishedignorant.blogspot.com






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