Please, let me tell you about the night the Dead Man died. The night it all ended. Began at a friend’s. Wasn’t going to go, but. There was discussion and bad barbecue. Black jackets. Threw what they didn’t eat into the fire. Jokes and prophesies that were wrong but it didn’t matter, no one was keeping track. He had been thinking about jealousy, something his friend said, when it grew dark and started to rain and they hurried inside.
Spoke about going to the club, but the line to get in, the wait, the price of entry, of drinks. None of them had that kind of money handy. Another time. They went walking; at that stupid age where they were looking for girls. Always. Constantly. Hoping things would work out differently, that they’d somehow fall into a situation this one time. Group of girls materialising on a street corner in the middle of the night. Please, God. Please, it was almost too much to bear. A story they could tell forever. Knowing it wouldn’t happen, but hoping. Comical; ready to fall in love with the first girl who looked his way, yet the Dead Man hadn’t showered or even been to the barber.
It’s a tragedy to die when you’re too young to know better. Maybe there was alcohol involved. But nothing more than a few warm beers they forgot to put in the fridge. A whisky that did little more than sting the throat. It was late and there was a situation at the Handy Mart. It was the only thing that was open at that time, after all. One of them pushed someone, or was pushed, or something was said. Could have turned into a drama, didn’t. Maybe it would have changed things. Soon enough they were back at the house, hands empty.
Bored so drove to the seaside, roads slick. And you know what happened there, by the water. Panicked. Blood sparkled in your veins. These are my thoughts but also yours.
The last thing that crept into your mind was the faraway scent of jealousy and a final vision: flamingos on a salt lake in an endless desert; hazy, shallow, brighter than the sun.
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