Fox-like face, hard brown eyes with a sparkle like gemstones, this young man barely past adolescence, designated Peter, he tells me.
A rock eroded and chipped in various encounters. Born of stones crashing together through stormy nights.
He flings out random stories, volumes, as if my presence is promise of attentive audience.
I am at least a captive audience while daylight is my prison guard.
In truth, his entertainment is not unwelcome.
A cold and haughty wind blows outside. I hear it’s rumble against our richly draped windows.
Peter’s voice is harsh, not cold. Too raspy to carry strong emotion. Minimalist images pour from his lips.
Long past capacity for shock, I am not bored but surprised by the thoughts that stream along with his stories
in my mind. Human tragi-comedies. Why so cruel? Why so dismal? Why is violence so desirable?
Is life so driven by death that homicide is the ultimate sacrament?
Or is that merely one expression of a rite of suffering, of gratuitous pain shared out?
That dark glint of well-banked suffering suffuses his gemstone eyes as he brags, as he blusters.
“They knew who I was. They knew to be afraid.”
He has forgotten his audience. He is playing to the crowd of his memories.
In this darkened theater, I listen to boy and wind against the backdrop of all those other days.