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Misomater/Dead Man Walking

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This cop was nice. Not one of those gruff young-gun jerks that club you awake and escorts you out of the park. No, this one gently, almost tenderly, placed his hand on my shoulder and slowly began to rock me. In my own time, I peeled back my tarpaulin and heaved my skeleton skywards. It was an effort to open my eyes.
He was small, a good 6 inches smaller than me, and probably in his sixties: the sagging face and grey mane suggested that much. The paunch and double-chin completed the look – he was obviously one of those grandfather figures back at the station. To be honest he reminded me a bit of my own grandfather - though mine had glasses, and a racist. I’m not saying this guy wasn’t, but for some reason I wouldn’t put money on the fact that he was, he just looked too…nice.

“Come on son. Rise and shine.”

I don’t mind hitting nice guys. I think I might even have broken his nose. He didn’t try to chase me, probably out of pain and fear, because I was a wiry guy who could hit hard and run harder. I was long gone by the time I had reached the gate.

It wasn’t because he was a cop; it was because he pitied me. I hate to be pitied. It all stems from the assumption that because I sleep on park benches, up until now under a tarpaulin, I’m not satisfied, not happy. It’s only the most artificial who dare pity me, the most arrogant and repulsive of humans. Most people have the decency to ignore me.

My feet had automatically begun carrying me downtown, as I dwelt on the loss of my tarpaulin. I fished out a quarter and handed it to the newsboy, who appeared to recognise me; I was, after all, only a couple of years above him at school. For the past seven days I had made that journey from park to paper, and, as I had for the past week, excitedly flicked straight to the obituaries. Before, I had hated the obituaries: pathetic demands for pity encompassed in a couple of clichés, with some meaningless name as their headline. But today’s obituaries were different - because I was in them.

Oscar D.
“Did what he liked, liked what he did.”
Born 28th July 1993
Died peacefully 5th November 2009

It says a lot about my mother when I tell you that that trashy quote came off a t-shirt of mine, and I didn’t even wear it that much. The rest is pretty accurate, although I thought the blood and tears on the note I left would suggest I died less than peacefully. Silly b**** probably didn’t want to cause a fuss. In her little mind, the notion that others believed I had indeed ‘died peacefully’ would allow her to begin to believe the same.

However I didn’t allow this to ruin the occasion, because after 16 years of torment, I was now a free man.



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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

Jingyi said...
Dec. 28, 2009 at 5:40 pm:
This story was really poignant and moving!
 
OscarDonovan replied...
Jan. 1, 2010 at 7:22 am :
Thank you very much!
 
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