In memory of Matilda's little brother, and all those we knew and who died because of drugs or the drug war, depression, domestic violence, street violence, or mental disease.
Skywalker, Guantanamo, Abercrombie's Brother, Glen glen, fazzi, the big-shot's wife, the barrister, Taz's friend, the guitar player, mon ami par fois, the captain's first mate, etc.


The witness surveyed the ragged group assembled in the upper room behind the main altar of the old inner city church in the impoverished mill town.
The witness had not come to meet a life partner, nor to seek consolation for some tragedy, nor as reparation for past sins, as these others had.
The witness had come for a reason secret and apart, unbelievable, intolerable, unmentionable to anyone.

There were many suicides among the friends and family of this group: of the pair known as Abercrombie and Fitch, Abercrombie's brother had shot himself at the family home years before, leaving a streak of blood along the wall.
The anguished, zealous china doll too had a brother who had offed himself, as did the fidgety bosom friend of the classy stateswoman, who herself had fled an arena of greed arena after a spate of suicides in her boss's inner circle.
The shy girl in the corner too had a dead brother, whose depression had washed over him like a high tide he could not run fast enough to escape.
They never spoke of these things; it would be many many moons before the witness heard of them.
But in the witness's short span of years, so many suicides had already occurred that the thought of Jesus giving Himself up, to save everybody else, blended with the pop Christian melody floating up from the floor below.
"Suicide my heart" the song seemed to say, as if Christ were singing it to the people--He would rather a spear split his whole being down the middle, than that we would be lost to life.
Let the blood baptize us into happiness, somehow, the witness thought. Amen. How could it be?