This is what it was like before I was born. Before I asked you what death was like and before you showed me.
I‚Äôd never seen the image of a dead man – a corpse picture ‚Äì let alone the real thing. Back then, I‚Äôd never seen a cold morning without breakfast or hope of supper. I hadn‚Äôt seen a very great number of things, although I hoped to.
I think I‚Äôd seen you ‚Äì back before I was born. Standing in line, waiting to be dropped into life. I like to think that we‚Äôve had some personal contact, albeit briefly; me to receive orders or maybe make a request. You to look me up and down, smile in a fatherly way and pack me off into the great adventure of life.
I‚Äôd like to think we‚Äôd had some acquaintanceship so that we touched maybe before I learnt all about touching in that other way. But sitting here now, looking forward to being caught or to killing and running again ‚Äì maintaining the chase ‚Äì I somehow doubt it.
Your rosary feels small and looks like a string of seeds. It‚Äôs doing me as much good as any charm. Might as well be a rabbit‚Äôs foot or a crescent from Islam. I don‚Äôt know. I wish you did.
Before I was born, when I was good, before the blues, cigarettes, tests, longing, loathing and this wet night in a ditch, I seem to remember your bright face smiling, beaming. Beautiful, as beautiful as anything that has crossed my path since. Much more beautiful than my mother, who was never that.
I was good before I was born, made up of all the particles from that start of the atheist universe as I was, I was as good as anything because I was anything.
Now I am bad ‚Äì a butcher.