Friday, November 19, 2010

I’m not the guy you kill. I’m the guy you buy.

I shook hands with a man who's killed over thirty people today. He appeared normal, with all the qualities of a loner: sitting alone by the lake and not keeping eye contact for more than a few seconds. Otherwise, quite personable.

My friend Fernando has known him since they were both kids, growing up in a favela close by. I sat, wide-eyed as he explained that the man is a paid assassin for a drug gang and goes to work when the small time dealers refuse to pay. One time he watched as the guy - upon running out of bullets - finished his target off by smashing his head in with a rock.

After a brief introduction we withdrew and sat at a distance, staring out across the water.

"He wants to get out" Fernando tells me. "He lives a paranoid existence."
"I thought this stuff only existed in movies" I say, lost for meaningful words.

8 comments:

whitney said...

Two days ago I watched the movie "Man on Fire". Denzel Washington at his finest. As the film wrapped up I could hardly believe "this stuff" happened in movies, much less real life.
Then I began reading a 75-year-old book which held a translated-yet-verbatim interview. The author was able to speak with one of three assasins involved in the murder of the Romanoffs. (Anastasia really did die, surprise. In fact, the assasin decribed the event quite vividly and with poise.) Maybe I'm simply niave, but I can't help feeling tragic and compassionate for people who are so overcome by... life. It's mindblowing. Thanks for sharing.

Just thoughts,
Whit

Brownbear said...

Oh dear - that is really gruesome in all respects.

Moses of course was a murderer as was David. Perhaps your God sees something more in such people than I can.

Regards

Luke said...

A good observation. Loving the unloveable is something that, I think, always requires a non-human touch.

ps is the Good Book a PC?!

Luke said...

@ Whit: I long for more compassion. Half the time I'm fighting off anger when I have such encounters (which i'd like to call 'righteous', but it ain't most of the time).

Brownbear said...

Yes indeed the God Book is in Penguin Classics but in the St James' version which is a bit tough going - I'm more Good News myself; so for the moment I'm sticking to PG Wodehouse.

whitney said...

Take a step back from righteous anger and you can call it a hunger for justice. Which I'd assume is quite alright as long as you aknowledge the Judge. =)

whitney said...

"Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him."

"To love someone means to see him as God intended him."

-Dostoevsky

Luke said...

Wisest thing I've read in a long time.

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