Sunday, June 16, 2013


... considers the possibilities of murder on a Sunday ...  

I left the city. In the country I secured a job as a mason. My employer was a mean man, inclined to drink and therefore to express the cruelty that drink allows. I arrived each morning and he would greet me, if he greeted me at all, with the grimmest face I have ever seen. For some reason this quality of his greeting struck at the core of my being.  During the day he might casually insult me, anything might provide him fodder for insult. Nor was there any good humor involved in these exchanges;  for he fully intended to embarrass me, to hurt and malign me and so further undermine my frail ‘sense of self.’ (I hate such terminology but find it applicable in my case.) . He once asked me why I left the city. I made the mistake of  answering him as honestly as I could. He seemed to take my answer in the spirit in which it was intended, as private confession, though this quickly proved not to be the case.  Before commencing work there would be a brief meeting to outline the day’s expectations. It was at one such meeting my employer relayed to all present my deeply personal tragedy that impelled me to change my life and circumstances, and so seek out another place in which to live my life. The men, all of whom were coarse and vulgar, laughed viciously. One doubled over in pain clutching his stomach. I stood silent. From that moment on I could think of nothing but my employer and schemed that one day soon I would get even in a way that would permit no evasive action, no response. Each morning before work I would go to my journal to list in broad terms how I might please this dark obsession. I considered in broadest terms various possibilities : death by fire, death by water, death by happenstance, death by natural causes. Perhaps I could relieve him of his life on a Thursday, or perhaps a  Sunday. Both days seemed good. Though other days had favorable aspects which commended them.  Tuesday, for  example, soon became a favored long-shot.  Of course, Monday was out of the question, as I have always hated Mondays and always will hate Mondays and the fact I really have not thought about this deeply does nothing to dissuade me from my dislike of Mondays. Wednesday is a kind of temporal fulcrum, it is a hinge the other days are attached to: my initial response to the idea of Wednesday as the day on which I would eliminate my employer from both his life and mine was as a swift dagger slash:  how ridiculous, Wednesday,  for the erasure of an ugly bullying sort forever from time and light, the sun and moon, and everything. But I came back to Wednesday to the point where I am not at all sure it is a day one might rule out, automatically that is.  The more I pondered, the more I felt an urgent need to solidify my plans, the more Friday seemed a day the evening of  which suggested possibilities, both criminal and arcane. Friday suggested to me the drunk, the loud saloon, the boisterous and reckless distribution of one’s meager coin into the purse of the wise saloon keeper. Friday, perhaps. Certitude closes doors on the imagination. I prefer the opposite of certitude. Saturday was farmer’s market, all day. I took great enjoyment in visiting the farmer’s market after work, buying fresh basil, a jar of local honey, a hardy hand-made bread, a crust of such sensual thickness. Ah, the bread! Of course, one would rule out a Saturday. But maybe not. (Such is the mantle mind puts on when it sets out thinking through various possibilities.) An unlikely, unexpected move frequently holds the greatest appeal to the cunning strategist. I should kill my employer on a Saturday, though I should first revisit Thursday and Sunday before hastily proceeding. Thursday is well-known as the day on which poet’s die.  All the true poets die on Thursday, although my employer could never be imagined as sympathizing in the least with those blessed souls who compose verse for general approval.  Now I realize I can’t exclude Thursday outright, but must look again to my murderous plot to see how the one concurs with the other. Which leads us back to Sunday. Since Sunday had been entered, after a presumptive disqualification, into the lottery of murder, then Sunday must be granted the same privilege. My employer, like many mendacious sorts, is a strict practitioner of religious rites. He might be the most violent soul all week, yet on  Sunday he is suddenly the gentlest lamb, a member of that kind congregation, singing and blessing, praying. Sunday. Sunday. Sunday. I kept repeating to myself Sunday,  Sunday, Sunday. Had I always been so inclined to view Sunday as a day rife with murderous invitation? I don’t know. I admit I don’t know. I admit that in admitting I don’t know that perhaps I know, which is the same as saying perhaps I don’t know. Sunday. Sunday. Sunday. I have always been a man who finds thinking difficult, a labyrinth. Sunday. Sunday. A son day.  Some sum day. Soon day. Soon some sum of sin day, sooner soonest day.