I can’t tell you the last time we underwent a Renaissance—probably in the late 60s. We went giddy with pale yellow and powder blue, and now the whole town looks like an abandoned circus side-show. Hell, even Hector’s still got carpeting. Most pretend we’re still chuggin’ along the path of bigger cities, like we ain’t derailed a long time ago. We got the problems of ’em, no doubt, but not a stitch of the money. Always looking for somebody else to fill our pockets. Might be the reason ol’ Geoffrey got himself an office and a practicing license without anybody questioning him about it.
All the doctors and receptionists around here should’ve retired a decade ago at least. Been practicin’ since the yellow was fresh and their skin taut. It ain’t a bad thing, their still practicing medicine, long as they got the steady hands and able-minds to dole out diagnoses—far as I can see. They’ll examine you out of the goodness of their heart. If you ain’t got a dime, they ain’t got a worry. The rule-makers around here don’t like it too much. If they could, they’d rip up the doctor’s office by its foundation, flip it on its head, and shake it clear. Better to get the young bloods in here, ya see. Fixed on fixin’ patients and their own financial burdens; keeps the money flowing. The day it happens—and it’s bound, the people round here are in for terrible stir. Nothing like Geoffrey, of course. But payin’ your own dues when you’re used to not invites the same fear into a heart as stealing two kids who ain’t your own.
Geoffrey was one of those young men who came in as the tide was turning towards greed. 1994 if I’m remembering right. Back then, of course, his name wasn’t Geoffrey. Paul…er…can’t remember his last name. Set himself up on Grove St., couple blocks over from Hector’s, matter’a fact. Dr. DiCorvio, that was it. He practiced for about a year before he snatched up Thomas and, dammit, I can’t remember the other boy’s name right now neither. Word around then was he got ’em out of state by convincing them to go on a road trip—wasn’t much more thought to it than that. Can’t blame the kids, of course, their parents trusted them alone with him. And I’m guessing they told it straight, whatever was in their innocent little hearts at the time. No reason not to trust the devil. Police found ’em in one of those trucker motels on 19 north; hourly rates. Don’t know the timing of it all, don’t know where the final destination lay—and I don’t care to know, neither. Fact of the matter is he never made it with them, and I sleep better knowing that.
Can’t believe the son of a bitch sprang up again. Can’t believe we let him egg us on like he does. Shine a light on a cockroach and it’ll scurry, but it always find a way back one way or another. A heavy warmth grows in my belly, like something bad’s about to happen. Maybe it already did and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. No way of knowing. I figure I’ll head over to Franklin’s at 4 or 5 to find out when the viewing is, see who shows up.
Always gets a touch warmer just before it’s about to snow. The sky’s a pearl, and you can look up and count down the seconds left before it starts falling. With most at work, I’m free to enjoy the fall and silence to myself. Hopefully it collects some and snatches the eye from cracked asphalt and brick. Take away some of the pain of those yellows and blues. Just for a day though, we got a nasty habit of making things dirty quick around here.