On Christmas Eve, I had killed someone. I’ll just let that sink in for a moment. I can still recall the sound of the glass of scotch in his hand breaking with his wrist. I can feel the swing upward with broken glass, and the smell of flesh being torn aside. He stepped back from me reaching for his throat, his eyes wide with the realization these were his last moments.
“I am not sure what happens when you die, but I’m satisfied to stand here and watch you find out,” I said to him matter-of-factly.
He involuntarily knelt. He was very intimate with fear at this point. Perhaps he realized there was nothing coming for him, the final realization that salvation is a mythological concept. I am not sure I saw that he had connected what he had done with what was happening to him. Conceit probably kept that from happening. All the more pitiful.
When my child had come to me, confided in me what he had done, it was one of those admissions that blinds you when you first hear it – then once understanding happens, it binds you to it. My child with tears in his eyes – what had he done to deserve what had been done to him. Using faith as a shield, the man who had done this felt protected, felt immune, perhaps even justified.
The moment happened and was over before I had much time to think about it.
I thought about it a lot – particularly on the smooth wood floor face down, ears echoing the the click of the handcuffs and anklets. I sat emotionless in court – there was no reason to react to any of it. It was all true.
My defense was simple, really, he’d never hurt anyone else again.