That’s it, He’s Deaded

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That’s it, he’s deaded.
Run over by a lorry, what a hero! A delivery driver in too much of a hurry, with his foot down. He was crossing the street, running, chasing a ball like an idiot. The ball wasn’t touched. It rolled over to the other side. Him, he bore the brunt, picked up by the firemen, sewn back together, patched up. Nobody recognised him. He didn’t look like anything anymore. He was always distracted. Now he was nothing at all. Oh yes, he is still here, in the little vase, with his three faded flowers fixed to the fence at the side of the pavement. And the rain drips down and fills the vase which overflows with joy.
In the spring, there will be tadpoles. At the moment, there is Mom who is wondering why. She is bawling her head off. She can’t kiss me anymore. He will never come back. I should have kept an eye on him, she says. That’s all I ever did. I ran. I whistled. Free kick, penalty, half-time. I always made an effort to try to calm him down. To soothe him, “it’s your responsibility”, “you’re the eldest”. Well shit, he won’t be pissing me off any more now.
A quick bit of action, then gone. I’m off to boarding school, that’s my punishment. I won’t hear his mother screaming anymore. I won’t get any more slaps, well-deserved, as they used to say.
In fact, I got more. They passed the word around, the bastards. I swallowed the whistle, I took off my shoes and I scarpered.
I’m still running. And they can still try to find me. Where I’m going, there aren’t many people to give me away. So there.

Translated by Wendy Cross

67

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