And There Are No Reliable Eye-Witnesses to the Afterlife Either

Photograph by Jose Padua
Within the first
two minutes of meeting me
Burt Giannelli took
a look at my face
and said, “Oh,
you’re a gook!”
We were just over
the city line
sometime in the
mid-1970s and
I was with my friend
from high school
who had to stop
by Burt’s house for
some reason I don’t
remember and I
was still standing
in Burt’s messy
dining room when
somehow he started
talking about how
many inches he
was able to get it
up for his ex-wife
as opposed to his
current one who
he said was
“also a gook,”
and it was at that
point when I
decided that in
my young life
Burt Giannelli was
without a doubt
the biggest asshole
I had ever met
and I was beginning
to suspect that
perhaps my friend
was an asshole too
with the only difference
being that he was
my friend,
though as time
moved on the
differences grew
and the similarities
dwindled to a number
between nothing
and one. And many
years later I must
say I wasn’t surprised
to read in the paper
that Burt Giannelli
was shot dead at
the bottom of his
driveway and that
even though it
happened in the bright
light of a weekend
afternoon on a busy
suburban street,
there were no witnesses,
just a dead body
and a car—
too far down the
road for anyone to
read its license plate—
making a right turn
without signaling.

-Jose Padua

Photograph by Jose Padua


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s