Thursday, April 07, 2005

166. The Professional

I had a certain talent
for the job; I suppose
I sort of drifted in
that direction, once the war
was over: I really had

no idea of the demand
for these skills, and was
happy enough to take on
a few jobs; money was
scarce: the business went

well and soon I was able
to increase my fees, get in
some top-of-the range
equipment, even hire
an accountant: he didn't

work out so well, very
sorry to say; I had to take
a little direct action on his
account, but sent nice flowers
to the funeral: I learned

about computers, practically
designed for my work; no need
to meet clients, no more
telephones: encryption codes
worked fine: I decided to

buy a house somewhere foreign,
some sunny place, thought of starting
a family with a couple of kids,
why not? I was tired
of one-night-stands: I began

trawling for wife-type girls
and found a lot, I had no
idea so many of them were
out there, all with a fondness
for millionaires: I made

a short-list and flew them in
for interviews; in the end I
selected Sandy with her enormous
eyes, so trusting, complaisant
and adoring: we set about

making a baby and it was pretty
quick for me, longer for her,
and every now and then I had to
go on a job. She asked no questions
and I told her no lies: we were

happy together until Arnaldo
came along, white-toothed cousin
to the large local family of
landowners. I summoned my
subcontractors, perfected

an excellent alibi, sent a wreath
this time; poor tear-stricken Sandy
I escorted away, then strangled
and buried in Germany. The child
was fostered: I had had it

with the myth of happy families
forever, and went back to work
with new dedication and skill.
I was in great demand, all the big
ones came down to me: I retired to

Florida, Coral Gables, in time
not to vote, sprawled naked around
my marble swimming pool, hired
two Cuban houseboys, hung around
with big-time gangsters: I began

reading books instead of the usual
crappy magazines; discovered some
dead Greek guy called Sophocles
and knew, straight away, he was
writing about me: I laughed

and threw the book down, called out
to Juan, asked him who was there?
"Una Senorita, Boss", his eyebrows
dancing (these Latinos!): Goddamit,
show her in: I never expected

to see my abandoned daughter.
I knew who she was straight away.
I could never remember her name.
I watch the little smile on her pretty face.
Why can I not remember her name?

"Hello, darling".
"Hello, Daddy".

Then she pulls out the pistol and fires.