Deus Ex Machina
A (very) Short Story
By Christopher Cruz
Copyright 2011 by Christopher Cruz
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For he whose name I will never remember,
and whose face I will never forget.
His name was Roberto Constantino Alvarez and he taught me not to believe in god. He was a superhero and he was just a man. He was a trained federal agent and he was a son and a father and a husband and a decorated veteran of a war no one had ever thanked him for. He had brown eyes and olive skin and he always laughed before you could finish the punchline. He was born on August 5th and he died on his birthday 46 years later. He loved soccer and his family and the scent of oncoming rain in the summer. His name was Roberto Constantino Alvarez and he died for absolutely no reason at all. And I will never forgive him for that.His name was Roberto Constantino Alvarez and he was a boy scout as a child. He knew how to tie knots and climb trees and make fire from nothing. He was especially skilled at climbing trees and could swing from tops as if it were instinctual nature. He preferred birch trees partly for the challenge and mostly for an admiration of Robert Frost. He did not ever yell or scream like most children. He always spoke with poise and balance, letters and words forming off his tongue with chaînés turns. He was an admired child and a loving son and he had brown wavy hair. His name was Roberto Constantino Alvarez and he forced his parents to bury a child. And they will never forgive him for that.
His name was Roberto Constantino Alvarez and he graduated college with honors. He dormed with his brother and they repeatedly got drunk with bright green Japanese liquors and they always skipped 8:00AM classes together. He did not lose his virginity until 21 and he married that same girl. He was abducted into some three-letter government agency right out of college and he loved every minute of it. His brother became a banker and they eventually stopped speaking. He wore a gold school ring with his wifes initials etched into the side and when he was gone for long periods of time he would trace the letters with his fingernails and think about making love to her. He was attempting to give candy to a local Iranian child when a militant shot him in the leg. He spent 4 years behind a desk before returning to work overseas. His name was Roberto Constantino Alvarez and he left his brother behind. And he will never forgive him for that.