“Still Not Fat and Happy. Well, Not Happy”
“Everyone knows that the clowns aren't happy
And everyone knows that the people don't care
I wish I could laugh at the way that they're acting
But I'm so sick, I just don't dare to”
-Sung by Don McLean
(“The Circus Song”)
We got the crime scene boys and other random police back to the bomb sight. It was pretty cut and dry.
The bomber was named Otto Kellogg.
Not much history on him that was out of the ordinary. He was a loner, newly given to religion. His room was full of everything Simonson had ever written, the walls covered with clippings.
His Facebook page was filled with multiple manifestos that said, basically, that I was the source of all the evil in the world and should be fed to the pigs, while still alive.
If he hadn’t been coming after me, he would have found another reason to kill somebody. He was a template for a serial killer. Simonson and his church, the one that celebrated plans to kill millions, became his justification for all his murderous urges.
He had been late, we found. He had gotten into a fight with a traffic cop. Shot the policeman (not fatally, thank God) and raced to get to his historic killer pedestal.
Oh, and just for the hell of it, he had on a clown’s rubber ball nose. Chintzy bugger didn’t even do make-up. How can you justify murderous fanatics who don’t do the make-up? I call that lack of commitment!
My whole way of looking at the world had changed in the last couple of weeks. My life had been full of things, good and bad, active and passive, love and hate, everything you would expect for a man in my profession. But this, this was nothing like anything I had ever even dreamed or nightmared about in my best or worst day.
This has been insane.
When it was all proposed by the situation, I thought it might be fun, the action and adventure of dodging assassins; it would make me feel alive again. I had been feeling sorry for myself, feeling old and alone. I needed another adventure.
But this getting so many other people killed, it hurt my heart. I tried to stay upbeat, but at night, when I was alone, I could not stop the tears. I was so guilty. Shouldn’t I have let them kill me and end it all? But by the time I knew what was really going on, so many had already died I would never be free of the guilt.
So all that was left for me to do was to get every one of these bastards off the streets. It wouldn’t mean a thing to those they had killed or caused to be killed, but it would stop them from insanely ending any more lives.
It wasn’t enough, but it was all we could do.
We reached our offices without further incident.
The place felt safe. My security staff was the best, so we could stand off an army if we needed to, that much was sure.
I knew that feeling safe was an illusion, but I was willing to take it. Hell, we might be hit by an asteroid.
What could I expect? What did I hope to get out of it?
A few hours of refuge.
Tonight, if the game was up, it would happen then.
Now I was among friends.
Just being here let me look for normal.
I was hungry. That was something I hadn’t even thought about for some time. I hadn’t really touched any food since breakfast yesterday. I had sat at a lunch table but the food didn’t smell like food, look like food and moving it around on the plate with my fork didn’t make it any more so. So it just sat there, and so did I.
But now I was hungry.
What would say “normal” to my stomach?
I ordered a pastrami on pumpernickel with sweet and hot mustard. With a red crème soda.
Lunch at least would be happy.
© C. Wayne Owens