Not everything is a tragedy.
Or maybe, not every tragedy happens on a grand scale? Its just life. Not
much sense in getting upset over things. Shit happens. Or it doesnt. And
that seems to be all there is to it. But that cant be true. Or, if it is,
I cant accept it.
My life has not been a tragedy. Hard maybe, but not tragedy. Immigrant kid, family
from Denmark, grew up on the streets. Da ran interference for one of the local
gangs and taught me to follow him from an early age. I took to it naturally and
was almost full grown before I even thought about other ways of doing things, other
ways of living. By the time I had begun to wonder about other ways, I was so far
up the chain that there was no backing out. And then I got to be the leader. Easy
to advance when you work in a profession where people tend to get killed or disappear
all of a sudden.
Yeah, I did the rent boy thing. No way to be on this side of the law and avoid
it. But I never did it much and it never got to me one way or the other. Just another
aspect to the trade I was learning. And as I advanced, the expectation to do it
just went away.
Im good at this, leading the gang. Or, rather, I used to be good at it. Would
still be good at it if only I cared, which I just dont and that is a bit
of a problem. I know just about everyone. The only person out there who might actually
know more about where all the bodies are buried is Wormtongue, good old Brad. And
he can have all his little secrets. I dont want them anymore. Sometimes I
wonder if I ever wanted them.
I wish I could put my finger on whats wrong these days. The gang is fine,
but things may be a bit tricky for a while. Elijah will do a great job. Its
me whos at odds. And I wish to hell I knew why.
So, yeah, Ive stepped down. Handed it all over to Elijah.
That boy is about the only thing that makes me remember that I am alive these days.
Ive gathered in lots of boys over the years. Sent them out to work the rent
trade. Taught them to steal and lie and cheat. Made them warriors. Made damn sure
they understood loyalty. The ones who didnt learn that lesson never got a
But none of them hold a candle to Elijah. Tough as nails for all his slight build.
If I had been thinking clearly, I never would have handed everything over to him.
Too young, too small, too inexperienced. Too sensitive, though he would stick a
knife in my gullet if he heard me say that. But it was the right thing to do. Ive
been amazed at the tenacity with which he has taken the reins. I know it is a lot
to ask of him. And I know he will give me all of him until there is virtually nothing
left of himself just to prove that my faith in him wasnt wrong.
How do I let him know that all he has to do to make me proud of him is live and
be strong and happy? And how could I want this for him and then turn over the gang
to him? I think my mind really is going. Ive put him in so much danger. Why
did I ever think I was doing him a good turn? I know what this life is like. If
I want out of it so desperately why the bloody hell did I turn right around and
mire this beautiful soul more deeply into it?
So now things may be worse. I cant leave, cant abandon him. But Im
not protecting him the way I could if I had my place at the head of the gang.
This is only one more mess I have made of this joke I call my life. So I hang around,
trying to minimize the damage. Not knowing if I am just making things worse. And
with my days, I hunt for something. It would help if I knew what it was I was hunting.
Ive been reading a lot. Things are happening. The world is becoming fascinating
with all the work the scientists are doing. And the philosophers. Writers and playwrights.
That Wilde fellow is getting a lot of talk these days. Ive seen a couple
of his plays performed. Hes good.
Ive taken up painting again. Elijah is so supportive it makes me feel guilty
if I dont work some almost every day. He tries to play it tough but the breeding
slips through and he actually can talk about art, when he allows himself to.
I wonder what my life would have been like with his advantages. Odd that we can
come from such different places and end up sitting on the curb together, passing
the bitter back and forth, waiting for the days events to seek us out and let us
know how our little corner of the world is faring. And on those moments, as the
day is ending and Elijah is safe by my side, laughing and plotting, I can shake
off the melancholy and just enjoy the taste of the ale as it slides down my throat.
Oh, what else is there to say. Bean. Yeah, theres always Bean and there is
always something to say about him. This thing between us has been going on for
years and almost every day of those years I have sworn I was through with him.
He is a right bastard and there is no one in all of England who would argue the
point. But…I swear he is the best fuck in all of London.
And, if I will allow myself to be weak enough to admit it, a friend.
Yeah, hes a troll, but hes my troll. Mon petit troll.
Elijah and Bean. My heart belongs to a changeling and a troll. No wonder my head
is so fucked up these days.