Thursday, December 15, 2011

Death of Carlos

Death of Carlos
 During the early part of the summer Kiki lived in the newly roofed house in Elias Piña and had reportedly settled into a rhythm of moving items back and forth across the border. Sometime in August he and his uncle Carlos, Altagracia’s brother, went on a clerén and crack smoking bender. Carlos was about 36 and had been one of the friendlier relations when we visited Elias Piña. On the 4th day of the bender they had a slap and push scuffle and shortly after Carlos slipped into a coma. Pipina and some others threw him in the back of a pick-up and brought him to the local hospital where he vomited something green and died. Altagracia and Niningo took a guagua to Elias Piña the next day and found that all the other brothers and sisters were accusing Kiki of murder, claiming that he had heart-punched Carlos knowing that he had a bad heart. The autopsy concluded that drug and alcohol overdose was the cause of death but nevertheless. There were some shouting screaming and pushing fights. Altagracia was accused of being armed. Pipina claimed rights to Altagracia’s house in Elias Piña. Kiki was jailed in shackles. Pipina later is said to have paid some police 5000 pesos to kill him in prison but they only beat him up. I suspect that Pipina and the others—Papito, Violeta, Felix, and even Anna and Momona, his grandmother are just sick of having him around shooting off guns and stealing and eating their goats and pigs.

Altagracia continues to work for Bettye on Sundays and for Adrian and her Haitian retired husband on Tues and Fridays. She would like to quit Adrian but needs to send money to Kiki in jail from time to time and knows better than to ask me to donate. But I have never heard her (or anyone) complain so much about working 3 days a week. Other than analysing the gossip on Loma de Chivo that is our only topic of conversation
Niningo searched for work daily after graduating from high school including trying to get into the air force academy. He evidently almost got in but his school was not able to produce his graduation papers by the deadline. A month ago, with a recommendation from Adrian, he got a job at a Casino on the Malecón watching the video monitors in a locked room with one or two other monitors. He watches for dropped dice and cards and checks that the tellers examine bills for forgeries. He already has spotted 300 counterfeit Euros. His shifts are 10PM-6AM or 2PM-8PM and he has not had a day off since I have been back due to understaffing. 8,000 pesos a month plus the overtime. On his last payday he gave Altagracia 1000 pesos and me 500, and was proud to do it.

Jhoanglish continues to drift unmoored. He does not give the mother of his son any money, does not live with them and sometimes hits her arguing about money. At the moment he is living in a rented room up around the corner and eats at Chavela’s.

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