‘K’ for ‘Killer’

He was my apartment mate in Chicago when we were both going to school there. Older, wiser, much more sophisticated. John L and I hooked up and agreed to get the place, moved our boxes of stuff in, and I took off for a weekend of fun elsewhere. Sometime during that weekend John’s girlfriend jumped out of the window of the apartment and died in the courtyard below.

So when I got back one evening John wasn’t there, and shortly the police were. They took me in to some Northside cop station and without offering much in return, asked questions about John. I didn’t give them much, which was a problem for them, and they made it one for me. Kind of a stand-off. To be fair, on their side it was an unexplained death and a possible witness who wouldn’t tell them anything. To me fair, on my side, they wouldn’t share either. That lasted a good deal of the night. It was another set of detectives coming on shift who told me that the death was suicide, John was totally in the clear, and that he had checked himself into the hospital for his mental state. When he came out he had the letter ‘k’ tatooed on the inside of his shoulder and said it stood for ‘killer’, which he felt himself to be. We moved and shared the new, much nicer, and deathless apartment for a but more than a year. Then he moved in with a girl and ultimately I lost track of him. Alas.

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