Friday, February 22, 2008

Between the Stirrup and the Ground

Graham Greene used this phrase repeatedly in one of his novels, Brighton Rock, as the promise a perfectly vile character makes to himself to repent at the very last minute of his life, as in between falling off the horse and hitting the dirt.

Speaking of contrition and Catholicism, Killcastro has an interesting post today. Much has been made that Cardinal Bertone, now in Cuba, will not meet with the grave one. Well, he may not meet with him, but the word is that the church has consented to give last rites to the now repentant caudillo. Good thing it's the Cardinal, cuz that boy's gonna need an exorcism.

Perhaps the timing of Pinky Castro's purported change of heart is a tad convenient, but I would not be surprised if there were some truth to the info. Not because I know anything, but because I am blessed with a sometimes too vivid imagination. For a little while now, I have maintained that his present situation, regardless of whatever comforts surround him, is an emotional form of the death of a thousand cuts.

Lo esta pagando. He is paying for it. We may not think it, but remember what a narcissitic, vainglorious, control freak he was. He has got to be suffering mightily at how he has been reduced, even ordinary bodily functions are a humiliation. Why not in those long nights, as he prepares to meet the Almighty, would he not go over his life? And if he has, what would he find? Picture the enormity, the weight of what he has done. If he even acknowledged a part of his guilt..... He may have fooled the world; he may even have fooled himself for a time, although I doubt it, he was always a cynic. He knows.

I do not blame the Church if they provide last rites; that is what they do. "Vengeance is mine," sayeth the Lord, or something to that effect. But from a layperson's perspective, if the coma andante is truly remorseful, he could demonstrate it by taking responsibility. At this point, even he lacks the power to destroy the monster he has created. Who knows if he even resigned voluntarily? But someone as wily as he has always proven himself can find some way to leave word, to admit it like a man.

Whatever the media may say about leaving on his own terms, leaving as a doddering old man, evacuating from three orifices, you can be sure, was never on his wish list. I could almost find it in my heart to feel sorry for him, almost. My head, however, offers no absolution. I will dance metaphorically over his grave, if the old buzzard doesn't outlast me.

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