Rocky de Leon
Two miles outside Laredo, Texas, a small cemetery lies off a beaten path. The pastor of the local church, Father Moreno, takes it upon himself to keep it clean. He is a man of dedication; the gravestones, even the old ones, are white as the day they were cut. The lawn is perfectly manicured. To him, this is the forever home for his congregation. Parishioners have been buried here for generations, and it is the least he could do to show them respect. On this day, however, he is the second person in this place of remembrance.
Esperanza de Leon, of the San Deigo de Leons, was a late in life Texas transplant. When her husband, Mateo, was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, the doctors said that dry air might make him more comfortable for his final days. They purchased a small, but well maintained, home on the outskirts of Laredo – only a few blocks away from Mateo’s final resting place. When the time came, she wanted his travel to his final resting site to be as short as possible. It has been 8 years since his passing, and still Esperanza visits him every morning.
On this morning in particular, the view of the gravesite is different for Esperanza. The normally white headstone is stained yellow; a stench pervades the air up to twenty feet away. Above Mateo, covered in filth, a junkie with a white sticker name tag reading “MY NAME IS” lays snoring in the grass. She would swear the name “Billiam” is scrawled on the sticker in sharpie. She suspects he was not the one to write it.
She slowly approaches Billiam, and the junkie coughs, farts, pisses and shits himself, before bolting upright and screaming, “I AM A GOLDEN GOD,” and passing back out. The ground squelches as his face falls in mud comprised of Mateo’s grave dirt and Billiam’s own bodily fluids.
Esperanza sheds a single tear.
“This is all he ever wanted.”