I was never interested in politics until my twin brother was diagnosed, and elected President. When Enrique told me about his disease, I couldn’t imagine the medical report or the clinic. The only thing that came to my mind was how Dr. Guillermo Utala had tapped his shoulder with a half-smile, saying, “Now you can be a candidate.” It was the truth since we held elections a month after that.
All my life, I had feared I might inherit the Syndrome that caused my father’s death, and I would have to follow a political career. “I hope one of you will have it,” my father used to say. And my mother would cry because she wanted that both of us would have it. I was safe.
I didn’t want to have the Syndrome. I didn’t want to die from it or from anything else. But, for many, having a father with the Syndrome was a privilege. Enrique always bragged, “I’m one of the few who may be President, enjoy the power and in two years be buried in my own mausoleum.”
Dr. Guillermo had always said that each of us had a fifty percent probability of getting it. The roulette of life had been fair. Enrique was the carrier not me. He designed charts to predict when the President was going to die. Back when we were children, he even made me draw mausoleums. I placed him in the center, and around him was my mother and my father along with other lucky citizens–blessed I should say. I always painted myself outside. I never wanted to be blessed and be buried in the mausoleum.
I didn’t want to win the lottery. Why does everybody believe that to be buried next to the President is a free ticket to heaven? Unlike everybody else, for me, reincarnation was a lot more interesting, returning to life even though everybody said that this prolonged pain and suffering.
Enrique didn’t want to win the lottery either. He wanted to be the President himself and to build his own mausoleum, to have a sarcophagus surrounded by the coffins of the lucky citizens. That was our big difference.
Otherwise, Enrique and I were so similar: the same nose, shape of ears, the same long, straight brown hair. I got the crooked toe, and Enrique had the mole at the corner of his mouth. Enrique got everything that my father wanted for a son: His mole, his genetic disease, and his passion for politics.
Me, on the other hand, I couldn’t even manage to die when I was young. The day I had an accident in the hearse that brought us to school, I got a wound on my right knee that never led to gangrene even though I had a fever. That day, my mother and father were happy because the President was very sick too. “You have the chance to be buried next to the president,” my father had said and refused to give me some more water. “You can go to heaven. What a blessing,” he added.
Now, I know better. My father didn’t want me to go to heaven. He wanted to save money. It was a Herculean task to split everything between two children, two sets of textbooks, double the clothes, twice the price of school tuition. It was better to have one child who could have everything, who could enjoy an entire slice of bread for himself alone, who didn’t have to share.
Unlike my brother, I loathed politics. I liked to paint sunrises, flower buds, eggs, and perfect apples and not half eaten like the ones we scavenged in Waste Land Park. My drawings made me think that I wanted to be reborn like the day, every day. So, I always worried about things I could not resolve such as, if we all want to die, why do we have to be born in the first place? Everybody answered that pregnancy was an easy way to kill the mother. Raising a child would reduce fifteen years of life expectancy and things like that, but I was dissatisfied.
My father probably infected Enrique with politics during the times that he sat him in his lap and taught him how to read the graphics on the production of coffins. My father never explained anything like that to me. He didn’t like me ever since I failed to die.
One day I asked him, “why don’t we have a government to make people live longer instead?”
“Who wants to perpetuate the pain of living? You’re very young. For you, life is only gushy, gushy. The purpose of government is to end suffering, and death would end it for sure.”
But for me, life wasn’t only suffering. Besides, I always thought that leaving the things to chance was unfair. Why couldn’t we kill for mercy, for example, but he would answer, “The purpose of this government is to allow people to die naturally,” he whispered and later yelled. “No man can kill another.” He was agitated and placed his hand on his chest. “The only thing I like from your questions is that they’re going to give me a heart attack.”
So, I was always watching from afar and making one of my drawings of my mom, my father, Enrique, and the black hooded skeleton hitting my father with a scythe as if I had known that he was going to die first.
Even though he wanted to very much, my father couldn’t run for President. By the time he had the diagnosis, the President was so sick that his followers wore face covers to bear the smell during rallies. It was as if he were rotting alive. But he outlived my father. The Syndrome killed my father with all its power exactly one year after his diagnosis, but the President still had two full years after that.
If he could have at least run for any public office… But none of the Senators died. Neither did the mayor nor the governor. Not even any members of the school board. It was merely bad luck. What a paradox: while my father was one of the few anointed with the Syndrome, the Syndrome didn’t kill any elected official at that time.
When my father couldn’t read, wake up, or do a thing my mother would mark the names of the sickest politicians in the country, so he could keep his hopes alive. And I burnt some incense, because I dislike the smell of death.
After his death, his body groaned, and his arms twitched. It was a clear sign that his soul remained there. He died before the President and he couldn’t participate in the Sacred Lottery to select the blessed citizens to be buried with the President. What bad luck. “Sacred Death, why didn’t you want my husband to be buried in the Mausoleum?” My mother cried. “I only hope that my children would go straight to heaven after this.”
Thinking about my father’s bad luck, two years later when the President died, I watched the Presidential funeral, the High Priest moving his arms like scissors above the coffins where the blessed citizens’ rested. This made me imagine that souls were like kites with strings attached to our bodies. I thought that it would be nice when the string were to be severed, and I could be left wandering around to eventually return.
It was difficult to understand my mother’s feelings. I guess she might have had her own political aspirations, but instead, she had to first take care of my father and later my brother. Like most women, she had gotten pregnant, hoping that labor would kill her.
People don’t vote for pregnant women because they are biased against them. They think if they survive labor, they will want to live for their children. I heard many saying, “A woman President may legalize abortion. Where would our right for Natural Death end up?”
It was okay to die giving birth. It was okay to die due to infection during labor. It was not okay to die during an abortion. Hunger was okay, but gluttony was not. What’s Natural Death anyway? This is a question that has always bothered me. Why do people always vote for a President who is going to assure a higher mortality rate?
My mother was very healthy, even though she followed each step to look as sick as a raising zombie from a grave. When we were very small, the President had some brain virus that he got from swimming in a contaminated river. Wishing to have the same presidential virus, we went to the river, and the water was so thick and dirty, but nothing happened to my mother, my brother, or me. The truth is that I didn’t swim. The idea of dying from the President’s virus didn’t appeal to me, anyway.
With the aspiration of becoming the Minister of Prognosis of Dying in Grace. Dr. Guillermo, Utala became my brother’s campaign manager. Without him, I think Enrique would never have won the election.
Dr. Guillermo certified that Enrique suffered from the Syndrome or the Power virus as some people called it. His report to the electoral commission included a prediction of the approximate date of Enrique’s death with detailed explanation of the illness’ progress from the hair loss, to the wheezing, the barrel chest, and to the very last stage when spots sprouted on patient’s skin from blood clots in the veins. This reminded me of one of the costumes we had for All Hallows’ Eve, our most important holiday. When my father was at the very last stage of his disease, my mother made us wear pajamas with red dots for scavenging apples at The Waste-Land Park. Enrique and I looked so identical that not even my mother could tell us apart. I think Sacred Death listened to my mother’s prayers, because my father died that night. His skin was full of red dots, and everybody complimented our costumes, saying, “You both look exactly like your father.”
Dr. Guillermo predicted that Enrique would last fifteen months. The fifteen months that Enrique would need to build his Mausoleum and fulfill his Presidential responsibility to increase the mortality rate.
The day we had a campaign startup meeting, I was lying on floor doodling in my sketch notebook looking for inspiration for my brother’s logo. Nothing came to mind. The only thing I draw and draw, again and again, one after another were pictures of black coffins. I looked away from the paper and scanned over my brother’s certification of being sick with Syndrome when doctor Utala came and peeked over my shoulder.
“What do you think future President’s brother?”
The words President’s brother sounded more like a dead brother instead, like his name would be trapped in one of those coffins I was drawing. I shrugged and said, “A pretty secure death.”
And doctor Guillermo, who stood next to me, shook me by the shoulders and said, “You’re a genius.”
Based on that thought, Dr. Guillermo created the slogan, “A Pretty Secure Death. Vote for Enrique Vitalarga.”
Even though I designed his campaign logo, I wasn’t sure that death was pretty or that his death—my brother’s death—was beautiful or even should be beautiful. I did a good job I can say: the image of my hairless brother with angel wings ascending to heaven, his skin lightly dotted with red. Simply beautiful.
My brother promised, “I want everybody to have a beautiful death.” Of course, he promised other things: The elimination of school lunches to increase money for teachers. The implementation of a self-homelessness program. “For every hundred dead homeless, we can increase retirement payments by 0.5%,” he said. And his third proposal: to strengthen the coffin and funerary industry. “Because we deserve to die beautifully and be buried beautifully like the President himself.”
The other candidate was Maribel Santillana, who was the first female person diagnosed with Syndrome. Her slogan was “Dying like everybody else. Nothing more. Nothing less.” She wanted to implement abortion, to strengthen the cremation industry and to expand from ten to a hundred the number of blessed citizens, but the religious groups hated her. And she coincided with my brother in increasing the coffin production.
The campaign was dirty. Dr. Guillermo spread a rumor that a woman couldn’t suffer from Syndrome. This was the spark that made some people doubt. What would happen with Maribel’s Mausoleum? If she lived a long life and died of any pedestrian disease, maybe the blessed citizens wouldn’t be welcomed into the heavens. Others believed that Maribel was really a man dressed as a woman to gain popularity and demanded to see her birth certificate.
My mother prayed like always, not for my brother but for Maribel. She thought that if Maribel died first, my brother would automatically win the election. Sometimes, I don’t think all of that was even necessary. Utombians didn’t like women anyway. My brother easily won all the debates, yelling, “Nobody wants to die like you: UGLY woman.”
My brother defeated Maribel Santillana, who remained as an opposition senator. In the first months of his presidency, he doubled coffin production, increased the mortality rate, and agreed with Senator Maribel to invest in cremation as an alternative burial method. After all, smoke was good pollution.
Everything was going well until a reporter noticed that Enrique didn’t suffer from the hair loss that Doctor Guillermo had predicted. Quite the contrary, he was hairier, especially around his neck. The reporter compared pictures of Enrique with previous Presidents who had gone through the Syndrome’s stages, and wrote in his column, “Has anyone heard the President wheezing?”
Thirteen months after his presidency, my brother inaugurated his Mausoleum. The sarcophagus, a solid box made of marble, was so big that it could fit three elephants. For me, it didn’t make very much sense to be buried there, locked down under those massive walls. But for him, it was the realization of his life dream.
He was happily giving his speech when Maribel Santillana yelled from the first row, “The President never wheezes.”
After that, she accused my brother of lying. “They falsified the diagnosis. He obviously doesn’t suffer from the Power Syndrome. The senators voted for an investigation. “UTA citizens have been cheated,” they cried.
With his hand on the skull of George Thanatus, our founding father, Dr. Guillermo swore to tell the truth.
Other doctors had evaluated Enrique’s diagnosis, and there was no doubt that he suffered from Syndrome.
In the Capitol Death, Maribel Santillana questioned Dr. Guillermo Utala, “As a medical doctor, would you,” she gasped for breath and continued, “would you say that President Enrique Vitalarga is a healthy individual?”
Dr. Guillermo scratched his head, “It’s complicated—”
“Yes or no.”
“He has the Syndrome—”
“But he’s not sick, right?” She huffed and slapped her chest three times in front of the camera, for sure a tactic to show her barrel chest, that was less noticeable in her because her ample bosom.
“How do you define sickness?” the doctor asked.
“Now, I have to be the doctor, right?” She brushed her hair with the tip of her fingers and showed the camera a tuft that had fallen off. “This is the meaning of sick, doctor.”
“You don’t understand. The Syndrome has frozen.” That was the part they wrote in the headlines. The newspapers never reported that Dr. Guillermo also declared that my brother would develop the symptoms. Eventually.
And of course, my brother didn’t die by the end of the term, as Dr. Guillermo had predicted. The political commentators foretold a reduction in the market value of the coffin industry. “People are not motivated to die if they don’t have the chance to be in the Mausoleum.”
Maribel Santillana took the opportunity to chew on the bone and asked for two constitutional amendments: The creation of a process for presidential resignation (because the President could only leave office through death), which would have made her the President, and an increase in the number of blessed citizens who could be buried in the Mausoleum.
While the amendments were discussed in the Senate, my mother and I talked to my brother about it in his Mausoleum where he was usually sleeping to invoke Sacred Death. “I cannot allow her to be the President. I built this Mausoleum, and now she wants a free ticket to heaven.” He said as he was climbing a ladder, wearing his black mortuary robes for sleeping.
Sitting at the marble stairs that led to the giant sarcophagus, my mother said, “You cannot relent. My greatest happiness would be that you rest in the Mausoleum along with your brother.”
“Mother,” I called her attention and cleared my voice. “Something almost impossible.” I smirked, knowing that my name needed to win the lottery of the blessed citizens after death.
“Nothing is impossible for Sacred Death.” My mother closed her eyes, lifted her arms and prayed. “Sacred Death bless my son as you anointed Enrique with Presidency.” Her eyes bumped open and said to Enrique, “You’re the President. You can do something for your brother.”
Thoughtful and looking down, Enrique stretched his leg to climb over the sarcophagus wall, and I tried to change of topic because I hated the possibility of being buried in the Mausoleum. “But Maribel Santillana’s idea of having a hundred blessed citizens is popular.” My voice lost power as I realized my mistake, and I wished my mother wouldn’t say something like ‘Among a hundred blessed, Sacred Death would give you more chance to be buried with your brother.’
“Where do you think we can put a hundred coffins here?” Enrique placed his feet back on the step and asked with flaring nostrils, “Do you know what Santillana and her followers want?” He looked first at me and then at my mother. “She wants to finish with our institutions. She wants to finish with the Presidency. First a hundred, then a thousand and later a million until one day everybody can build his own Mausoleum. And the President, what? No, as long as I’m the President, I’m protecting the blessed citizens’ privilege to be buried here. That Maribel woman is a communist. Everybody with their own Mausoleum.” He released his grip from the ladder and yelled, “I’m the President” and shook his arms with strength. I thought he would fall, but he didn’t even flutter. His feet remained firmly attached to the ladder.
He jumped inside his sarcophagus. My mother and I were walking out and it was then the Presidential mourner arrived with his trumpet, playing the Funerary March and said, “Maribel Santillana just died.”
My brother climbed up, popped his head over the sarcophagus, and laughed, “No heaven for that rotten bitch.”
The laugh was expensive. Maribel Santillana’s death proved that she suffered from the Syndrome, contradicting the rumor that Dr. Utala circulated during the campaign. It was horrible. The women’s movement proclaimed that only women could be diagnosed with Power Syndrome. “Power Syndrome, women’s Syndrome,” they yelled as they passed by protesting around the Morte Palace. People took to the streets, claiming for their chance to be a blessed citizen, and the Obituary’s editorials wrote, “The truth is that if Maribel Santillana had been the President, we would already be having a Presidential funeral. Millions are losing their opportunity for immortality.”
My brother still didn’t worry too much. He even laughed louder. “The amendments didn’t pass. And now they need to wait until my death,” he said to me as he was putting on his mortarium robes to attend the funeral of Senator Santillana. Trying to avoid to be close to my brother and his politics, I didn’t go to the funeral. I didn’t want people asking me if I also had the Syndrome, but mostly I didn’t want to see my mother praying for me to Sacred Death.
The following day, I opened the Obituary Times and saw Enrique with three pallbearers on the front page holding the coffin. The headline read: “The first President strong enough to Carry the Dead.” The article explained that one of the pallbearers had pulled a muscle, and the President had broken the protocol by taking the pallbearer’s place, all the way to the grave.
My brother tried to downplay the event during an interview. “Don’t listen to what Maribel’s followers spread around. Listen, I’m a sick President proved in the Senate.” He looked at the camera. “Thanks to me she was buried!’ Okay.” He flexed his arm. “It wasn’t easy. My arm still hurts.”
But a picture leaked to the press. It showed my brother on the top of his sarcophagus pushing the lid open with his bare hands. I hadn’t seen that before, but I didn’t doubt it. He was getting stronger. The reporter wrote, “A reverse in the Syndrome. He’s not going to die. Maybe he’s going to have all of us suffering with no chance for eternity.”
There were riots everywhere, fifteen desecrated tombs across the country, and seven police officers killed. One Senator accused my brother of being a secret agent for the Disease Liberation Army (DLA), a new guerrilla movement that advocated for health insurance and medical care.
It was Dr. Guillermo who came up with a solution: A virus. He reminded us that long ago, when we were children, one of the Presidents died from a virus and not from the Syndrome.
“I used to take them to the river to get the virus,” my mother said as she massaged the hairy neck of my brother who remained sprawled over one of the steps inside his mausoleum.
“We have a campaign to infect people,” Dr. Utala said while he was tapping the toe of the giant statue of my brother.
My mother stopped massaging my brother and exclaimed, addressing me, “You can get infected and die along with your brother. You can be blessed.” My mother started praying.
Annoyed, I sighed heavily. “This is against Natural Death.” I didn’t want to get that thing. I didn’t want to die with my brother. I didn’t want to be ‘blessed.’
Doctor Utala turned to me and walked down the pedestal and laid his hand on my shoulder. “You don’t know anything about medicine. “Viruses mutate some people get resistance but, more importantly, people…” He paused to emphasize the drama. “People with the Syndrome die at a rate three times higher than a regular person.”
Dr. Utalae made my brother stand up. He looked up at my brother and declared, “We increase the mortality rate. The coffin industry will be happier than ever, and you have a great chance of getting it.” My brother wanted to die from the Syndrome, but at this point, any way of dying was acceptable.
“I’ll do everything. Sometimes I wish someone kill me,” he said.
“Even the murdered can ascend to heaven, but hush,” said my mother, afraid there was another whistleblower around.
Without any other choice available, we started a national campaign with super spreader events in every city. Brigades disseminated the virus in the water, in the air, and getting the virus became very fashionable. The police used a virus spray as an easy way to placate protestors and calm down criminals. People felt as if they belonged to a regal family when they got it. Even children chanted, “We have the Presidential virus.”
The virus was lethal for sure. The mortality rate increased by fifty percent, and many senators and other officials died, including Dr. Utala. But it didn’t touch my mother, my brother or me. Even though my brother had a personal cougher whose only job was to cough in his face when he addressed the nation.
I was sad for my brother. He really wanted to enjoy his Mausoleum. He really wanted to allow his citizens to lie next to him–well, the blessed ones. But he didn’t even cough, and his most drastic change was the hairy arms and neck that he had to shave.
I was starting to think that the fact that he was strong was even better. The economy was booming after all, and I thought there must be people like me who didn’t care about the Mausoleum.
At this point, all I wanted was to be alone and far away from politics, from my brother and his Mausoleum. One day in Waste-Land Park, I scavenged in a trash bin for an apple when I saw one at the bottom. It had a single bite with a swarm of flies above it. Eagerly, I gnawed all around it, discarding the heart and the seeds.
Pictures of that appeared in the newspapers, accusing my brother of eating apples to avoid getting sick. The caption of the photo when I threw the heart and the seeds read, “He carefully tossed the seeds because they have cyanide.” There were protests all over the country. I asked my brother to clarify the point. It was easy, after all. Even though we were twins, I didn’t have the mole on the side of the mouth like him. Besides, he was now very hairy.
After shaving himself, on television, he addressed the Nation. “Dear UTombians, I have to confess that I have been eating rotten apples with the hope of getting food poisoning.”
I couldn’t understand why he lied. But while some people believed it, others thought that the President was already dead. An Op-Ed appeared in the Obituary Times with the title, UTA is a Dictatorship. “Enrique Vitalarga already died a long time ago. Now we’re in the hands of his twin brother.”
After that, I couldn’t go out on my own. My brother assigned armed bodyguards who restricted and controlled each of my movements. And strangely, I couldn’t see my brother or my mother. Tired of being confined—buried alive, really—I pleaded to go to a funerary show, but there three protesters among the mourners, yelled as soon as they saw me, “Where’s your furry costume,” or “You’re stealing our place in the Mausoleum.” A mob tried to attack me, so the bodyguards shielded me and brought me to my brother’s mausoleum where I confronted him.
“Why did you lie? People are thinking that I’m the President.”
“Isn’t it wonderful?” His arms holding up as if were pretending to hug the giant statute of himself.
“What are you talking about? Everybody hated me out there.”
He turned around and said as he stepped down, “I have the opportunity to be the greatest President in the history of United Tombs of America, and you can enjoy the heavens for eternity.” He caressed his neck that was now completely smooth with smell of aftershave and laid his hand on my shoulder. “I want to anoint you as the President De Facto.”
His idea was to build a second mausoleum for me.
“I don’t want that. I don’t want to be buried in a mausoleum. I don’t want to go to heavens. I want to reincarnate… Always and forever.”
But my mother appeared from nowhere, saying, “Enrique can go to the heavens and you can go along with him—”
“But—” She didn’t allow me to say anything.
“I don’t want you meet with the same fate of your father.” She sobbed.
“Mom, I don’t want to die like that.”
“I, myself, cannot be buried in the mausoleum unless I win the lottery. And now you can have that privilege.”
I threw up my hands, saying, “I’m done with you, both. Everyone needs to know about this…this absurdity. I’m calling the Obituary Times. I’m done.”
My mother raised her palm as if she were going to stop me. “You do nothing. I swear to God that I do whatever is necessary for both of my children go to heaven. I do whatever.”
I crossed my arms, and I was about to say, ‘I’m not a little child any longer,’ but the bodyguards restrained me, and they even placed a gag in my mouth. And as they dragged me out, my brother said, “You don’t know what is good for you.”
Confined inside a room inside the Morte Palace my brother came to visit me, looking always fully shaved and asked me if I had already regretted.
“No matter what, you’re going to be buried in your mausoleum,” he said as he was looking me down where I remained tied to my bed.
“You’re pushing the country to a revolution. Do you think people are going to keep waiting for the Presidential funeral?” I said so quickly almost without breathing.
“Waiting-for-the-Presidential-funeral?” he mocked me and paused. “They. Have. To.” He bent over placing his cheek almost to the side of my nose when I noticed that he had covered the mole with heavy make-up. Then, he whispered, “First, I’m going to circulate the rumor. You’re the President De Facto.” He pressed his lips together. “In a month, I’ll let them know that Enrique’s body is preserved until the new President’s death. Your death.” He walked around talking very loudly, “It will be an apotheosis.” He laughed, saying things like,
*“Nothing ever seen in UTA history.”
*“Two funerals for the twin Presidents.”
*“The only President who managed to die twice.”
“Enrique, you know I’m not going to hold power after your death.” I talked over his disjointed speech.
He smirked and nodded. “You’re right but you’re not going to live longer than me—”
“What? Are you planning—” I couldn’t even say the word. “This is a sin…Mom is not going to allow it.”
“It was her idea, dear brother.” Enrique chuckled and left.
If I died first, my brother would stay in power pretending to be me. And if he died first, he would order my murder. I could die at the hands of my own mother, I thought. I covered my face with my sleeping shroud. It was so horrible that I couldn’t even cry. And I knew then that there was only one way out of this: to kill my brother.
But I needed witnesses. The whole country as a witness. I couldn’t allow that anyone believe that I remained as President.
I concentrated on trying to regain my mother’s and my brother’s trust. I told them that I came to accept my destiny. “I know my immortality is more important,” I said trying to be convincing. Still, my brother kept me heavily guarded and made me wear a mask, so people couldn’t see me. He talked to me only in my room keeping us from being seen together and giving away the secret that he was alive.
I managed to convince my mother to give me a small pistol, saying, “Mom, maybe, you won’t be able to execute me, and if you failed, Enrique wouldn’t have his double funerals.”
Even though, one of my bodyguards would have done it, I pleaded with her, “Just give the right to take my own life. That’s all.” And I lied. “I’m going to the heavens.”
It wasn’t easy to step on to the podium. Precisely when he was explaining that Enrique’s body was being preserved until the construction of the second mausoleum, then, I pressed the trigger, yelling, “You die now.” I took off the mask and held my brother’s bleeding face next to mine and said, speaking to the microphone: “Here is your President Enrique Vitalarga. He is finally dead.”
There was a carnival feeling at that moment, but the only person I could hear was my mother sobbing. She lay on the floor, dampened in my brother’s blood. She never looked at me as the police took me away.
Handcuffed and heavily guarded, I could hear the crowd yelling, “Finally dead.” They were celebrating the upcoming Presidential Funeral, but I couldn’t think about that. I was pleading for forgiveness with my mother, with my brother, with myself. But I couldn’t ask forgiveness of my country: I have given them what they want it. A captain ordered officers to lead me to a police patrol instead of one of the cells in the Morte Palace basement. As soon as I was there, the captain shot the police officers and took me in a helicopter. The trip lasted three days until we arrived at this thatched-roof house in the middle of a forest. Sometimes, foreign reporters came to ask me things like: “Are you and your mother aliens who never get sick like everybody else?” or “Many affirm that you always suffered from the Syndrome and not your brother. Can you comment on that?”
It has been six years since my brother’s death. The Obituary Times continues to report that I am the founder of Capital Punishment for the President (CPP), the guerrilla group that brought me here. Those revolutionaries hung a banner in the lobby of this house. “For the Right to Execute the President.”
There is always a revolutionary who usually answers all the questions for me during the press conferences. This revolutionary is the same pallbearer who pulled his muscle years ago during Maribel Santillana’s funeral.
He has thanked me many times for killing my brother, saying, “I faked the muscle pain with the intention of shooting the President, but I never expected he was going to take my place. And we never thought you were with us to complete the task.”
They don’t want to understand that, if I didn’t kill my brother, he would kill me first. And I truly wanted my brother to enjoy his Mausoleum. I wanted a stop to the country’s turmoil and to have a presidential funeral. I wanted to be free of the political game I got entangled in. But I cannot say this to the reporters because the revolutionaries threatened to send me to United Tombs where I would be sentenced to endure life support.
I’m really not sure about this movement of executing the President. I dream of a world where I can live to live, and not in the world where I live to die. Democracy cannot be the government of the sick, for the sick, and meant to kill everybody. The opposite statement, ‘Democracy of the healthy,’ seems equally wrong.
Even though I’m healthy with no signs of dying soon, I still want my natural death and hope to reincarnate again this time without a twin brother. And I want to make everybody understand that I hate politics, that I’m not an alien, that I don’t have any power. That in the end, I killed my brother, because he was sick…of power, because we are all pretty sick.