Facts are easy. Truth is elusive.

3/19/10
I sit, blurry eyed at the prospect of another long day ahead of me and yearn for coffee in the worst way. Personal events take precedence over public events this day and my concentration wanes without caffeine to coax it gently back between the guardrails of my reality. This work continues to boggle the imagination and I catch myself having late night and early morning conversations with the now too familiar face of my 8×10 Charley. I confess at times I know too much about his life and then in the same stroke of insanity, I demand that he stop holding back vital information to my research. Like a belligerent child he balks at my insistence and where uncommitted Mona Lisa lips once held court, now a cheeky grin emerges. His eyes, once pale blue and vacant now spark with fire and ice and change their vibrancy based upon my questioning. I am caught off guard by his reactions. They run the gambit from tender mercies for his children– to outright rage for the betrayal of his mistress. I read and reread transcripts from both sessions to be certain I have not missed a clue, continually reappraising what I know I can prove and what I hope I can prove. I reconstruct the murder…blow by blow, in the order of escalation, as told by its victim.

I refocus my mental lens and add peripheral information retrieved after the fact, careful not to omit anything. It is like painting a Monet backwards. Bits and flecks of alleged scenarios, names, dates and liaisons lay sullen and uncooperative upon a darkened palette. Charley’s face looms center- detailed now with textured layers of colored emotions, playing with shadow and light. I hear his cries of anguish, his sarcastic and caustic laugh, tender reveries and wonder how this man addressed his maker in the final seconds of his life. It is the collective picture of these tiny bits and flecks of information which elude me still. So eager to complete this portrait of a man, I pick up timid brush and with feeble strokes record the events of that night as I know them so far. Once finished I stand back and view the carnage, still incomplete. I try to fill in the edges, placing feathered greens against the ruddy red clay and slowly add the drool of midnight rain as it puddles and pools atop coagulated blood in the dim of a headlight’s glare. It is there in that half light that Charley will eternally lay.

This is the image that haunts my nights. Unlike a piece of art, I am reminded that this is one man’s life and one man’s hour of death.

I glance again at Charley’s 8×10 and smile while half digested clues ferment in my gut…wondering if I am still up to the job. Patience and trust he whispers through painted lips… all will be revealed in good time. I eye my watch and wait with baited breath for the next windfall of information. Maybe tomorrow, maybe tomorrow.

Facts are easy. The truth is elusive.
I am reminded that this is part of my journey and that I am not meant to deconstruct Rome in a day—only to understand how it was built before the fall from grace. While I talk about things I have yet to discover, I am also reminded about all the things I have already discovered. My gratitude is endless to those both in and out of organizations that continue to climb these steps beside me. I know I must tread lightly in their shoes, for they are trusting that I not lead them further away from the truth we all seek.
Until later then…

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