Friday, August 08, 2008

A Jar of Purple Heaven

We planted a plum tree by the end of our drive at the road where our neighbors walked their kids to school. They were the sweetest and most abundant plums I've ever seen; everyone would stop to pick and eat one or two, and leave smiling.

Our neighbor who let us use his pasture for our horses gave us a recipe book with plum pie written by his cousin in Montana.

One fall a woman and young daughter knocked on the door to tell me she read a story at school about making plum jam, and wondered if she could pick a box. The next week she brought us a jar of purple heaven.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Torturing Diego Garcia

Special Agent Diego Garcia left the Congressional oversight committee meeting wondering which of the members would rat him out. He could always call Pepe Escobar, but he was pretty sure his phone was already tapped. No matter what he did from here on out, Agent Garcia would either end up dead, disgraced, or disappeared. Would his grandchildren ever know?

As an orphan in Utah, Diego became a Mormon at age twelve to take advantage of the church welfare system. At eighteen he went to Brigham Young on a scholarship from the FBI. He was perhaps the only Mexican-American in Salt Lake who didn't swear, smoke or drink. Now, at age forty-five, he was on the verge of taking up two of these three vices.

Agent Garcia had no illusions about either the church or the bureau – they were both racist institutions. But Diego had bigger things on his mind since the morning he found the memo from the Vice President in the pants pocket of the corpse in the White House basement. The fact it was still in his own jacket pocket, and not in the evidence file, put Garcia in a no-win situation. Thinking about it put him over the threshold of vice number one.

The suicide of a member of the President's cabinet was not a news story that would go away. The Secret Service phoned Diego's desk daily, ostensibly to see how the investigation was going, but Agent Garcia knew which way the wind was blowing; the script called for character assassination, and Garcia had been dragging his feet. Earlier this week, he spotted the tail they'd put on him. One visit to the pharmacy and they'd have the photo they needed for an article about his own suicide.

Riding in the taxi back to his office, Diego decided to take early retirement – without notice. After drawing the max out of an ATM across from the federal building, Garcia caught the train to New York.

---from Torturing Diego Garcia by Jay Taber