The chicory kid
If it would get your attention, I could tell you that the boy in question wore colors and spoke street English. His death, while tragic, is part of the American argot, just the latest Indian who has duly given up his land.
Deep in our psyche is a man who settles disputes with force. John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, an American Moses who turns the Mississippi red with blood. Even if you’ve never watched a single Western, you are waiting on Shane to ride into town.
The facts are these: He was a boy of middling height, approximately sixteen. Caucasian. There were no exist wounds on his body. He was lying in a patch of weeds.
By the time the cops arrived, someone had moved the body. Until his identity was determined, he was known as “the chicory kid” down at CID.
When at last his mother was found, she barely remembered her son. He had walked out on his family years before. She had offered him a house, two cars, twin sisters, summer vacations at the shore and a stepfather. He had wanted “more.”
It took the lead detective flashing a grade school photo to get mom talking. “You try so hard to make things work, officer. We just figured he’d return or eventually we’d hear from him.”
To the west, the land rises upward before it crests, brilliant white, finally sloping down to a sea whose name means peace.