Friday May 12, 1968
The following is off record.
[I have taken great pains to be where I am now. In fact, what I have done to get here may not be entirely legal. My reasoning for being here is simply curiosity. I am not permitted to share this in any official or public capacity – on pain of having my career thrown out the window.
I am at Lankford County Rehab Center. The cluster of buildings are far off the beaten path for purpose of shielding the patients from the prying eyes of society. Imposing lines of ancient trees surround the complex - as does a high iron fence. It is early may and the sun is bright. Warm air blows across the manicured grounds and many of the patients here are lounging in the massive garden.
I am ushered inside second building by a stern faced man. He leads me deep inside, through a maze of corridors. This building is different from the others, I imagine. A few hysterical screams puncture the eerie quiet that hangs on this building like a wool blanket. The man leads me to room 113. He opens the door softly and the aroma of fresh flowers wafts out. With a muttered warning, I am allowed to go in.
The room is pleasantly lit, a large open window letting in the warm afternoon sun. There are furnishings in here that remind me of a hotel room. In the far corner, sitting cross-legged on the bed, is Alex Zeeta.
He fairly young looking. The shaggy beginnings of a beard cover the bottom half of his face. His hair is clean cut and short. He wears a pair of sweat pants and a blue and orange striped tee shirt. There is a flash of something wild in his eyes when he first sees me but it is quickly shut down. He makes no move to greet me but I didn't expect a greeting anyway.]
Alex, I would like to ask you a few questions. Is that alight?
(He eyes me warily but then nods)
How are you doing?
[I notice a vase of flowers on the table]
Those are nice, who brought those for you?
(Alex's eyes flick to the colorful arrangement and then back to me)
A friend. She likes to pick flowers.
What are you reading?
(He clutches a worn book in his hands. A sour look crosses his face)
What's it about?
(He scoots backwards an inch or two and frowns)
I know what you want to talk about. Can you just get it over with?
(Alex fingers a band of pink fleshy skin that circles his neck. It's quite possibly the largest scar I've seen on someone)
When were you taken?
I was fifteen. They grabbed me when my mom died.
Gary and his friend.
(Alex's face grows hard)
Said it was good for me.
Where did they take you?
To his house.
(He smiles bitterly)
But I made too much noise in the house so they moved me.
To the shack?
It was too old. Easy to escape from.
Did you escape?
Twice. They found me. Took me back.
(Alex glares at me)
Everyone. Said I-I was-
(He stutters over his words, frowning to himself as his eyes search the wall behind me)
I was…evil. Had to be contained.
(Alex's lip curls up in disdain at the word)
I'm sorry. I don't want to talk anymore.
[The man before me has shut down. He suddenly appears to be weary: as if he's just aged twenty years. There is such a vacancy in his eyes. I nod and slowly walk towards the door. Before I leave, I feel as though I should let him know the latest news about Pinecrest]
Three people have been arrested for aiding Mr. Potter. Did you know that?
(Alex's head snaps up in surprise)
Really? That's all?
Should there be more?
(His eyes narrow)
They shouldn't have room left in the prison.
Was the whole town involved?
(There is suddenly something savage in Alex Zeeta's eyes)
I'm just sorry I passed out before I could get to them.
[I suddenly don't know if I want to continue with this line of questioning. But I do so regardless]
Would you have killed them all?
(Alex suddenly deflates. His shoulders sag under an invisible weight)
I don't know. Maybe I am what they said I was.
(His fists ball up around wads of blanket)
No. No I'm not.
Alex, do you know why they did this to you?
(He looks at me now with tears in his eyes)
[It is suddenly very hard to breathe in here. I am at a loss for words. I thank him for his time and walk with stiff legs to the door]
(Alex is looking at me with wet streaks down his cheeks)
If you find out w-why c-could you…let me know?
[I can't seem to find my voice to answer him. I nod]