Grave Beginnings: 18

Posted: October 18th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: | No Comments »


At first, Negroes thought it funny. A disease that could make a Haitian blacker? It was the joke of the year. Everybody in our sector accusing everybody else of having it. You couldn’t display a blemish or catch some sun on the street without the jokes starting. Someone would point to a spot on your arm and say, Diablo, haitiano, que te pasó?

Le Negrura they called it.

The Darkness.


These days everybody wants to know what you were doing when the world came to an end. Fools make up all sorts of vainglorious self-serving plep — but me, I tell the truth.

I was chasing a girl.

I was one of the idiots who didn’t heed any of the initial reports, who got caught way out there. What can I tell you? My head just wasn’t into any mysterious disease — not with my mom sick and all. Not with Mysty.

Motherfuckers used to say culo would be the end of us. Well, for me it really was.


In the beginning the doctor types couldn’t wrap their brains around it, either.

The infection showed up on a small boy in the relocation camps outside Port-au-Prince, in the hottest March in recorded history. The index case was only four years old, and by the time his uncle brought him in his arm looked like an enormous black pustule, so huge it had turned the boy into an appendage of the arm. In the glypts he looked terrified.

Opening paragraphs from Monstro
by Junot Díaz


Art by John Kenn Mortensen

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