The only extraordinary event in Gerald’s life besides his birth, was his mysterious death.
His mother unexpectedly gave birth to him in a taxi. As the driver radioed for help, she cut the cord with a ragged key edge and abandoned her newborn on the seat.
Gerald left the orphanage at 14, performed unskilled labour for 44 years, and never married or fathered a child. He paid bills, played ponies and wondered occasionally about his mother.
Pulled dead and naked from Lake Erie, someone had written in brown mascara on his back: ‘Poena damni’.
Latin for ‘Pain of the damned’.
E. Ann Bardawill, 2009