Today something very odd happened to me, and I’m writing it down here quickly to try to record every detail.
I boarded a flight in Denver, on my way back to Costa Rica this morning. I ended up sitting next to someone who looked familiar and I asked him if he played poker in Costa Rica. He said he had, and that I had looked very familiar to him as well. Then he dropped the bomb on me, saying “did you know Alvin….” He finished his sentence but I was a bit taken back and didn’t catch it. Alvin was a poker buddy who was murdered in 2007 and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. “I was his roommate,” he continued and once again Alvin was the subject of the kind of surprise that floors you (when he died, a Costa Rican had joked to me about how the person in the news must be my friend because he was an American, and then I looked and it actually was).
Alvin had died in a gruesome scene that I won’t go into in detail except to note that three people had been found stabbed to death, Alvin had seemed to have killed two of them in the initial reports (that speculated about a love triangle gone wrong) and part of what made it hard for me was that I didn’t know what had happened, I didn’t even know if my buddy Alvin had started it. And because he was a poker buddy, and I didn’t even know his last name or anything it didn’t seem like I’d ever get closure on this. He was just one of those guys you knew from seeing all the time but whose family and friends were strangers to me. It’s not like I’d hunt down his family to try to find out what had happened.
But today, serendipitously I found out what went down by happening to sit next to his former roommate and co-worker from Pokerstars on the plane. I won’t go in to the gory details (that were hard, but relieving to hear) but I will say that it appears to have been a case of Alvin being the kind Alvin I knew and that the other two had begun stabbing him in his sleep in order to rob his place. He was left for dead but got up and killed them both while they were loading up his stuff in his car to take away.
It’s hard to explain, but I am so very deeply relieved to find out that Alvin was the victim of their disgustingly stupid plan to rob him as opposed to what else could have been the case to make him kill two people. Back when it happened I thought it was the case, and I stopped walking around with a wad of thousands of dollars like he used to (it’s a poker thing, we need to carry money to be able to buy into the games), but the story the newspapers tried to sell about a love triangle left a little doubt in my mind that he might not have been the kind person I thought he was. It is insanely weird to find out this way so much later that this doubt can be put to rest, but it feels strangely peaceful to do so.
Rest in peace Alvin, you were good people and you went out strong against those fucking bastards. I may be a bad person for saying this but I’m glad you killed them, what they did to you was nothing short of disgusting after the kindness you showed them and how you let them into your home.