Three Views of Grime & Punishment

By Rick Segreda


(a) Third Person omniscient

Juan-Pablo kept at least one index finger nail a little bit long for moments like these. And this was one of those moments; he now regretted taking the convertible in dusty weather. The amount of crust in his nostrils was driving him to distraction. Silently begging his late grandfather -- laid out before him in a sharp suit -- for forgiveness, Juan-Pablo discreetly wandered behind the statue of San Gregorio and picked his nose clean. But now Juan-Pablo faced a new dilemma: he forgot his handkerchief. Silently begging San Gregorio for absolution, he discreetly rubbed his left index finger on the inside hem of San Gregorio's garment.

(b) First Person participant

"I had two choices; to take the van or take the convertible. It was a hot day, the van burns fuel like the sun, and there's no air conditioning. So I go for the convertible. I figure, I don't want to show-up at my abuelito's funeral as if I ran to it. But I forgot that it's all dirt roads to Aldea del Suerte. By the time I get there I've got attack of the killer boogers in my nose. I look down at abuelito, tell him I am sorry, then sneak behind San Gregorio. But would you believe I forgot my hanky? And me wearing nothing but polyester? That won't absorb like cotton. So I look up to San Gregorio, and hoping that he forgives trespasses, grab the hem of his bishop's dress and take care of business."

(c) Second Person

You could tell Juan-Pablo was uncomfortable. The way he shifted his eyes left and right, as if he had a secret. What was going on, you wondered? This was his grandfather's funeral -- was there something fishy about the way the man died? Well, Juan-Pablo did indeed have a secret, and it came out, literally, behind the figure of San Gregorio, attired in actual Bishop's wardrobe. What was this secret? Figure that it involved Juan-Pablo's big nose, his left index finger, and fingernail, and, ultimately, the hem of San Gregorio's dress. If you haven't figured it out by now, you can pay a visit to the Iglesia de San Gregorio in Aldea del Suerte. But as they say, fools rush in where angels fear to tread.