Part 1 Robert Edward Kennan killed himself in the Fall of 1999. I wasn’t there but it’s where my story begins. It begins with Rob, 17 years old, sitting in a burning car in the middle of a crowded parking lot one Monday night in October....

I don’t know why, but for whatever reason, I’ve always been naturally sneaky. Without putting any effort into the endeavor, I was always scaring people, or at the very least making them jump. Sometimes even when I approached from the front, people wouldn’t notice me...

Last night, I was derailed from seeing a movie by a pal of mine 'J,' who needed a ride to a barbeque, with an invite as barter. Damn right I could see the movie another time! We arrive at Lindsey's house, where her roommates were all running about, organizing the contents of 11 empty grocery bags; meat here, condiments there, booze here, etc... I'd noted to Lindsey that I liked her new home, it's much bigger, roomier, and safer than her previous one, to which she looked a little puzzled. "You... you must be referring to the house on 'Nashville St,' because you never saw..." "...the other one," Lindsey's roommate Emily finished. "So... you don't know the story of the place in between the place you knew us to live in and this one, right?" Lindsey asked. I just stood there, curious of all of the wide-eyed, uneasy looks, making myself wordlessly obvious that I'd not a clue. They called in the third roommate, Brianne, followed by J. They took turns adding in their 'two-cents,' confirming little details, adding others, to which they all agreed upon as the story progressed. Rather than make this a back-and-forth story of four people interjecting, I'll tell it to you third-person. On Carrollton Avenue in New Orleans, Lindsey had parted with her previous roommate, and got together with two girls from school she didn't know so well, Brianne and Emily, and got a decent place. The place in question was rather roomy, in a good location, and, above all, a hell of a bargain. This house, like most in the neighborhood, is nearly one hundred years old. When Emily and Lindsey arrived to move their belongings in, they saw a note on the door of the furthest room from the front door, there was a note by Brianne, saying that she'd already claimed it, which annoyed the other two girls. A blessing in disguise.

My father was a military man. Retired back in '95 from the Navy after 20 years of proud service to our country. But before that, we moved often... every 3-4 years or thereabouts we'd pack up and get shipped somewhere new. Early 1989, a wonderful opportunity arose and dad took it. A 16 hour flight later, and we were stationed at N.A.S Sigonella, Sicily. I guess I was about, ohhh 10 or 11 at the time. Those years were blurred save those pinpricks of memory that still haunt me. That still plague my dreams from time to time. Our first home there was an apartment in a complex called "Bellavista" far from the Naval base. There was a waiting list to move into Base Housing that generally ran for about a year and a half's wait. Until your time to move, you had to live amongst the locals wherever you could. Bellavista was a beautiful place... we lived on the upper floor of the complex and had a wonderful view of the countryside off our back balcony. At night, one could look up at the night sky and see a thin trail of fiery red lava slowly ebbing from still active Mt. Etna. And in the morning, everything left out in the open was often found to be blanketed ever so slightly in volcanic ash, almost like a light dusting of snow. But naturally, as perfectly nice as Bellavista was, it wasn't meant for us for long. The lnadlord's daughter was pregnant, engaged... and homeless. Guess who got the boot? So we moved, with the landlord's assistance, into another home. Motta S. Anastasia, a little cobblestone-streeted town near Catania, and much closer to the Navy base. The day we drove up to the new place, I felt ill. Of course, nothing was thought of this at the time, but I'd swear in retrospect I was being told something. The place was a 3 story house with an apartment on each floor. I really don't remember the neighbors, but both were similarly Navy families. And I can imagine I pissed them off a lot with the screaming. Dad unlocked the door and proceeded into the small entryway. The cobblestone street gave way to a marbled floor entrance and a matching set of marble stairs up to the second floor, which was our new home. The place was stunningly beautiful. Marble floors... glass french doors into the living room area... balconies attached to nearly every room, save the one that was to be mine. Claw foot bathtub...bidet... all the modern conveniences expected of a home in Europe.