top of page
< Back

Ciao Marsha

by Elia Bonci

IG: @elia.lien


I had turned off all the lights but one. My house overlooking the Christopher Street Pier screeched in the deafening silence that echoed only my terrified heart. Drowsiness almost had the better of me when, suddenly, a half-hearted, hoarse and pained cry brought me back to my senses. I had turned off all the lights but one, and in fear of being caught poking my nose into other people's business, I left the kitchen light on, to give the impression that I had actually forgotten to turn off that light. Then I peeped my head out of the window overlooking the Hudson River, and began to roll my eyes back and forth, up and down, curiously searching for where that scream that had shaken me from the inside had come from. I remained, I think, for a few minutes with my eyes between the stars and the black waves of the river, but I didn't seem to see anything. Sometimes tiredness plays nasty tricks, I must have imagined that scream, that cry of pain that tore the night apart. Disappointed, but also glad that nothing had happened, I went straight to my bedroom, where after slipping into clean pyjamas, I collapsed into a deep sleep. A few hours later, two distinct voices, bickering animatedly, pierced the heart of the night, disturbing my sleep. Animal, slut, half-woman, faggot, get out of these streets or I’ll get ya out of your life, this was what one of the two voices uttered, a voice which sounded to me like a man's. No one spoke back to those violent words - only a clatter of heels on the asphalt that seemed to be running away from something. Tac, tac, tac, tac, tac, tac, tac, tac, tac. With my heart almost leaping out of my throat, I started walking at a leisurely pace down the corridor, trying to reach the window in absolute silence to take a look at what was going on out there. Just putting my eyes and then my nose to the open air, I realised that the whole city had been swallowed up by the darkest night. There is only a small, dim light illuminating a stretch of road: that of my kitchen window which I have left on. I glance down the middle of the street to see what is going on, but I still can't see a thing. All I hear is the clacking of the heels of who I assume is a woman trying to run away from someone. These are my people, this is my place, this is me, I will die for this. I only manage to hear her speak, as she utters these few sentences with firmness, without fear in the timbre of her voice, without hesitation. Then a thud, a noise that is a gigantic, heavy crack, which sounds like broken bones and ripping flesh. The woman lets out a short, strangled cry, with a faint voice and breath that I believe to be her last. I turn my head and see her: a silhouette of a woman lying on the ground, her legs crossed, limp, having given way to death. One shoe still perfectly fitting on her right foot, the other a few metres away. A long, brown fur covers her entire body, revealing only her head and ankles. She has a huge hole on her skull, split in half, from which blood spurts out. The murderer then turned towards me, as if he had realised that a bulging pair of eyes just saw him perform an atrocity.

I jolted awake all shaken up and all sweaty. With eyes still slumbering I turn my face towards an indistinct sound I hear and try to decipher. Marsha P. Johnson died on 6 July 1992 in New York under circumstances still to be clarified. These are the last words I seem to hear as I watch the credits roll against the black background. I had turned off all the lights but one, that of my PC screen while watching a documentary on Netflix.

bottom of page