He fakes everything. He prides himself in pulling the wool over people’s eyes, and in fact, could fool a sheep, if he had a mind, too.
Growing up with him in school, he once faked his own death to prove that he was as good as Christ and could rise again on the third day. While we all used the dying of our grandmothers as to why we couldn’t do homework, he gave a while litany of disaster, the full throes of agony, heart attack one time, cancer another, sometimes killing her off outright in the end, other times managing some miracle cure he concocted himself, delivering it all with scratchy black and white pictures he said showed the dead body before prayers or some drug he claimed to have invented brought her back.
He never killed her off the same way twice, and never more than once a year so that he had to invent a whole new story for a whole new teacher – part of the challenge, he told me once when I asked how another grandmother had died when I knew for a fact that all the ones he was entitled had perished to plaque or some other disease from the Congo in the first few years after Kindergarten.
The devil, he said, was in the details. The more information he produced, the more evidence he could show, the less teachers questioned its authenticity. By 8th grade, he was so good at the routine, he had his grandmother abducted by space aliens, and Sister Concepta, who we knew didn’t believe in space aliens, believed in his, telling him as she gave him a sympathetic pat on the shoulder, “You must have mistaken them for angels.”