Rat Tale

RDP Tuesday: ODOR

Working in a Mall really did stink.


One summer

I took a vacation from work

and when I got back my work area smelled like death.


For real, it smelled like death because something had died.

” Something ”  turned out to be a huge  decomposing rat.


My Co-Workers were so  SURPRISED when I opened the door which is normally NEVER closed and the smell of decay raced out.

“That rat must have just died!” they said in surprise.

The rat, I said was not fresh, it probably died shortly after I went on vacation.

Oh, they said. Well. There is some Lysol under the bathroom sink in the Book Store Manager’s Office ( which is where I worked at the time ).

I should feel free grab that and use it- you know in MY work area which is separate from THEIR work area where if something say like a rat dies they don’t have to pick it up.

We all worked for the same company but that was putting to fine a point on things.

“Thanks I said, I think I’ll grab that giant can of air freshener and  spray YOUR area first to get rid of the over powering smell of bullshit.”

You wouldn’t think words can actually stink, but they really can.

Don’t they?



I’ll Be Home Late Tonight

I have learned over the last few days, that when I get a text from the Sounder that says, ” Medical Emergency ” it probably means someone was on the tracks and got hit by a train.

That’s what happened on Wednesday.

I was on my way home when someone sitting across from me said he just got a text from his friend that was riding on the train ahead of us and his friend had texted  that the train they were on hit someone.

Almost right after that we pulled into our first stop and then  we got word about the fatality and that we were looking at a two hour wait minimum.

Considering I was going to get to go home and my family wasn’t going to have to claim me at the morgue, I decided that I may as well not stress, stay with the train instead if racing for a bus or calling for an Uber  and that I would eventually get to where I needed to be.

Once we got going, we eventually got to the place on the tracks where the accident happened.

There were law enforcement cars, there was a Medical Examiner’s truck and then I saw a gurney. I was surprised that it was there, considering.

Our train was moving slowly   as we moved through the intersection, I looked out my window and I saw a leg, a little further down I saw part of a torso and then I saw the people who have to take care of situations like this one kneeling in a circle and working.

And that’s when some jackass who rides the train shouted out ‘ Oh my GOD.”

But she wasn’t crying out in horror, she sounded like she was at the movies or at a concert- she sounded  thrilled.

I write about death, I have worked in a Funeral Home, I have been there when my loved ones have passed away and I explore and study death and it’s influence in art and music an literature.

But here is the thing- when I am in the presence of Death I show it respect.

I respect the deceased, I respect the process, I respect the impact death has on what it touches.

I think that the passengers on my train, for the most part respected that- Not everyone looked and some people made it a point to NOT look.

If you were going to be a part of that moment, if you wanted to witness what death did on the tracks that day- then don’t act like that person lived and then died to give you a cheap thrill.

If there is  on thing I’ve learned about Death over the years, I’ve learned it has a way of catching those little moments where people did not respect the process  and it stores them away for the future.

For. Your. Future.