How Did Your Work Day Go?

RDP Friday: Soon

Arnold Böcklin
Isle of the Dead: “Basel” version, 1880

Back when I worked as a Mortician’s Apprentice, one of my tasks was to drive out to the Doctor’s Offices and pick up the signed death certificates.

I usually didn’t mind.

It was a chance to get out of the office for a little while because Office Politics are everywhere. Even in a funeral home. So I’d grab a book and my list of Offices to stop at  and I would head out, free of having to deal with the living which was always a relief.

I tried to look put out on my way out the door. ” See you in an hour or six ” I’d say.

Every once and awhile the paperwork would be ready and I’d only have to wait for about an hour to get it. On a bad day I’d be there for hours.

One day, I was sitting in reception surrounded by kids with sniffles, adults looking feverish and pregnant women reading copies of Women’s Day with one eye and with their other eye they were looking at copies of Vogue and Mademoiselle on the tables in front of them and on that one day I had already been sitting there for over two hours.

I was bored. This was before we had the internet in the palm of our hands. So all I could do was sit and read.

And plot.

I do that when I’m sitting there with nothing to do and I’ve been sitting there with nothing to do for hours.

I always sat next to the wall the farthest away from the Reception Desk.  I did that on purpose. That way I could only see the back’s of people’s heads. For my own reasons I didn’t want to look at anyone’s faces and I didn’t want anyone to see mine. However, I did make sure to sit in the center of the row so that the receptionist would see me and not forget I was there.

I’m not sure what happened, why on that day for no reason, all of the sudden, just like that…poof. My patience was gone and at that moment, as my Nan would say the Devil took me by my elbow and whispered in my ear.

When the receptionist answered her phone and bent her head down and started to type on her keyboard, I moved up a row and sat in the center seat.

When she was done she looked up and back to where I had been sitting. She saw me and went back to ignoring me.

I went back to pretending like I was reading my book.

I worked my way from row to row sitting in the center seat over the NEXT TWO HOURS until I was due to arrive at the center of the first row.

The receptionist  looked up, smirked Elvis style  at a nice old lady with blue hair. I’m not sure how the nice old lady with blue hair reacted, but the Receptionist looked like she was choking on a chicken bone or something else sharp and uncomfortable.

I waved at the Receptionist and went back to my book.

A few minutes later the Receptionist waved me to the desk. She handed me a folder, but she kept a tight little grip on it. ” You are not funny. ”

I gave the folder a little tug and it slid from her grasp. ” Not in the slightest.”

I think we both expected I would say something grand and snarky like ” See you soon ”

I just told her the truth. ” I’m new at the Home. So you’re probably going to be seeing a lot more of me. They always pass these little chores on to people in my category. I don’t mind though,  you know why?”

Her face said  no and get the Hell out of here.

” I don’t mind because I can practice driving the hearse at the same time and you guys have the nice wide spaces near the front door so-”

” You did not-” she jumped out of her seat and tried to not run out the front door and I walked out the side door to where my Jeep was parked.

I had a nice drive back to work.

The sun was shining and me and the Devil at my elbow sang to Joan Jett all the way there.




Happy Caturday!

Today I want to celebrate Black Cats.

So, let’s celebrate these wonderfully lovable and spooky felines- starting with mine and then let’s move on to some great artwork by  Théophile Alexandre Steinlen and quotes from the Black Cat by Edgar Allen Poe.

Blitzer In A Tree
Photo A.M. Moscoso

“This latter was a remarkably large and beautiful animal, entirely black, and sagacious to an astonishing degree.”
― Edgar Allan Poe, The Black Cat

” Cat In The Moonlight “

“The fury of a demon instantly possessed me. I knew myself no longer. My original soul seemed, at once, to take its flight from my body; and a more than fiendish malevolence, gin-nurtured, thrilled every fibre of my frame.”
― Edgar Allan Poe, The Black Cat

Théophile Alexandre Steinlen

“With my aversion to this cat, however, its partiality for myself seemed to increase.”
― Edgar Allan Poe, The Black Cat

Théophile Alexandre Steinlen