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.

AMM

A Little Lesson In Life

RDP Tuesday: PASSAGE

Sometimes we plan our trips and vacations and our moves from one home to another- and sometimes they are planned and executed by someone else for us- or more specifically  to us.

Sometimes we have to take a little time out to reflect on our lives and what it all meant and sometimes other people do it for us:

Photo A.M. Moscoso

But when it comes right down to it, Life is Cruel and so is Death and life is funny and dramatic and so is Death- in my opinion though Death seems to enjoy it’s job so much more.

I wonder why that it so.

Knee High By The Fourth of July

RDP Thursday – Farm

“That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
‘Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?”
T.S. Eliot

When you write tales of the macabre, when your interests involve forensics, when you are fascinated by the terrible things people do to each other because it’s not the act but the justification that actually captures your imagination then in your research and travels and the strange places to learn about these things,  you end up meeting some unique people and you are bound to learn about places like The Body Farm.

The Body farm is a place where corpses are planted and set out in various stages of being and they are left there to let nature takes it’s course and while nature and the corpse are working together to return the body to the Earth people who study forensic science study them.

It doesn’t smell great, bugs are involved and what was once inside of us finds a way to briefly, to have  their  moment in the Sun.

Odd imagery aside- Body Farms are important places of learning and study; they’re not amusement parks.

Body Farms, like morgues and embalming rooms are sad places and they are lonely places but in the end, one corpse is willing to go through this experience to help the living understand what has happened to another corpse under much more tragic circumstances.

Noble as that is, it doesn’t make their situation any less sad or any less lonely and unlike their brothers and sisters, sleeping in cemeteries under neatly trimmed lawns and their resting places marked by tombstones and flowers- for a brief time the corpses at the Body Farms have some unglamorous  work to do.

 After their work is done, they are taken away to meet their  new neighbors in  their quiet gated community with the flowers and the green grass and shady trees  where they are free to  join them  in their  interrupted slumber.

But in the end, I think we can agree, it is a very well deserved rest.

 

 

 

Down At Last She Lies

Na/GloPoWriMo Prompt# 18 : Write an elegy of your own, one in which the abstraction of sadness is communicated not through abstract words, but physical detail. This may not be a “fun” prompt, but loss is one of the most universal and human experiences, and some of the world’s most moving art is an effort to understand and deal with it.

Vilhelm Hammershøi,

On a table next to her bed

three unread books

their spines turned towards the wall

on top of the books is box of Kleenex  stamped with birds and flowers

holding  them down, keeping them from running away, forgotten but not forgotten.

 

In the kitchen  behind a bag of flour

is a red box full of heart shaped chocolates

tied shut with a wilted silver ribbon

untasted , forgotten but not forgotten

 

Down in the basement piled inside of plastic crate with a light green lid

interred

behind bags of fertilizer,  rusted file cabinets and children’s bicycles

are

photograph albums full of smiling people,  sunshine, dogs and cats and Christmas trees

Forgotten.

Boxes of Well Dressed Bones

What if abandoned houses

are just homes

that nobody lives in anymore

 

What if cemeteries

are empty of

almost everything

except boxes of well dressed bones

 

What if the world

is alone

in a void full of dimming stars

warming nothing

but lifeless  space

and boxes of well dressed bones.

 

 Day four of Na/GloPoWriMo– The challenge! Write your own sad poem