Sunday, August 17, 2008


Freeze warnings. In places with the last name of “Valley” …. Lucerne, Apple, and (you guessed it) Yucca. 29 degrees out in the bitter, dust drenched wasted land of the Hi-Desert. Performed two embalmings yesterday. The first was an elderly women. Used Plasdoform-25 fluid with good results in regard to skin texture and color. The second was a forty something year old female who committed suicide with sleeping pills. The note she left in crudely scrawled print started out: To Whom it May Concern ...

A thin, somewhat attractive half Latino, Mary O. was her name, and she was well abused and used up by life. It was obvious from the multiple scars, no doubt from savage beeatings by a dope fuled ex-biker boyfriend and stretch marks from child birth. Nicotine stained teeth, hard lines in the face, tattoos and even attempted tattoo removals. One tattoo in particular grabbed my attention. It was the outline of a crudely drawn heart. Black Indian ink. About an inch tall and 2 inches wide with an inch and a half scar going across the middle. Perhaps some ones name was once in the there. Maybe it was a knife scar she wished to erase from memory. It held my attention during the embalming and remains with me still: the heart shaped tattoo with the scar in the middle. Perhaps a metaphor for her suicide?

Regardless and in retro-grade, it begs the question: physical beauty abused by physical life? Trans-continental divides of back alley realities stand before the altar of pain. Chance the chess game my dear? In efforts thwarted by starved blue collar existence, Miss Mary is now a child again in the realm of the void … the empty darkness. She made the leap.

Going off to work at the Funeral Home. No doubt I will return again with the sorrow of another human tragedy pressing down on my soul. Seems as if everyone is just passing the time between birth and death. Wasted lives in slow decline. However, when you lay on that embalming table before ME ... no one is judged! All your sins and crimes are wiped clean.

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