Monday, May 6, 2013


He will meet you there.

She dusted off her jeans and pulled some slack before sitting down on her suitcase. The heat dug  into her brown skin ; she felt her throat closing up on her again. Boy,  did she ever hate having to go home to drama. Marie didn’t feel like this, she had enough of her own problems.

 Marie was just south of Clarksdale.  She had come quite a way from New Orleans and  she was dogged tired.  If only she could get to Memphis  before sunset, then she could make things right . Marie was feeling the heat now; she was exhausted from fatigue and needed some place to rest.  She felt the River city calling her home. A longing for familiar territory formed into a knot and caught her breath.   Who knows, she might just have to knock that bastard out because this girl was going home.
Her step-father was on Marie’s shit list. The entire time that Marie had been in the Parish; that asshole had been beating up on her mother. If her cousin hadn’t made a slip one night on the phone; Marie would have never known. Well, all hell was about to break loose, when Marie got to town. She might not be very big but she had her cute little pistol and that is all she needed. Well, a pistol , her gris gris and Marie would have that sucker begging for mercy. She smiled and tapped her suitcase. Her mind raced with thoughts of retribution as  a sand tornado spun up the highway whipping past her. Her dreads flopped around her smiling face and out in to the breeze. Marie’s lips moved in a silent chant. She wished she could be the wind. The wind had no worries and the wind was always free. Dropping her head, she shook her dreads and exhaled deeply. Marie continued to chant her prayer toward the ground as the tears came. A dark drop then another painted the dry dusty soil with Marie’s pain.

It was something between those moving lips which caused the wind to still and the sun retreat behind the singular cloud which hovered overhead. Marie moved her hands in a soft wafting rhythm then pushed them down as if lifting herself from some thick sludge. Her eyes opened and she focused on a broken bottle to the right of her converse sneaker. She tapped her foot. The sound of her shoe dropping onto the dusty earth pounded like a drum in her ear. It was working. In the distance, Marie heard it. The torment of his voice was unmistakable and the last twang of his guitar sent her heart into a nervous rythm. Marie stood and bit her quivering lip. Sweat covered her body; she gripped the mojo bag in her hand so tight her knuckles turned white. Her conjure burned her blood with a power that no one understood; regardless, Marie was scared…oh she knew the legends.

By the little black suitcase lay a phonebook; guess the poor girl thought she needed to take it from the cafe back aways. Marie didn’t need no phonebook, neither did she need a thing now. Marie was everything she wanted to be–free. Free from the oppressions of her humble home in the big easy, free from her family drama she so vehematly thought she had to take care of with her 45 and most of all–Marie was free from her flesh. No more did she have to deal with all those treatments for the sickle cell. Nobody knew she wanted so badly  to be free of all her troubles. She wanted to be free as the wind. How she loved the wind when it blew past her face. She often wished to be the wind–always moving, changing and then making its way back into the heavens. She took his hand and he brought it to his lips with a kiss. Marie smiled and dropped just one more tear for good measure.

The little black suitcase flopped over onto its side. In the distance a phantom hand plucked a string and another sand tornado whipped past the crossroads and dissipated beyond.


I don't remember exactly when it happened but I know that it will not go away. It's like a disease, it is. It is a debilitating thing that always seems to attack again when everything seems just fine and content in healing heartsville. I call it the plague, the pestilence... but once upon a time, I called it love.

I pushed the gurney faster because I really wanted to go home. She was busy lately with her "extra credit work", she called it.  It was later than late and I had had enough of this bloody thing and that bloody thing and the strange liquid containers. The things that surrounded me were putrid and smelly. The sweetness mixed with the sickening staleness of tissue and bone gave me the creeps. You would think that this was normal by now....working the graveyard with the dead...but it never grew old, and you never really got used it after all.

 The darkness was cool as I started into a sprint and passed the old wing of the mortuary. I had grown to love the darkness here actually because it covered the imperfections that I dealt with during the took my thoughts away from... The humans who dwelt among the living were irritating to say the least. They were always talking about silly things as the weather, new clothing and men. This thought again made my eyes roll and so I huffed and puffed with frustration. At the end of the corridor, I slowed and turned right making my way through the double doors and into the waiting area. Through there, I passed into the inner sancctum of the corpse market. I was done now...done as I would ever be and it was time to go home. I would spend the next several hours trying to sleep away the hatred from the past...again and again until I finally fell into the arms of sleep. And sleep was lovely and non judgmental. Sleep never asked me why and sleep never made me wonder either... sleep was not a man with blue eyes who never left me any peace. Sleep was just there, right there where I left it so that I could return and enjoy its company. I could sleep better now that I had changed my profession...and I knew I was only a matter of time.

 I pushed open the last set of doors positioned before the entry of the embalming room and moved the gurney over to the empty corner. I was finished with the nights routines and so I peeled off my gloved and threw them into the trash. Looking around, I noticed nothing in particular was out of place and so I went back into the adjacent room. I checked the shelves to make sure everything was in its place before turning off the lights. Nothing seemed amiss and so I walked on out into the outter entryway. Taking the paperwork from the desk, I signed out and returned the files to the cabinet. I was now free from all confines...even the holds of the dead.

"shhh...don't say a fuckin word."
His hands were rough and dirty and I could smell something akin to feces with a slight hint of ammonia. I was wondering beyond my fear if this man had wiped his ass with his hands. I pushed my face against his open palm and tried to figure out if that was all I was smelling. I smelled gasoline on his skin and that instantly alerted me of the fact that I should try and figure out if he had been pumping gas or if he had torched someone. I guess I watched too much Crime Scene Investigation or something. My eyes were wide and looking into his. I saw it then, the fear. This man was afraid and wasn't sure at all of what he was doing. I stared into his eyes and smiled beheathe his open palm.
"Bitch.. what are you looking at?" The perpetrator wrapped his arm around my neck and pulled me into the shadows. I could hear his breath in my ear as he whispered his intentions. His words quivered and stuttered into my attentive ear as I smiled bigger. He told me how he was going to rape me and I was going to let him. He told me that he was going to take what he wanted and if I was good and compliant, he would let me live. He proceeded to tell me how he would kill me if I made a know, the usual bullshit that most rapists spit when they are really scared beyond belief of what they are about to 'try' to do. As his breath neared my nose, I could smell the whiskey on his tongue and so I knew just how sure he was....not sure at all. I moved my face within his hand and tried to turn to face him but he knew that it was better if I couldn's see him. There was an ounce of intellect, after all, inside that thug mind of his and so he tightened his grip. All I could think about was how beautiful his eyes were in their fear and confusion; they reminded me of him..the one who...

The thug took a short gasp and I knew he was ready to commit his crime against my womanhood and so it was time.


It was just after sunset on 3rd St. and the smells from the nearby vendors was intoxicating. Authentic tacos mixed with street dogs wafted up and into the open cab windows inticing all sorts of tourists and locals alike. The smell of exhaust, gasoline and perfume mixed as well alerting and attracting other sorts to the streets of the city. There were so many smells, sights and sounds. A young girl crossed the street and disappeared into the alleyway between a local Italian eatery and the cleaners. She stopped abruptly before the dumpster, waited a moment then ran back the other way. Sounds of pain and exhaustion erupted from behind the dumpster. A short scream then a muffled cry proclaimed the end of something and then it was quiet.

A woman in her mid thirties walked from behind the dumpster and straightened her jacket. Her lip was bleeding, her arm was scraped and her jacked sleeve had been ripped half way off. She smiled and took a look around at her surroundings. Now, how was she supposed to do this? She remembered her car parked just at the other end of the alleyway, next to the pawn shop and so she returned to the man whom she had beaten.

"Now, you be quiet and....oh, what's the point?" She pulled the zip tie tighter around his wrists and drug him to this feet. "Walk!"


The night was quiet as it had ever been before. All the others left around 3 am giving me the chance to tie up any loose ends before the sun came up. I was exhausted from the night's work. There had been three bodies brought in that had to be done before I left. My fingers were sore from the scrapping and prying loose of various shards of metal. A bombing, a shooting and a strangulation. The last one was a breeze and so I gave way to a sigh as I finished the paperwork on cadavar number 3. I so hated the smell that wafted in the air....fermaldahide, as usual. What I would't give to change the smell of that chemical for just one day...maybe a lavender or lylac scented solution.

 Darla just kept dreaming of things that would never happen...typical.

Her boss had warned me of the inefficient way I had been working and I was stressed to the max. I knew that I needed to put in extra hours to improve my techniques but there just didn't seem like enough work when I had the time and vice versa. This girl felt powerless to do anything but trudge on and take the critique. I knew, after a while, that I would be up to par and he would appreciate my work. So unlike the man I knew before, he appreciated my work all right..up until he no longer had any use for me. I thought about it again and grew saddened. I just couldn't stop thinking about him.


We were all gone now....every last white coat had signed out and said their goodbyes to the dead. It was only me and the others...the corpses, the peices and parts of what brought their demise. We were all alone and so  I went to the secret place this time. I so wanted to get better, I did. I was so tired of bringing up the rear for the other perfectionists who worked here. I wanted this to be the right one, the right time and the place where I would belong for now on. I wanted this as I had wanted nothing else since...And I wanted to face my fears. I wanted to be rid of those things which had such a hold on me. The things and the thing called love...that once was love but had turned into a nothing. My mind was never at peace without it being stripped and laid prone for everyone to see. If I could practice, then maybe I could rid myself of the real problem in time. A figment...a symbol of something, maybe...but for now, there was something in the back of my mind that made no sense but would not stop screaming until it was fed. I made me act with these atrocities and I couldn't stop it...anymore than I could be done.

I opened the drawer and looked down at him. He smelled just as bad as he had before and maybe even worse since he had been encapsulated inside. I ran my hand along his jaw and admired his bone structure. His eyes were closed and so I couldn't be captured this time in their midst. I found a cloth and blindfolded him just in case he woke up again. I didn't want to look into those eyes while was just...wrong. I saw the places where I had stuck him with my night stick...they looked sad to me and so I looked away for a second. I guess these things just had to be. I had to get better, both professionally and emotionally.

"Oh sir...I am sorry for this. I never meant for it to be this way but I just cannot stop."  I spoke into his ear wondering if he would wake...even though part of me did not want him to; I was still curious about the prospect.

Grabbing hands full of the sheet on each side of him, I pulled and tugged until he was on the gurney. Then I made my way out and into the hallways....headed for the embalming room.


I didn't really want to go home now. It seems that the emptiness was still yawning widely from within me. He had woken for a moment but the pain was so excruciating that he couldn't keep his eyes open. I tried to get him to be quiet but he just wouldnt comply with me. After a while, he was gone...I mean really gone. I guess it was just too much for him to handle and here I was thinking he could handle anything. He was such a respectful and strong man...or was that the other guy. I am getting confused a little by them all. I seen his eyes and I knew it was you again. He was trying so hard to stay alive and to show me how strong a person he really can be. Then it was the thug in the alleyway, he was defying the fact that I had overcame him and I was just a girl. And this was just another version of strength I assume. I didn't want to go home now, I fetl unfilled yet. I thought this one would make it all better for me and make it all go away. I thought that killing love was all that I needed to do so that I could move on. But, he was still out there...somewhere, holding my soul in his front pocket and patting it lovingly. He knew the pain that I endured and the lengths that I had gone to rid myself of his torturous reduction. I could see him smiling now. I saw his eyes as they held the truth within them. He denied everything from his lips that was told in truth by his baby blues.

I pulled myself from the floor and peeled off my rubber gloves. I was done but yet, it had just begun. I grabbed the gurney and wheeled it outside the embalming room and down the corridor. The sun was rising and I had to make a decision. Should I keep practicing?

There is an understanding in this that cannot be conveyed with words on paper, with words whispered into the ear...there is only an understanding when the eyes meet each other. But then there is such raw and rare horror of it all that the eyes tend to hurt each other and their hosts. But there is a quickness of understanding there....there in the depths of honesty....there is something that only the dead covet. And within those dead eyes, for one moment, I am freed of you.