Thursday, April 8, 2010

On Death and Dying

Another old journal entry....this one more poetic

Death is constantly all around us. "We have to decorate this dying day..." Death walks in and out of my mind almost daily. Fallen brethren, family members deceased, and all the other unknown souls, too, seem to haunt my brain at times. Sometimes I also wear the expression of death. After all, we all really are dying...our lives speeding like a rocket towards the unknown planet of Death.
Falling away from life. Obsession with death...and dying. Keeps one in the wake of disaster, and keeps one from really living. But, what is living anyway while we are surrounded in the atmosphere of dying?
Death has a particular scent, and once you smell will never forget its odor. You can sometimes see death in its victim's eyes. "His eyes had a dead expression, cold and unfeeling." looking into dead eyes, a shock wave runs up my spine. I know the reaper lurks close behind.
I guess I have worn the expression of death long enough to recognize it. I spent years and years trying to die, yet somehow I lived through it. The presence of death is always around us. The expression of death, worn like a mask. A foreboding future is all we see when the mask of death presents itself.
We are all dead or dying. Death is merely a part of life's continuum. As the sun and moon turn each day, we are catapulted closer and closer to death. Every one's ultimate ending is death...there are no exceptions.
Have you ever touched a dead body? It is a horrifying experience that one is not likely to forget. Cold, lifeless, and blue. More shocking to me was the stiffness as rigor mortis had set in. The body is stiff as a board, although not light as a feather.
Lifting a dead body during the Hurricane, I was surprised how heavy it was. I guess that is why they call it dead weight. I never felt anything so heavy in my whole life. It took three of us to lift the body and move it even a few feet. Cold, blue, stiff...and heavy as a motherfucker.
The smell of death filled the house for days. The stench of death wafted around the city of New Orleans for months. Sometimes, in certain places, I swear I can still smell it. You could always feel death in the city, even more so after Katrina.
The totality and finality of the situation did not really set in until I returned to the city months later. Immediately, I was met by that distinctive smell of death. The immanent smell of death and decay, lingering, becoming all to familiar.
Already, there was too much decay in the city of New Orleans. The city stands as a perfect example of decay, built on crumbling ruins where the old city remains with its renovations and improvements. Bright neon lights of Bourbon Street contrasting with the old architecture.
A city already crumbling to ruins by debauchery. Its people decaying faster than most, filling themselves with drugs and alcohol. A city built on the soft, swampy land of Southern Louisiana. Land that is barely stable enough to support all this the city is sinking far below sea level while buildings shift and we are faced with crumbling decay.
Just look around the streets, and the evidence of decay is seen in so many eyes. The strippers trampling through the Quarter wear the placid look of death and addiction. The bums begging for change also wear the mask of death behind their sunken eyes. Circumstance causing death and decay to accelerate to great deterioration. Junkies gather near Iberville, the look of death often pervades the sickness as they sit and wait for a cure to their incurable disease. Tourists, blind drunk, have a dead look in their eyes...their brains deadened by alcohol. The smell of rot exudes from the Quarter from spilled alcohol, puke, and leftover food. Now, the smell of human death tops the smell of the Quarter.

No comments:

Post a Comment