December Twelve: Bodies

I took a class at the community college. A persuasive speech class. A lot of crazy and lazy students giving speeches. A speech on “the ninety-nine percent” and some vague notion of solidarity. Trite socialist non-arguments and nonsense words strung together with stoned passion. A speech on free energy machines. Big oil killed everyone who tried to make one. You can harness the earth’s natural energy fields and power your home, you know, if big oil didn’t kill the inventors and steal the prototypes. Same reason they killed Tesla.

I was outspoken in class, questioning claims to knowledge that seemed baseless (there were many). I cracked jokes. I made the class laugh dozens of times while everyone else acted uptight and shy and stoic. I gave a speech attempting to dissuade my classmates from pursuing higher education and incurring the absurd costs. It seemed like a delightfully appropriate speech to give to a junior college class. I asked them if they wanted to be indentured servants to their student loans. I told them they would never be truly free or at ease with debt hanging over their heads. I told them what a Bachelor’s degree in a liberal arts subject is worth. A good speech touches the heart before it touches the head.

There was a girl I sat next to in class. She looks like she’s fifteen. Her face is beautiful and her body is petite and she is very short. She would bend over and I would catch a glimpse of her bright red thong. I wanted to fuck her immediately. The fact that I only showed up to about half of the class sessions and always showed up late made building rapport with her difficult. We would only exchange a few words here and there but she seemed to like me well enough. After class I said “what are you doing right now? Let’s go get (on campus) coffee.” She was happy to go and so we started walking to the cafe while shooting the shit, talking about our classmates whatnot. She was shy and a little weird but seemed like she was more interesting than anyone else in the class and, you know, I wanted to bang her.

I asked what she did for work. She’s said she’s a body snatcher. She pulls dead bodies out of houses and sticks them in a fridge at a funeral home for eleven dollars an hour. They typically send her alone. This isn’t a problem because the corpses are usually in bed and she can just kind of slide them out onto a gurney and into the van. The funeral home will send another employee if the body is over three-hundred pounds or if there’s a bloody mess to clean up. She is part of the clean-up crew as well.

Lots of people die on the toilet she told me over coffee. Old people mostly. When you’re having a heart attack, she says, it feels like you have to shit. So people sit down on the can and don’t ever stand back up. They do shit too but only after dying an agonizing death, bare-assed on the cold porcelain.

Lots of people commit suicide. It happens all the time. Your neighbor could be stringing himself up in his garage right now so when his girlfriend comes home she’ll find him hanging there. “Look what you did to me, you cunt” his grimacing face says to her in the wordless language of spite. She screams and cries and calls the police. They phone the funeral home who dispatches the body snatcher. This cute little girl shows up in a size zero suit jacket. She comes in and cuts the man down and wheels him into a van that she can barely see over the dashboard of. A family member of the departed, still in shock and stricken with grief fills out the paperwork with a shaky hand. “I’m sorry for you loss” she says. “Sign here.” Day in, day out. Hopefully enough people in our area died today so she can make at least fifty bucks. She looks at dead people every day.
She sees their mouths agape, their lifeless stares.

There are trends in suicides. A gun in the mouth is still a popular choice for older men. College students have recently begun inhaling helium through CPAP masks to die in a painless sleep. She’s pulled multiple students out of dorm rooms with CPAP masks rigged to helium tanks still on their faces.

She once walked into house to find a teenage boy who had slit his wrists. He cut deep into his arteries with a razor blade. Curiously, he had bandaged up his wrists and walked into his bedroom where he collapsed with his cellphone in his hand and then bled out. He apparently regretted his suicide attempt but passed out from blood loss and died. “When you lose blood, it calms you down and it gets you thinking a bit more clearly” she tells me. Wrist cutters usually make some attempt to fix themselves – it’s not uncommon. His parents were mortified. They didn’t want to give up the body. They didn’t want to give up their son even though he was clearly dead. They questioned her identity against all reason. Is your ID badge real? Why is the van unmarked? Who the hell are you anyway!? She says “You called us or the police did. We were given your address. We’re taking him to the funeral home.”Please don’t take my boy. My beautiful baby boy.

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