All in JUNE 2018 (V.I I.III)
As a young man I was fascinated by allegorical treatments of death, but not much threatened by them. It was only a movie, a novel, a poem. I was well-buffered by the actuary’s tables. But now I am in my mid-70s on a trail blazed with abandoned body parts.
And here I was, so many years later, in the thick of homeless vagabonds fighting over turf. I wondered why I had felt compelled to find this place again. I’d been to many places twice, usually at my dad’s request, even spreading his ashes at Shiloh, a place he’d taken me as a child.
Burning fecal matter is more difficult than it sounds. The stench is putrid and fetid and hits you when you first approach, making you retch. You have to endure it while you prep, and it’s even more belligerently unpleasant when set ablaze.
When someone runs away, and it’s clear they're not coming back, after a while you stop wondering where it is they went. You realize how huge the world really is, how they could be anywhere—anywhere—and the simple act of looking seems futile.
In public school they never mentioned the stories of Cyrus The Great. The only mention of his name in middle school led my classmates to stare at me. They called me a camel jockey