Wednesday, June 20, 2007

quite a lot for having nothing to say

I've wanted to write for a couple days but everytime I sit down there is nothing. Blank. Void. Nada. I don't know why, because things happen everyday that I think are interesting, but then I sit down and it's gone.

Well, except today I got Mr. Smith in my eye. It's still bugging me too. He's a cremation and most of him was going to the cemetery for scattering, but his family wanted part to keep. Well, the crematory separated him, but one of the little bags wasn't closed, so when I picked it up, puff, ashes flew everywhere. Right in my face, straight in my eye. Disgusting. Plus it hurt like the dickens. Very calmly, I said, "I got Mr. Smith in my eye". New FD just looked at me. The courier started to laugh. Of course, it probably was funny. In a very weird way. Plus his real name made the whole thing sound crazier, cuz it's a strange name. I wear glasses, no one told me I should wear safety glasses.

This might be gross, sorry, I'd say don't read it, but that would make you, so just know I'm trying hard not to make it gross. Crematory Girl came to pick up two people. We pulled the first out of the cooler and onto the cot. They are wrapped in white plastic body bags, sometimes taped closed, sometimes not. I opened the bag and checked the toe tag, yep, right person. I commented that I didn't know how she could not wear gloves. I wear gloves to touch anything and everything. She said it didn't bother her so much. Boy was she proven wrong. After we got the person on the cot, she realized there was some liquid pooling and she didn't want the bag to somehow break and then there'd be a lot of cleanup, so she was going to drain the liquid into the prep room sink. She opened the bag and immediately started gagging. Let me tell you about Crematory Girl, since I never have, only before about her boss Crematory Guy. She's 47-55, somewhere in there, 6'0", skin, bones, and crazy scraggly grey roots with strawberry blonde to strawberry hair. Big hair, frizzy hair, usually uncombed and sticking out everywhere. She wears silly clothes. I mean silly. Sometimes she wears super short mini skirts. Sometimes all black (I wear all black, but it's a nice turtleneck with slacks and it looks good), but her shades of black don't match and anyway it's just all wrong to wear black denim. Sometimes she wears a white cotton bustier under this little white shirt and she has tinier boobs than me, which means they're almost non-existent. Now, I am not a fashionista, and in fact I have on many occasions been sent back to my room by husband and/or children and told not to come out in that same outfit, so I'm in no way ridiculing Crematory Girl. However, I desperately want to submit her name to "What Not to Wear", if anyone needs it, she does. She's also very tough, been in this industry for many years in the same type of capacity that she's in now. She picks up and drives dead folk around and then cremates them, it's not for the weak of heart. I don't know why I felt the need to describe her, it really adds nothing but verbage to my story and it's not even that great a story. The person on the cot was purging (stuff liquifies sort of and comes out nose, mouth, ears) and it was the most horrible smell you can imagine. I knew it was bad the second I saw CG gag. Nothing fazes her. I said close that up, what are you doing? She opened it wider. She was gagging, but she wanted to make sure it didn't leak inside the cot bag or, worse, inside her van so she wanted to drain it. She still didn't have on gloves by the way. I was beginning to chuckle when the smell hit me. Oh my goodness. It was horrific. Just when I think I may be able to do this job, something like that. I started to gag. Vomit was actually in my throat but I was determined not to throw up in front of her. She started to laugh and then so did I. It was the most insane reaction, but we both got a serious case of the giggles. It's almost as if our (our in general not just me and her) minds shut off when something is so horrid and our natural defense is to pretend what's in front of us isn't actually what's in front of us. We both laughed and gagged and tried hard not to vomit and laughed some more. I had to get the citrus spray, it was so bad. Then we added another layer of plastic rather than try to drain the liquid and we taped it closed. Of course I was laughing so hard by then, that I couldn't get the tape to stick to the bag, only to my own gloves, which just made us both laugh more. It was so not funny, a decomposing human being, but I haven't laughed so much in quite some time.

4 comments:

Patience said...

Oh my! I guess there's nothing to be done other than to laugh! And gag.

There's just no dignity in being dead, is there?!

noelle said...

These are the kinds of things i really want to write about, but then don't, since it does seem to take away all dignity. I wonder if i shouldn't've written this, but guess it's too late now, it's out there. Laugh. And gag. That's about it. :)

Sayre said...

It might feel strange to you, but police, doctors, and ambulance workers have the same reaction. It's a way to stay sane when it might be impossible otherwise.

And by describing Crematory Girl, I could picture your scene quite well (though other than the fact that you're short and seem to think you have a small bust are the only things I know about what you look like).

Thanks!

Catch said...

I dont think it takes any dignity away at all...I think you have to inject some humor in situations or you would go crazy. I think its a very funny story! I know I would have vomited! Your discription of CG made me laugh! All the years she has been doing that job, probably nothing fazes her...but I would wear gloves too!