Friday, February 09, 2007

Darkness


Most days, two ambulances stand across from the cemetery. Because they're only a few doors down from the Ladder Company, I used to assume they belonged to it.

But they are parked in front of an ordinary brick building with a red door that says "Bio-Recovery" in small letters. Nothing else gives away what the company does.

It was a unique concept, I suppose, a business dedicated to cleaning up after disaster, whether fire, flood, or death. A fire or flood can take up to three weeks to rid a home of mold. It requires bulky vaccuums and bags of soda. Death, on the other hand, takes just a day or two to clean. The fresher the discovery, the faster to disinfect.

When I visited, two bodies lay boxed in cardboard, suicides each. One was a young man who had come to the city from upstate. He lived alone, in his own world. But someone, at least, noticed his death.

The other, a man in his late thirties, was still not identified. He was so invisible to his neighbors that he had been dead for a week before someone called the police.

I like to think that in this city of eight million, we are not anonymous. But sometimes we are.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your post sheds light on the "darkness" of the city, giving a voice to the speechless. Wonderfully written, you humanize the city. And your photo, well it underscores just how separate yet intertwined we New Yorkers are. This is just brilliant.

12:04 AM  

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