Friday, February 09, 2007


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.


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  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home