Monday, December 05, 2005

silent job


i keep thinking of all of these interesting things to say. so many happenings, but my job is mute. i suppose it is better that all of these things cant be posted, i am tired of the “don’t tell me, i don’t want to hear it”, and i don’t need that here of all places.
what is it about americans that makes us so scared? how come the sureness of death isn’t embraced as the one thing that we will all experience, and so seen as a tie between the lot of us? why the taboo?
the more i think about it, the more i wonder. are we superstitious? will talking about it bring it closer?...living brings it closer of you ask me, but i guess that’s my problem…no one asks me…
i remember being little and hating the “how was your day, sara? what did you do”? it never seemed to matter all that much.. now i would love it, if anyone would listen. but nope, its death…who wants to talk about death?…certainly not you…

11 comments:

Adam said...

I don't mind talking about it all, probably the least superstitious acquaintance you have. My two jobs in the industry of death were both very interesting and fun for me. Is that taboo? Can I not say fun?

timidvenus said...

we can all say fun, and i shouldnt sound like there arent any people out there who can talk about the subject, but on the whole people avoid it. i like my job, but so many people think that i shouldnt, and dont care to hear about it. in the words of woody, "a wedding planner doesnt have the happiest day of their life on someone elses wedding." so why would my days be the saddest ones of mine on someone elses funeral?

what were your jobs???

chevrefeuille said...

i think it scares us because it is so unknown, and we cant ever know when it will happen. and maybe to die wont be so bad, but it is a scary prospect, i suppose depending on what you believe. but to have someone you love die seems unbearable and so...finite. and what matters more in life than the people you love?

chevrefeuille said...

p.s. i dont mind talking to you about your job though. just not especially right now, considering the circumstances.

chevrefeuille said...

maybe i just proved your point.

Adam said...

The summer after I graduated from high school, I worked full time as a grounds keeper at Arbor Vitae cemetary doing pretty much whatever I was told. I helped dig and fill graves (always longer and harder when the deceased is morbidly obese), mowed lawns, pruned the hedges of many small villages, raped the horses, and rode off on the women. (Sorry, got carried away, right into a Three Amigos line). I think I've shared stories about that one with you guys when you were up here once.

Oh, and vacuuming the Mauseleum. Good times, always a nice image to be running the ol' Eureka next to a couple hundred bodies interred above ground.

The other job was the next summer at the neighboring Funeral Chapel. Most of the time it was mundane work that most people would never associate with a funeral home right off the bat. I drove all over the place collecting death certificates, County Health Office, doctors, hospitals, lots of places. I also washed, waxed, gased up limos and hearses. Ooh, ooh! One day I even got to dust all the friggin' plastic plants in the chapel. Later on, they trusted me enough to drive the pall bearers' limo and help with funerals. Towards the end, I was working the night shift for Rosaries and evening viewings which wound me up closing a funeral chapel sometimes at 9 or 10 o'clock at night. Great routine to get out of the building too. Lock up the front and the chapel, lock up the offices, turn the lights off by the autopsy room, fumble past the extra caskets, hearse, and walk in refrigerator filled with bodies in the dark. Good times for a 20 year old. I learned a lot about the business of death in those two years.

Oh, and I got to drive two bodies down, on separate occasions, to the crematory here in Fresno. Cryptonite by Three Doors Down will always have a different ring for me since that was the summer it was overplayed on every radio station. I musta heard that song at least five times on my way down to Fresno with a body chillin' in a cardboard box in the back of a white minivan. And they never called me Superman again.

timidvenus said...

my little care bear-
i think you are right. and 143.

timidvenus said...

adam-
wow...you want a job??
i have never done any cemetery work, i think i would hate it. i do enjoy cemeteries though. so peaceful and full of flowers, although i think of "garden state" sometimes when im there and i wonder if that really happens.
i suppose we have both dabbled in each others fields, huh?

edluv said...

come on sara.

you can talk to your "clients" all day long. tell them whatever. just start to worry when they tell you something back.

Adam said...

Sara, I was present when one of the other high school guys I worked with popped open a casket before we lowered it. It was a cheapy one with just the little metal tang that you depress to unlock the lid. Jackass did it with his shovel and then lifted the lid about 5 inches before he realized our boss was coming back on the backhoe. Other than that, never was a casket opened while I was there, especially not to procure jewelry from dead people.

Ed, that was always a joke we threw around at the cemetary. How none of our customers ever complained. Of course, it's not so funny when you remember that sometimes the family pays for it all, so they are the customers, and yes, they can and do complain.

edluv said...

i suppose it depends on what stage you're working with whether or not they will complain.

like, if they're getting embalmed, probably not going to have much to say.

those other, more vocal clients, need to be talked to. you've got to decide things. probably not going to be a social conversation though. save that for the first group.