Aiming for a creative life

I Am Santo

Home / Uncategorized /

The day was crisp and mild, a good one for the effort. Jefe didn’t watch the burial but he never did, keeping busy with a brown bag lunch of peanut butter and jelly and a Coke. While he’d done the job for seventeen years, he wasn’t immune to grief. Just get the hole deep enough to stand in, then sharpen the edges. Careful, precise and consistent work, although this was one of only three burials this month. The place was filling up but in death there was always work to be done and landscaping took up downtime. After the service ended, Jefe drove the soil back to the home of Joseph Chavez and was surprised to see two mourners still graveside. Sitting cross-legged and side by side the men were about his age, flirting with sixty and likely thinking about their own residence in a place like this. They leaned into each other like a teepee, and Jefe wondered if they might be drunk in their Sunday best. He stepped from the truck and they snapped out of their stupor, like owls alerted to nearby rustling. The men looked like brothers, and wordlessly they stood and gave the resting place long last looks. Jefe worried one of them might jump in; it had happened before but he was alone now and would have to call the cops to help. Instead, the larger man with a face like granite grabbed the other’s shoulder, squeezed and turned him to walk away. His head swiveled, again like an owl, his eyes lingering on the grave and his tears stung Jefe’s heart. Unlike coroners or embalmers, the one-way ticket he stamped marked the end of the line; final rest under a pile of packed earth. It was a place of last goodbyes, and so he stood patient by the truck with his eyes lowered as the men slowly walked away, the shorter one unable to hold his own weight and being gently pulled around his shoulder by the arm of his stoic companion. They stepped crookedly over adjacent graves and Jefe was glad he decided on cremation for himself because he didn’t want anyone carrying such grief over him when he was gone. The gravedigger avoiding the grave, his one way ticket would be to the sea, to the air; free from the crowded ground that kept a roof over his head.

To see what's what in the world of Santo

>> <<