A man died yesterday.

Train. Walked up to the 11.30 express, apparently. Drunk. Laid his neck on the tracks. Waited.

The train screamed over him. A thousand tons of noisy steel. Doesn’t take a genius to figure out what happened. Squish. They never found the head.

Today they held his funeral. The wife made loud wailing noises and cried. Just like when he hit her four days ago and split her lip. Or when we had to take her in, bleeding and whimpering last month. She’d changed the TV channel too fast, or too slow. As she cried in the safety of our home he dragged out all her clothes and burned them to ashes. The crying only stopped when the police arrived.

Anyway. The dead man’s son held up the casket. He’s used to holding up his father. We’ve seen him so many times on the road, dragging his father away from yet another bottle and yet another fight. Is that relief I see?  A dead man is easier to take away.

And the whole village followed suit. They drank cheap Harischandra coffee and reminisced over the good things he’d done and wondered aloud how the family would manage. Nobody dared point out that he hadn’t had a job for the past three years and that the son worked double shifts as a security guard and the wife stuck together envelopes to buy him his drink and his cigarettes.

Nobody looked at the scars on their hands. We don’t speak ill of our dead, even at the expense of the living.

A wise man once said, do not be too hasty in dealing out death and judgement. But I don’t know, man. Some people deserve to be dead.


This post was originally published on Icaruswept.

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