A Proper Eulogy

July 24, 2008 at 9:10 am (Fun, Writing Exercises)

“Her name was Suzy, officer. She just started showing up one day, a few months ago. No—no I don’t remember her last name. I don’t think she ever said it.”

Don’t make it traceable. Just make a story for her, not a real life. Nothing documented or researchable.

“I think her mom’s name was Jewell, but I can’t remember. She’d just stop by around eight most nights, hungry but not starving. The first night we found her scrounging around in the trash. I think her mom… I think she worked nights, you know? Turning tricks?”

“We fed her and let her sleep on the couch. She was gone when we woke up. Didn’t talk much, just mumbled something about her mom being busy.”

“She started coming pretty regularly, once we invited her. We didn’t mind—kind of felt bad for her, you know? She needed a bit of normal. She’d come around eight or nine and we ‘d feed her dinner. Sometimes I’d give her a bath, and then she’s go to sleep on the couch. We met her mom a couple of times. No, I don’t think I could talk to a sketch artist. Just brown hair, brown eyes, looked tired.”

“She stopped coming by, for maybe two weeks. We didn’t know how to find her—she found us, after. Then tonight, she showed back up. She had lost a lot of weight, we could tell. We worried because se didn’t eat a whole lot—she fell asleep at the table. We thought she needed rest more, so we put her on the couch and figured we’d feed her when she woke up.”

Why am I crying? She’s already dead—now she died warm, with friends, feeling loved instead of outside next to our trash. Now she has a story, now people know her. What’s there to cry about?

To tell the truth was too cold, too brutal. She needed a story. To simply allow them to take away the body and bury it in an unmarked grave with no flowers was wrong. Humanity had to amount for more than that.

“When she didn’t wake up, we didn’t know what to do, so we called you guys.”


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