Monday, November 10, 2014

Part 100

I need a bath.  My body needs a bath and so does my brain.  My eyes I would like to take out and soak in bleach for a while.  My ears ... I won't even go over what they need.

Oh be careful little eyes what you see
Oh be careful little ears what you hear
Oh be careful little mouth what you say

Yeah, my mouth could probably use some soap too.  The heck with it, I'm taking a bath even if I freeze to death.


Rats!  I got water drops on this notebook.  Serves me right thinking that I could actually take an honest to goodness bath.  It's freezing outside but I just couldn't stand how bad I smelled.  It has been coming on for a while but after today .... GAG!  Washing your pits, hot spots, and feet just is not enough.  No way, no how.  How the old time pioneers could stand it is beyond me.  Maybe their noses were broken or something.  But I can't imagine the man and wife could stand ... never mind, I am not even going there.  I'm pretty sure I don't want to know.

I am so totally glad there was no one around with a camera.  I emptied out one of the largest plastic tubs that I use for storing stuff in, set it in front of the fireplace on some plastic sheeting, and filled it with water as hot as I could stand it.  I haven't been totally undressed since Dr. Riccardo's uber invasive inspection.  Even though I had the door blocked and both the inside and outside shutters locked and bolted I still caught myself looking over my shoulder.  I must have looked like a complete spazz.

Geez did I scrub.  I'm probably ten pounds lighter just getting all the dead skin and dirt off my body ... you add all the oil and nasty carp that came out of my hair and that's probably closer to twenty.  I know I feel lighter.  I was freezing my backside off by the time I finished but I do feel better.  All I've done is drag the tub over to the corner of the room.  I'll empty it tomorrow.  No way am I going outside until my hair is completely dry.  I might have joked about being willing to freeze to death so I could have a bath but I don't want to die of pneumonia, that's a hard way to go.

It was a good thing I had mostly clean clothes to get dressed in afterwards because I sure didn't want to put on any of that dirty stuff I took off.  Peee-you.  I'm wrapped up in the fur blanket while my hair dries.  I also trimmed my toe nails.  I tell you, I was just plain gross; like a little Sasquatch.  And don't laugh but I tried to trim the hair on my legs when my scissors but it only made it look worse.  Then I tried to tweeze a few hairs out at a time and that was like Chinese water torture.  So hairy legs and pits it is.  It isn't like there is anyone around to see anyway.

I'm letting the clothes I took off soak in the tub of water.  It is going to be a mess tomorrow but hey, it is better than letting them walk around the cabin all on their own.  And it isn't that my clothes are really as nasty as some people at the work detail got theirs, but really ... they are disgusting after having to wear them so many times without washing.

I've been around too many puss brains for too long not to have come prepared for some grossness at the work detail.  I made a poncho for myself out of a torn tarp and I took my waders too.  Made all the difference in the world to be able to wash them off and hang them to dry.  I also had a pair of those dishwashing gloves to go over my regular gloves.  I got a few hostile looks for being prepared but I wasn't the only one to tie a cloth across my face.

I only saw Cochran a few minutes as he was working with Sarge.  He was the one that handed me my detail assignment.  He also whispered that he had to be careful not to show favoritism at all.  I could understand that but it doesn't mean that I would think he was playing favorites if he waved or anything but I guess other people might.  Jamie and Shane kept their distance too and that was perfectly fine.  I suppose I'll make myself get over being mad at them but it will be take some work.

I got stuck in the only group with women in it.  And when I say stuck I mean stuck.  Geez, they were all older than me but they acted like such ... never mind.  I'm just cranky because they treated me like I smelled, which I did of course but by the end of the day so did they.  I suppose I also freaked them out because I just wanted to get things done and over with so if a puss brain needed to be moved I moved him or her.  I always took the head part because they acted like the puss brains were gonna bite them or something but how the heck is a dead puss brain supposed to bite?

See it worked like this ... the scientists were already tagging the puss brains.  Black plastic tape meant they were dead and needed to be carted off to the pyre.  Red plastic tape meant they weren't dead and needed to be hauled off to the shipping containers so that they could be taken away.  The full shipping containers got taken away to a convoy that was carting them to a rail line and once loaded onto a flatbed railcar they were transported out west.  The only thing we had to do was put them in one of the two places "for disposal" - pyre or metal shipping container.  Not what you would call rocket science.

But it was totally gross ... I mean totally, totally gross.  Some of the dead ones were ... ugh ... never mind.  Forget it.

Eventually the women just wouldn't have much to do with me and this guy started helping.  He had a skid that we'd load up a couple of bodies on, use bungie cords to hold in place, and then pull to the pyre.  It was after they got the pyre going (finally) that things got wiggy.  The docs being not nearly as smart as they thought they were weren't always right with their black tape/red tape designation.  The fire heated the stack of puss brains up and it turns out some of them aren't near as completely dead as the docs thought.

What a lot of squawking and running around.  I don't know who made worse noise, the people that had agreed to the work detail when they found out that some of the puss brains were a little on the lively side once they were warmed up or the docs when a few of us decided to do things properly and destroy the brain or heart before placing the bodies of the puss brains on the pyre.

Sarge had to get involved in that one.  I started talking - to no one in particular really - and said, "It just isn't right.  Uninfected people get embalmed and get taken care of that way.  I don't understand why the scientists aren't allowing us to put these poor people to rest like we should.  Everyone knows you make sure the brain or heart is destroyed so that they can't feel any pain."

Now about half the people there bought that hook, line, and sinker even though it wasn't really logical which tells me that there are more crazy people in the world than even I have suspected.  Another group of them grumbled at having to do one more thing to get their pay for the day.  But a small group of them got it and joined in to pressure the scientists to "do the right thing by those poor people."

Sarge gave me an irritated look then shook his head as the scientists used agreeing to cover up for the fact that they had goofed.  He later sent Gwen out to tell me to stop meddling because he knew that is exactly what I had been doing.  I told her, "Of course I was.  My feet are cold and I don't want to have to stand around and wait all day for those weirdos to make up their minds.  The sooner we get moving the sooner we all get to go home."

"That's ... that's callous," she said.

I shrugged and tried not to take it personally.  "Not callous, realistic.  Those scientists cannot or will not admit that they are making mistakes.  That pyre is warming the puss brains up.  Those that are dead won't feel it .. those that aren't will.  Lively puss brains will make work more dangerous than I'm pretty sure anyone wants it to get.  And they may be puss brains but they are still people.  Better to ... to show them some mercy before they go into the fire than have to watch them die a pain-filled real death in it.  These infected bodies don't belong to zombies ... they belong to people.  Even a puss brain deserves some compassion and mercy."

I couldn't tell if she understood what I was saying or not.  When she walked away the man that I had been working with let me know he'd been listening by nodding and saying, "Where ever my wife and kids are, I hope when they meet their end its as merciful as one that you would give them."

We didn't talk much for the rest of the day but we parted with understanding.  I got some strange looks and the women avoided me all together.  Oh well, you can't be friends with everyone.

I was smart enough to bring an empty pack with me and I loaded the stuff from the box I was handed into it and handed the box back to the guy that had given it to me and signed my name where he told me to.  It had been a long day and I was depressed.  I thought I had seen a lot in the city but what I've seen today has added a layer of ugliness to certain memories that I really didn't want or need.  And I'm not going back tomorrow.  A box of food just isn't worth the extra ration of nightmares.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for continuing this story, I really enjoy it and am looking forward to reading it to it's completion.