Friday, January 31, 2014

eurosa's flashback

The smell of Formalin still reminds me of something. I was at ‘that’ place. I have seen ‘the man’ for the last time on that dreaded 24th of March year 2009. On that afternoon, torrents of rain were pouring dreadfully in my black umbrella as I was about to go inside. It was an unexpected rain since it was almost summer time of the year. I felt the heavens must have been feeling what I am feeling. It was my only solace; it wept with me.


As I walked along the dark hall entrance, I felt numbness in my entire body. I was nearing insanity, once more. I saw from afar piles of coffins across the other end. I moved closely scrutinizing each, some made of wood and some made of metal. There were assorted colors: red, black, white, silver, gold. Some had intricate designs of Christ’s last supper; others had carved angel designs, most were just plain old, classic-looking coffins. I told myself I wanted none of them when I die. I prefer to be cremated.


Later that afternoon, I had a hard time contemplating, whether or not, to go inside the next room which reads “STRICTLY NO ENTRY”. It was the Embalming Room. I could no longer help it; I had to see him for the very last time before he gets embalmed. The smell of Formalin was somewhat inviting and so; I finally decided to go inside, without any hesitation. Inside that room lay three bodies whose souls have been stripped off by a so-called “Divine Entity”. Their deaths must have been caused by either of two factors, either: an ill-fated accident or a self-destructing vice. Or who knows?


Two corpses were covered with white blankets and were sadly situated on the floor. Seemed to me that this is nothing but showing a lack of compassion towards the dead. I wondered why they would leave the bodies in the floor when there are enough vacant tables. The other body was placed on top of the operating table. Because of the familiar-looking blanket with dark red floral designs, I began to recognize that this body in the operating table was him. I uncovered the body and the sight broke my heart. I looked at him very closely for a couple of minutes because I wanted to imprint this memory in my head for me to remember that moment for the rest of my life. That moment was so precious since it will be the last time that I will see him in his natural, lifeless state since later on he will undergo a post-mortem examination and have the vital parts of his body removed. I held his hand for the last time, poked his pale arms and cried, “Papa, please don’t forget what I told you, keep in touch okay?” Yes, that man is my father. He was my father.


As I started to observe the place, the four walls of the room began to feel creepy. It was deafeningly silent and badly lit. I smell mixed chemical solutions but the only smell which overpowered my olfactory system was Formalin. In the tray, I saw scissors, knives, injections and other sharp objects used for embalming. At the corner of the operating table were long, narrow tubes used to remove blood. I was inside that dreaded place, and I realized I shouldn’t be there. I swore to myself that, as long as I am still alive, that would be the first and last time I’m going inside a place like that. It made me reflect about my own death as well and it also made me realize that I should cherish the life that I have.


The smell of Formalin still reminds me of something. I guess ‘that’ is the place, and there is no other place that can display the inconvenient truth about human beings ephemeral existence, but ‘the morgue’. We are born and then we begin to die. In between, we live. In between, like my father, I’d try live.

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