It was only a casual conversation at work that started it all off. Working at the Crematorium we rarely know how the deceased died,endlessly we speculate. Sometimes the charity the donation box is dedicated too is an indication. Often the people in the office know more. My interest is always perked when a Coroner has been drawn in,or the deceased died young. In a very brief chat in the office I found out that one of the deceased had laid down on a railway line. My fellow Chapel Attendant heard the Humanist minister say he'd sustained severe head injuries. One of the women in the office said immediately, that's just short hand for meaning nothing was left of his head. There followed a conversation about how a person who commits suicide must never consider the effect their actions have on the Train Driver. One person piped up that she knew of one train driver who never worked again and ended up killing themselves on a train track too. This all struck us as a really perverse thing to do.
That brief chat has set my mind off. This week has been creatively a bit thin, apart from two pieces arising from this conversation. I've written a poem called 'Derailed' which is about a man with his head on the rails waiting for the train to arrive. This has been followed by a short monologue called 'The Train Driver's Statement' about how a suicide on the tracks affected him.
My writing over the last few years has kept returning to themes around death. This is well before working at the Crematorium by the way. If anything that also seems to have arisen out of the same impulse. Something is definitely trying to work itself through here. The Nick Cave obsession appears to have passed. I'm not reading about serial murderer's or the history of death practices anymore. It may be my age, time of life, a passing phase or I'm secretly possessed by a demon. Curiously no one else, including David, has yet noticed this. A demon could be cunning though. All sorts of clever ways to disguise his appearance, tuck the tail and mask the horns. You know, there are some days when I'm heartily glad I'm not a Christian. All that good angel, bad angel stuff can drag you down and affect your social life.
Strange the things that compel and motivate us. Perhaps it is best that we don't really ask too close a question. Stand back, observe it all as it is happening and get what you can from the journey.