So many hearses and not enough early morning road. It’s not that the thousands of death vehicles clogging the streets are stretched too long for all to fit – because these hearses are not stretched at all.
Nor do they have heavily padded raised leather roofs, curtained back windows, or flapping flags formally announcing a somber parade in honor of the recently deceased.
No, these hearses blocking the boulevards are not a part of one gigantic memorial procession.
Each vehicle, instead, is separately transporting a body to a grave.
Strangely, none of the bodies are cold, stiff, or deadly still. Nor are they resting comfortably inside quilted caskets in the back of long funeral carriages, because these bodies are breathing, very much alive, voluntarily driving their cars, trucks, SUVs, and minivans to their own burial grounds.
But they are not en route to cemeteries or their final resting places. And as miserable as most of the drivers are, they are each thankful to be burying only a tiny piece of themselves today, just like yesterday – and like tomorrow.
It is rush hour and everyone is headed to work, slowly dying by spending another dismal day on the job that they can never get back to live the way they want to live it.
My entire body aches and I can’t help but think it is because I have been digging my own ditch daily for longer than I wish to remember. Work has managed to siphon the life out of me, but I know I am not alone.
I stop at a red light (I actually do follow some rules) and notice a middle-aged woman in the death-mobile next to me brushing foundation across her pale face like an embalming artist applying makeup to a corpse for final goodbyes.
I want to say a prayer for her and for everyone else gradually decomposing all around me. But instead, I just mind my business and pull up to my own plot on a familiar, grim graveyard.
I am at work.