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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Guatemala Diary 2

Dry cough, hacking; I hear this small boy before I see him.  We find out he is five and his name is Joel (Ho-el).  He follows us around all day, with his sisters.  What else is there for him to do?  Rolling in the dirt, breathing this dirt into his lungs, caking the small places meant for breathing.  He will die young from a lung disease as many in third world countries do; and he will be buried in a temporary crypt in Guatemala City until his body decomposes, three months or so, and then his family will move his remains to a permanent place.  The cemetery overlooks the Guatemala City dump where people work recycling everything, and the methane is putrid.  The vultures fly above waiting, waiting for the fresh garbage, the bodies, the bloodied t-shirts; waiting for the fresh death.  I find it intriguing, yet revolting, this decay of humanity and this process of living.

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