Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Nightmare Fuel, Day the 13th. The Mourner

The idea of "stunt blogs" is a novel, digital form of performance art; it's turning a facet of ones life into a performance, it's audience interaction, it can be a statement.

Think Julia and Julia, The Year of Living Biblically, Zero Impact Man. The latter two especially sought to make a statement, while the former was, perhaps, more of an explanation.

The following tale is of a stunt-blogger, with a darker subject matter. 

"The Mourner"
Some deaths I knew would be better than others.

When I had the idea for the blog, I'd not thought about that, but it seemed obvious. 

Really, it's a great idea for a stuntblog. 52 weeks of mourning. Every week I pick an obituary at random, attend the funeral, talk to the family if they'd let me. 

And I'd mourn.

Week 30 now, nearly six months dressed in black. Six months of open caskets and closed, of shiva calls, of weeping, red-eyed widows and widowers and children and parents.

The children's deaths are the best.

I know it sounds monstrous, but there are never more hits on the blog than after the funeral of a child. There've been five so far, two girls and three boys. The girls really brought my little community of internet mourners together in grief. It really is what I'd hoped for when I started this project; an English poet once said that the death of each man diminishes him, for he is involved in mankind. We should feel that way. We should. 
Their deaths are making the world a better place.

And, through my words, perhaps some of us do.

How much better and kinder would we be were we all like that, if we all mourned each death, each life lost?

Such are my thoughts as I drive home after another awkward-strange lunch at a stranger's home, talking about another human brother. That one won't be a good death; too old, too undistinguished, I know he'll not capture the audience's imagination, yet I'll still mourn.

Such are my thoughts as I navigate the suburban streets, far from my home. As headlights illuminate the young girl carelessly darting into the street, I see a flash of bright blond hair, of tiny tennis shoes, slender bare arms. Young, beautiful.

I gun the engine, turn the wheel a bit.

This one will be a much better death. Senseless, brutal and sudden, it will help bring the world together in love.

Flesh and bone crunches against steel, the sticky wet sound of brotherly love.

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