Why are blog posts so hard?
Okay, so they aren’t, not really. To get one done every week, all I’d have to do is get drunk one night after work and open up my web page. Apparently I can waffle on for hours when I drink (who knew?). But the problem with that is sometimes I’m not appropriate when I drink (but only then), sometimes I can just go on and on about things that are quite unimportant/uninteresting.
It’s been a few weeks since I wrote. I almost wrote something about the election last week, but to tell you the truth while I lap up all the news about it (that isn’t made up by Breitbart), I can’t wait until the damed thing is over. The perpetual daily cycle of bullshit that is generated by all involved in politics AND the media has gone on too long and is really giving me less and less faith in humanity.
So not that. I could have written about London, and how awesome it was to spend a decent amount of time there, even if work gets a little in the way of enjoying myself there as I’d like. But I’d be inclined to mention that if I was going to live in a big city, it would be London rather New York, much to the chagrin of my friends living there who keep trying to convince me of the awesomeness of the Big Apple, and I’m still not biting.
Instead, I’m going to talk about death. We’re in Paris this week, and having been here before and not overly fond of the place, I was resolved to do no sightseeing. The things I’d seen before I didn’t care to see again, and the things I hadn’t seen didn’t motivate me enough to leave my room… until someone mentioned the catacombs. It’s something everyone says you should do when you come to Paris, and I hadn’t done them before, so why not?
Steps. That’s the reason to not do the catacombs. There’s a lot of steps. But you go down a spiral staircase, along a couple of longish hallways, and then walk under a message carved into a doorway lintel. “Arrete! C’est ici l’empire de la mort.” “Stop! Here is the empire of death.”
And there is a lot of death through that portal. Or the remains of death. Or the remains of life, and the evidence of death. A metric shit tonne of bones, okay? Lots of bones. The skulls look out at you, some grinning as if they finally get the joke in death, those without their lower jawbone much more solemn. Maybe some of them are nestled together with their own femurs, but there are too many femurs for the number of skulls, we’d have to be some kind of arachnid to have that many leg bones…
Behind each one of them is a life, a story, long forgotten. Maybe they’re the ancestors of some of the people who have been down there and wandered among the bones. Maybe they were friends, lovers, neighbours, enemies. Maybe they never knew one another in life, but now in death they are more intimate than ever. What it would be to know their stories, what they got up to when vital, and what led them to rest as a pile of bones in one of the largest graves in the world.
I’d hate to get stuck down there in a power outage…