If I was still working in a funeral home they’d take one look at me — glassy eyes, clammy skin, pale complexion — and figure I was a new resident. They’d plop me on a gurney, cover me for dignity, and wheel me into the mortuary. I wouldn’t find it cold, even though the room’s no warmer than a fridge, because I’m dead and that’s warmer than dying; but I might find the static of the cooler soothing as the funeral home people get busy doing their funeral home work.
They’d first scissor lift a spare tray up to gurney height and cover it with a big bit of plastic sheeting; and then — “after one, two, three ” — they’d heave me onto the plastic covered metal cold. They’d prop my head up with a head block, in the hopes that my face holes then won’t sluice with purge, and they’d clasp my hands atop my stomach and measure me from elbow to elbow, head to toe. They’d note my measurements against my name in a sign-in book, and label me ‘Tomos James, dob’ on my wrist and ankle.
Finally, just before they leave me in the dark and cold, they’d wrap me up in that plastic sheeting (I’m only in it to catch any leakage), and then scissor lift me up to a spare slot on the rack, and push me on. My coffin they’d find in stock because I’m common, and barring a delay in paperwork I’d be warm within the fortnight.
My metal tray is a fabric sofa, the plastic sheeting is my duvet, and I’ve got tissues for leakage and a nearby toilet. Seconds from Disaster is the static soothing me with a countdown to disaster, I’ve a scarf around my shoulders, a hot water bottle, and this fridge room couldn’t get any hotter (heating is on full).
Still cold, still achy — very ratty. And to top this glorious little day off, I’ve just thrown my chocolate coins in the bin after confusing them for tissues. I miss them. Gold, they were, in a cute little bag that I’d snipped the top off with a pair of scissors — peeling off the foil was such a joy — gone. Lost forever in a bin full of snot.