Monday, January 22, 2007
I was in the Intrepid driving down Sunset, the check engine light had come on again, as it had a little more than a year ago. My brother was on the phone. He was back at college for the spring semester. Classes didn't start for a few days. He was in someone's dorm room. It had started to snow there in Connecticut. Maybe they would go sledding tomorrow. Down the hill from the observatory, down to the baseball field, in front of the library, with its huge three-story windows full of light. He couldn't talk: all his friends were there. I was waiting at a light. Terri Gross was broadcasting on KPCC, interviewing a guy who wrote a book about modern burial practices. Though cremation is generally a greener way to dispose of one's body than standard burial, in the process of cremation, where the crematorium must be heated to 1600 degrees for up to two hours, the metal in our fillings, which contain mercury, are vaporized, and released into the air, where they are carried with the wind, and eventually rain down into the ocean, where the mercury is then absorbed by fish, which are then caught, cooked, and eaten, and the mercury makes its way back into the body: transubstantiation. But the snow in Connecticut was white and gleaming under the waxing January moon, and my brother's friends laughed and thrilled in their collective youth and health in the background as I pushed the Intrepid closer to 100,000 miles on the 2 North back to Eagle Rock.