Journal entry – Istanbul, Turkey – December 2020

My eyes loitered in violence and anguish. I found my childhood sweetheart dead and my mind had sold my body a hand of sensations all with their own unique flavor of darkness. It was relentless. The warm air from my breath that met his cold lips. Arid sweat of two large men in white uniforms- growing tired from the forty minutes of pounding. The same wheels that were racing down the corridor now slowly inched to the morgue. The medical litter. The red flashes that disguised his lifeless hand. I held onto him like a crucifix. His brain tattered from a cranial autopsy. The possessions left on his corpse before they set him on fire- our keys, a lighter, and my pink headphones. A soul filled with love, creativity, boundless empathy, laughter, and benevolence- suddenly burned into dust. A grey-haired man who handed me his ashes as if I was buying cigarettes. I guess I was. “…For we are dust, and to dust we shall return.”

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