At midday we arrived at Western University. Before entering the grisly “holloways” of this ghastly place Vincente, our erudite elder, cleansed our souls and gifted us with ruda (an aromatic little herb) fragments to shield us from a lingering soul or two. I did this not out of morbid curiosity, but out of necessity to eliminate the fears of scenes of the macabre. My people were somewhat normalized to death, for it was a part of their life; I wanted to understand their mindsets. So when we finally entered the room of cadavers a malodorous miasma struck our noses; however this was not the smell of decay but of the delaying of it. At the same time of smelling it, the reality finally came to fruition and I was perturbed. I pulled down the latex gloves and composed myself though. We touched the hearts. I weighed them in my hands and unraveled them to an extent. I was more aloof in this experience compared to those more fanatical of the organs. We came to the bodies last. Here I especially pondered what the emotions of my ancestors would have been; whom once in their lives might of been standing over a corpse, which was perhaps a product of themselves, in war or some other tragedy. If a product of battle, was there a reaction of pride? jubilation? remorse? or all at the same time? I was only disturbed. We eventually finished and I scrubbed my hands so scrupulously in the sink, it was as if my hands were afflicted with an uncleanable mold. Later I left the building and was cleansed once again by Vincente. This was an unforgettable experience.




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