It starts with a phone call made by a man who said his friend found a dead body in the elevator shaft of an abandoned building on the city's west side.
"He's encased in ice, except his legs, which are sticking out like Popsicle sticks," the caller phoned to tell this reporter.
This has been a rather rough day for me. Earlier this month, I lost my Father-in-law in perhaps the most baffling, nonsensical death I could have imagined. Simply put, he (accidently) drove over the edge of a canyon. 62 years old, a good man, a great man really. A teacher for well over a dozen years, he ended up working for the government in an HR management position. He was incredibly wise, always reading, spending his downtime collecting tobacco pipes and playing golf. For the past 6 years, he's been retired and he's been able to live mostly, I imagine, just the way he wanted. Mostly, honestly, the way I want to.
Then my house was robbed. They only took a few things, but those few things still hurt. My Xbox 360, for instance. That was a wedding present from my wife. All my games, controllers, the wireless adapter. A laptop that I traded my wife and my ipods for about a year ago. It was old and jenky and mostly broken, but we had found a good use for it.
What's this have to do with a dead body trapped in ice that people mostly ignored? I guess... I guess the story made me think about how nothing in life makes sense sometimes. That seeing someone dead with nothing but their feet and a little of the cuff of their jeans frozen in ice wouldn't elicit fear, panic, terror, and sadness in someone, that it wouldn't push them to act fast to notify authorities and ponder their own mortality, the way I have ever sinc Gilbert passed. I have heard on the news over the past two days of at least two different families who committed murder/suicides because of the economic downturn, the literal great depression we are (we being American readers) all facing right now. I'm a bill collector for a living and even our industry, which you'd expect to be booming, is facing its own hardships with people having to be laid off as profits dwindle, less and less people able to pay their bills. The icing that has to coat my heart as I talk to dozens of people a day, listening to a mother cry because she's drowning in medical bills, listening to an old man who's lost his job after 20 years in the factory, trying to tell them to make a payment or they'll lose their car. Wondering if after I hang up the phone, they'll be the next fatality because they just couldn't take it.
I don't know how much each human heart can truly endure, but I'm tired of God testing me right now. I feel weak and I feel alone, I feel like the world is on my back and mine alone. I wish to see some goodwill, I wish to find some new friends, I truly yearn for a return from my old friends, but I pray for us all.