Friday, February 10, 2012
the last book I ever read (Nothing to Envy, excerpt three)
from Barbara Demick's Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea:
Hardly a day went by that Mrs. Song didn't stumble across the dead and dying. For all she had been through with her own family, she could not get used to the constant presence of death. Late one day on her way home from the market, she took a detour to the train station, hoping to find customers for some unsold cookies. Workers were sweeping up the station's plaza. A couple of men walked by, pulling a heavy cart. Mrs. Song looked to see what they were transporting. It was a heap of bodies, maybe six of them, people who had died at the station overnight. A few bony limbs flopped out of the cart. A head lolled as the cart jostled over the pavement. Mrs. Song stared; the head belonged to a man about forty years old. His eyes blinked faintly. Not quite dead yet, but close enough to be carted away.
Mrs. Song couldn't help thinking of her own dear husband and son. How fortunate she was that at least they died at home in their beds, and she was able to give them a proper burial.