Watery Graves

Story Name: 
Watery Graves
Story Text: 

10/8/19 - Baltimore, MDI was walking down by the water, just a few blocks from my house, when I saw the strangest thing.  Clustered together like tiny lifeboats were about a dozen bright orange boxes, each decorated with its own constellation of beads and string and colorful detritus.  I was in the sort of mood that left me open to moments.  I know that's a strange thing to say but you know how it is, when you're just distracted enough, or sad enough, or happy enough that you're more willing and able to notice and focus on things outside your normal world.Anyway, things haven't been great between Elizabeth and I ever since she found religion.  That's a different story - and one I'll talk about in a different post.But these orange boxes.  They were refugee kits - the UN ones, you know?  We don't see many of them here, honestly, but I guess we get a few storm-runners.  I was kind of pissed at first, actually, that someone was just throwing these things away.  Provision 3 kits, right?  Something like that?  Crap, I'll remember eventually. Anyway, I was pissed.  But then I took a closer look and I realized that there were wristbands attached to these kits.Little strips of plastic, wound around hypos stuck into the kits like the sword in the damn stone.  Or tied or taped or fixed to these kits in whatever way was possible.  And those strips - they were like the strips you get in the hospital.  You know, your name, some sort of color code, an rfid tag with an oled that tells you what part of the hospital you're supposed to be in and how to get there.They were graves.  Those little orange boxes the refugee kits floating in the water.  They were all graves.  I told Libby about this, about the graves and the wristbands and the, you know, the noble tragedy of it all.  Or the tragic the nobility.  The poetry of these lifeboats each marking the passing of - well, anyway.  I tried to tell her about it but all she did was freak out because she thought maybe these were migrants who weren't storm-runners.  That they were migrants from somewhere else.And that they'd died of ReDS.  Like they couldn't have died of exposure or the flu or any number of other things.  For a woman who's found god, Libby's not terribly convinced of the benevolence of her new imaginary friend.  Though, well, they were hospital bracelets.  And, honestly, it probably was something bad, whether it was ReDS or not.But that's not the thing I'm trying to talk about here.  I'm just saying that there was still community, you know?  It takes community to remember the dead.  It requires the ligaments and tendons and connective tissue of the human condition.  And sick, lost, stranded, exiled - these guys still had those connective tissues.  And even if their refugee kits couldn't give tem life or hope, at least they gave them a way to mark their spot, to tell each other that they were here and not forgotten.  It's grim, sure, and macabre.  But those kits.  They achieved something, at least.