Daniel Butenschøn

The things that carried him

In reportasjer on juni 15, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Chris Jones’ gripende historie i Esquire om en amerikansk soldats siste reise hjem. Ble nylig belønnet med prestisjetunge National Magazine Award for Feature Writing, og tåler å bli lest igjen to år etter publiseringen. 

Den begynner med slutten:

Indiana, The End

Don Collins stood in the sun and mapped out in his mind a rectangle on the grass, eight feet by three feet. He is forty-nine, wears a handful of pomade in his hair, and no longer needs a tape to take the measure of things.

Indiana state law dictates that the lid of the burial vault be two feet below the surface. That meant Collins had to dig down five feet, ultimately lifting out about a hundred cubic feet of earth. He wouldn’t need a tape to measure that, either. Since 1969, his father, Don Sr., has owned the Collins Funeral Home, just up Elm Street, just past the little yellow house with the two yellow ribbons tied to the tree out front. As a boy, Don Jr. had lived upstairs with the spirits and the rest of his family, over the chapel. He and his younger brother, Kevin, would later work with their dad in the back room, embalming the bodies of their neighbors at three o’clock in the morning, and he still assists his father in his capacity as coroner. But Don Jr. has had enough of bodies in back rooms. He likes it better outside, in the sticky air, working with the earth.

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