Interview with the Gassed | Jen Harris
I sat outside the showers, lined notebook in one hand, mini tape recorder in the other, asking those exhaling Zyklon B, what exactly they'll miss in the world of the living.
A five-year-old-girl humming an unintelligible tune, said:
And she danced off to her mother's side.
A ten-year-old girl, disoriented from the gas and the gleaming light ahead of her, said:
I'll miss my dolls.
And my cat, Shayna.
A fifteen-year-old girl attempting to pass me, turned and checked her reflection in my sunglasses, so I asked her, "What will you miss most dear?"
She said and turned away in tears.
A twenty-year-old girl, oblivious to her fate, pranced out of the shower, whistling as if she couldn't be happier. Without trying to rain on her parade so-to-speak, I said carefully, "Honey, do you know where you are?"
She said. "You're dead," I pointed out to her. "You've been gassed." With naive condescension, she tapped my hand and said:
And she pivoted as if to prance again. Recognizing her suspension of disbelief, I instead said, "Suppose you were no longer amongst the living...what would you miss most?"
She replied. "Whose love?" I said, inquiring further.
No, what I mean is, I have never made love before.
Music starts playing in the distance and she, like the five-year-old, dances off.
A twenty five-year-old girl with a blank stare follows blindly the footprints of those before her. I tap her on the shoulder as if waking her from a trance, and I say, "What will you miss most in the world of the living?" She turns at me, her gaze grey, gorged of innocence.
"Nothing," I wrote down, stopped the tape for a second and looked up --
They all turned to dust.