• Enjoy! smile

    When they removed her from bed so that they might attempt to separate her now lifeless, damaged skin from the material of her gown my mouth fell open at the sight. Her condition was wretched. Having no mercy as they did, inquiry of her final condition had already begun. I knew that there was little to nothing to which I could do to stop them from this gruesome experiment. Their fingers probed her sores without cease for five hours in the lab. The slaves had to bring their food to the observatory for lunch.
    In death, her eyes did not close in eternal sleep, but remained wide open. I recall that as she took her last, gasping breath she looked up at the ceiling. Up towards what she hoped would be the clouds of heaven. I do not doubt that her soul rested now in peace, for she was a woman of good. I imagined her speaking to God, while I watched her body be subjected to a hellish fate.
    The scientists were fascinated by her open eyes. Both of her eyeballs were taken from their sockets and studied closely. What had been my mother’s right eye was slit open. I clamped my hand over my lips to keep myself from retching at the sight. The experiment pressed onward. I saw a red puddle beneath my mothers left leg and realized it had been slit open and blood had been collected for further observation.
    I began to realize that this constant probing of her body had taken place time and time again. My mother had been an object to the scientists in life, with her beauty and glowing personality and she remained objectified by them, even in death.
    They brought in a skilled artist and he painted her scientifically defaced form nude. This would be used for comparing to the painting of her healthy form of sixteen that was made when I was a young child. Again they also labeled the parts as if she were a rare creature instead of a human being. And so there would be a memoir of this day of horror upon the wall for me to see from this day forward.
    Finally the decision was made that there had been enough observation and collection to produce an analysis of her pox-infection so a burial was decided upon. Had things been of my own decision and not the scientists of the College of Lucidity she would have been buried beneath Bono’s rock. Instead Mr. Guitney and Mr. Swift made the decision and all arrangements.
    Slaves would build her casket by hand. I was not set to this task but instead I was set to digging a hole for the casket. The pox still ravaged through the College of Lucidity. Life was now even more solemn and I was often lonesome in my mother’s absence. I often recalled her final words to me, as she’d raised her head and painstakingly spoken about our native African language.