Aftermath: Memoirs of a crime scene cleaner — Part I
“You think this watch looks good on me?” Toby asks.
I stop skimming the pages of a crusty porn mag. Toby’s always had sticky fingers.
“If you pull the bits of brain off the side there, I think you’re really onto something Tobes. Can you believe that people still jerk off to vintage porn magazines?”
Toby beats the meat off of his new watch, using his knuckle to shoo it away.
“Look Ben, the internet’s full of new this and new that, but sometimes you just want to do things the old-fashioned way. It’s like driving a 60’s hot rod instead of a new Lamborghini. Not everyone is into rocket ships and tentacle porn like you are,” he says.
“Wow, I didn’t realize you were such a connoisseur of self-pleasure.” I say.
A woman on page 17 spreads her legs and stares at me seductively — a clump of brain matter rests between her thighs. I don’t know what’s more disturbing, the page goop or the fact that this naked woman has probably died of natural causes by now.
I pick off the piece of brain to reveal the complete picture. After a brief pause of appreciation and disgust with myself, I chuck the head sludge and magazine into their respective receptacles.
One bag is almost full, so I tie it up and place into a box labeled HAZARDOUS WASTE. After running three laps of duct tape around it, I slide the box down the hallway to sit with the others.
While walking, I feel a rubbery crunch beneath my boot. It’s someone’s ear.
After setting the box in place, I take another look around the scene. It’s hard to find one spot in the room that isn’t caked with coagulated blood.
Apparently, the deranged husband came home with the idea that his wife was cheating on him and decided to express himself with a kitchen knife. After realizing that he had made a terrible mistake, he blew his head off in the bedroom with a 12-gauge shotgun.
I’ve heard stories of suicidal shooters not placing the barrel of the gun at the proper angle and blowing half their face off while they’re still breathing. This guy had his game face on. His head looked like a watermelon at a Gallagher show.
I make my way back to Toby and the bedroom turned brain kaleidoscope.
“Hey Toby. I’m going to let you finish up in here so I can start unfucking the living room,” I say.
“So, you’re leaving the really nasty stuff to me while you go finger-paint out there? Thanks pussy,” he says.
“It’s not like that. There’s just a lot of work to be done out there.”
“Hey look what I found” Toby softly squeezes an eyeball in between his thumb and pointer finger, begging for it to explode. “No worries man, I get it. Just be careful not to trip on your vagina lips when you’re mopping out there.”
I step into the living room and take a quick look around; it looks like Jackson Pollock did a bunch of coke and went to town with a bucket of red paint.
I need some fresh air.
I make my way out onto the front lawn. My old neighbor yelling “DON’T STEP ON THE GRASS!” pops into my head, but hey he’s dead, these people are dead and now the grass is dead so everyone wins.
I pull my mask off my face and tear back the hood of my coveralls. My entire head is damp, like an overused jockstrap.
I take a deep, lung expanding breath of fresh air and see a couple of moms across the street staring at me. I raise my hand and give them my best suburban smile, but they just stare at me with disgust.
“Bitches,” I murmur under my breath.
Sweat drips down my thighs as I feel the inside of my suit humidifying. I glance down my body and notice that I’m covered head to toe with the Mr. and Mrs. blood and guts.
Could be worse, I guess. Or could it? What a fucking job.
Check out Part 2.