Even though Billy's train wasn't moving, its boxcars were kept locked tight. Nobody was to get off until the final destination. To the guards who walked up and down outside, each car became a single organism which ate and drank and excreted through its ventilators. It talked or sometimes yelled through its ventilators, too. In went water and loaves of blackbread and sausage and cheese, and out came shit and piss and language.
Human beings in there were excreting into steel helmets which were passed to the people at the ventilators, who dumped them. Billy was a dumper. The human beings also passed canteens, which guards would fill with water. When food came in, the human beings were quiet and trusting and beautiful. They shared.
I love the end of this passage, where all of the people in the boxcar are working together, helping each other, pulling together. It's a wonderful image of humanity at its best.
Today, I said goodbye to one of my best friends at work. She's not leaving my life. She simply took another job, so I won't be seeing her every day. That makes me more than a little sad. After work, we went to visit my sister's grave. Had hot chocolate and cheese and crackers. It really was a celebration of friendship and love.
We have been through a lot together. Bad times and good times. I'm going to miss her. Thank goodness I head off to the Wisconsin Dells tomorrow morning for a weekend of fun and forgetting.
Saint Marty is thankful tonight for water slides and Ferris wheels.