Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Gravedigger's Tale

The Gravedigger's Tale

A few months back, out here in Hagerstown, I met a guy in a bar. We got to talking and he told me his current job was digging graves, which made sense because there are a good number of cemetaries around here, many dating back to the Civil War, which must be in need of such services.

Formerly he'd had a good life, as a building contractor in Washington DC, 65 miles south of here. He and his wife lived in a nice condo, which was fully paid for, in a great part of town. They had it made, except for one problem. She was an accountant, a CPA, and at one point she was indicted for embezzlement, I forget how much, and sentenced to 12 years in jail.

The prosecutors took their condo, and all other jointly owned assets, to cover fines and restitution, and told him if he contested it they'd come after him too, on the ground he must have known about her crimes. For the record he did not admit to having known or helped her. They are now divorced.

Since then things went downhill and he's been doing odd jobs. He'd been living in an especially dubious part of town, in some (I assume) flophouse on a weekly rental, but had just gotten himself into a better apartment, coincidentally above a funeral home, perhaps one of the ones he was working for. But he wasn't depressed, and seemed to be in good spirits.

So if your life has been taking a few strange turns, maybe this tale can provide some comfort that you can survive to have a beer and share your story. Be of good cheer!

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