Suffocation & The Utter Darkness
Boston. Breeze is funneled through the tall buildings, still smelling of salt over and above the car exhaust and the cigarette smoke. It's a clammy summer night. I carry two bags of groceries home past little knots of people walking off dinner and drinks and trying to find their way back to their hotels.
In New York, Peter Jennings rasps painfully into the silent hiss and pop of clinical white machines before falling into oblivion.
Six Russian submariners shiver with thanks in another hospital on the coast in Kamchatka, and share a flask of fine vodka smuggled in. They don't talk about the three days they spent expecting to choke to death themselves, waiting on the ocean floor packed into a little steel shell that seemed always to be on the verge of collapse, of popping under the pressure like a soap bubble. They go to bed early, a little drunk, spinning in their beds. A sea breeze like Boston's sea breeze billows up against their open double-paned windows. Interfax reports their condition as "satisfactory."
In the Guangdong, one hundred and two Chinese miners lie broken and submerged a quarter mile below the earth, trapped in mud and water, calling to each other through the pitch black and wondering, as the submariners wondered, as Peter Jennings wondered as he tried to breathe through cancerous lungs, whether anything or anyone would split the darkness and pluck them out, safe and newborn.