I remember seeing this dead woman once, I was dropping a letter into the corner post box and the dead woman came out of an alley pushing a rusted shopping cart with crooked wheels. The cart pulled her to the right and the left. The dead woman fought to control the cart. A better way to say is that she struggled with the cart. The best way is to say she warred with the cart.
Suddenly the dead woman stopped and looked all around.
Where is it she said.
Where is what I asked.
I’ve misplaced the damned thing.
Something fell from the cart?
I had it. I had it and now it is gone.
When did you lose it?
The dead woman made a strange sound.
I didn’t know what the dead woman lost, she never explained, she appeared to think I already knew every detail of her misfortune. She swung her head awkwardly, scanning. She began to weep and I almost offered to help look for whatever had gone missing. But it was getting late and I had things to do and the moment to offer aid passed. The dead woman began to speak quietly to herself in a language I didn’t recognize. She got down on her knees and crawled into gutter. She picked up loose change and discarded cigarettes and soiled bits of paper and held each item and sighed.
Another moment came and went. I couldn’t say what kind.
The dead woman crawled along the gutter. The dead woman crawled to the corner. The dead woman turned left and crawled out of my sight and that was all the time the dead woman and I would ever share.
Still. Some nights I dream of her. There she is, wandering though the vapors. I have questions for the dead woman. Did she ever locate her missing treasure? Was she still out there crawling in the darkness of the soulless city? Had she worn out the flesh of her knees? Was she scuffing along on bare bone?
I have questions for myself. If the woman was dead, then how could it be possible for her to return to life? And if she lived anew should I really consider her as having been dead in the first place?