My phone was vibrating when I got back in the car. There was a text from one of my new Irish bar friends.
“U havn a good day.” I could picture Mike typing each letter cursing at the tiny keyboard. He was over fifty, and technology that didn’t involve ammunition seemed to piss him off.
I replied. “Had a productive morning,” I added a smiley face trying to keep it light.
“good 2 no 2 unexpected sales today. Need advice for shipping. Can u meet for lunch?” I could only imagine his two sales were two bodies that needed to be removed.
“My door is always open, my friend, no lunch break today, but you are welcome anytime.”
“that works b seeing you,” Mike added the eyes emoji.
I felt a sense of teamwork with the Irish. They were turning out to be real assets. I imagined Mike and his crew grabbed a few more names off my list. I couldn’t process more than two bodies without making some adjustments to my day, but the early warning gave me a chance to plan.
Rolo’s body has so much mass. He’s almost going to be like processing two average men. I drove straight back to the building and found Edwin occupied with one of his contractors on the third floor. I let him know we may have company soon. He nodded and motioned for me to talk with his crew downstairs.
Most of Ed's crew were lounging in the loading dock. A few volunteers rolled down the loading bay doors and helped pull Rolo out of my trunk. Opening the door to the wet room shifted the energy in the open space from a busy rush of activity to a slow, methodical aura of curiosity. The young man that helped me hoist Rolo’s fat frame out of the trunk didn’t seem to catch on to the fact that I was going to make a body disappear.
A new wheelbarrow lined with plastic was ready for use near the doorway of my workspace. You could almost follow the thought progression of the men watching. There was the body, the wheelbarrow, the saws, the plastic sheeting, the new white five-gallon buckets, and the stash of chemicals I brought with me.
Rolo’s body landed in the wheelbarrow with a thud. I rolled the body across the plastic sheeting on the floor and into the room.
“Hey, is there another table I can prop outside the door? I need a clean spot to put my clothes.” I asked openly of the five men standing around me. They got close to the entrance of the wet room but seemed to be keeping a respectful distance by not stepping on the plastic-covered cement.
One of them walked off quickly on a mission to find me a table. I began by slicing a few deep angular cuts from the center of a five-gallon bucket with my new reciprocating saw. The smell of the virgin engine heating up was like a hot batch of cookies coming out of the oven.
The group stood nearby and watched as I assembled my first prop. I attached a heavy plastic bag to one end of the notched bucket and secured it with duct tape. The confusion was there on their faces, but none of them wanted to admit that they had no idea what I was up to.
The small table I requested arrived, and I stripped down to my boxers and donned a blue paper painter’s jumpsuit and face mask. I like disposables. Paper dissolves like warm sugar in my brew of chemicals. I needed Rolos clothes, so I stripped him quickly and shoved his garments into a plastic bag. I lay his thick arm inside my makeshift bucket shield and fired up my saw. Once I started cutting, the need for the bucket became clear to the crowd, and I could see their shadows slowly pull away from the doorway.
There’s no screaming when you cut up a dead body, no arterial spray, but there is blood transfer as the teeth of the blade separate each piece from the next. The bucket helps channel the fluids making the mess more manageable. I can work a body into thick a sludge in fifteen minutes if necessary, but today I wasn’t that rushed.
Once I got a few big pieces to work with, I severed the hands and set them aside. There are so many tiny bones in the human hand that they need more time to soak in the special sauce. I lost my crowd and heard the door to the room swing slowly closed.
Any goon can point and shoot. Dismemberment is a sight only those with strong stomachs can handle. I didn’t expect to put on a show for the boys but they did get a glimpse of my specialty earning me some respect outside of my adoptive father’s name.
My new Irish friends arrived about an hour later with two more names from my list. I took my polaroids and set them aside. One man was wearing a jogging suit. The synthetic fabrics make for a cloud of chemicals when dissolved. I motioned for help from one of my new Irish friends. The man Mike brought with him stood like a statue and his eyes pinned wide open staring at me.
“For fuck sake, he’s dead. You shot the bastard. You can’t help get rid of him?” Mike took off his shirt and laid it on a table by the door. His very white flabby old man boobs seemed to reflect more light than the white room tiles.
“Jesus, Mike, that’s a lot of skin.” Mike started laughing as he pulled the clothes off our dead men. He didn’t have a problem with his own lack of clothes or cutting the clothes off a corpse with half a face. Mike earned my respect and I would be sure to let my father know how useful our new allies were proving to be.
Mike’s protege, John, watched from the wall for a good thirty minutes before he slowly took off his shirt and helped Mike strip the clothes off the second corpse. I was done cutting up Rolo and removed the arms and legs from body two. John seemed intrigued by my technique.
Rolos torso was soaking but let out some gas. John jumped behind Mike and shouted a string of obscenities.
“John, it’s okay,” I said.
“That fucker is still alive.” John pointed excitedly.
“They make some noises, but his head is soaking in the bucket by the sink, Man. He's good and dead." Mike laughed so hard he started coughing and eventually sat down.
The two men sat with me for another hour and watched while I cut up the bodies and set them to soak. Rolo was ready to dump down the drain but I was able to use his buckets of sauce to soak the hands and feet of the other bodies.
"So Mike what do you think?" I raised my gloved hands out to the room.
"Your work is worth every penny my friend. I couldn't do this and go home at night. I worked in a slaughterhouse as a young man so I didn't think it would bother me. The next one I'm happy to deliver and strip the body but I don't need to see the rest of it again."
"I understand." John participated but he just stood at the edge of the work area crossed his arms and shook his head.
"No this I can't do," he said. I could see he was ready to leave.
"Okay well, good news I'm almost done. This room will be spotless in an hour, the bodies disintegrated. The bad news is you two need to shower at the back of the room and use the bar soap even on your hair. You both have blood in your hair and on your pants. I have some scrubs you can wear home but your clothes are going to be washed here and then burnt." The two men nodded in agreement. None of what I told them seemed to sink in but they would have been happy to follow any instructions that would allow them to leave the white room.