Trafika Europe 5 - Slovenian Interlude

3. The Death of a Miner*

The wind does thus when we die.

His tombstone will read 1995-2014. That is if his family can afford one. For now, he is lying under a fresh heap of soil in Soma cemetery with a clay jug for a tombstone. In antiquity, people left jewels in loved ones’ tombs. For a coal miner, water is as precious as gold.

Our own wind blows.

How does a 19-year-old feel as he goes down the mouth of a black hole on a fine spring day? What passes through his mind as he changes into bright orange overalls in a dark locker room along with 300 other men? Does he think of the girlfriend with warm lips and long brown hair moving gently in the breeze? Does he think about life and wish to know its meaning? When he is deep underground, does he shovel away stoically, soot and dust in nails and nostrils? And does he understand this is the end as a final breath of carbonmonoxide fills his lungs in the smoke-filled mining gallery?

For we, who are human beings, We possess wind.


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