I’ve told this story before but here it is again, because blizzard.
Some years ago a monster storm rolled through New York. It lived up to the hype, with a horizontal snowblast and ½” visibility for 24 hours straight.
But everyone was ready, which isn’t always the case in New York. Next day the streets were plowed, and even most of the sidewalks were cleared.
So I, with plenty of cabin fever burning away, had no trouble walking out to Old Calvary Cemetery, as I was wont to do in those days. I wanted to see how the yard looked under 2 feet of snow.
I made my way up to the highest point in the yard, in an open area near the Civil War Soldiers Monument in Section 4. I I stood in place for a few moments, assaying the endless waves of snow on the ground, and the silence. The usual din of traffic noise from the Kosciuszko Bridge and Long Island Expressway barely registered.
I attempted to resume walking but was a little bit stuck. I couldn’t quite move my legs in a normal gait, and damn near fell forward, where I would have landed on my face.
I looked down and discovered I was standing in a Sea of Shit. It was maybe an inch or inch-and-a-half deep. It formed an almost perfect rectangle spreading 30 feet ahead of me and two arm’s lengths across. It was fresh, sticky, wet, it smelled bad… It was all that stuff shit is.
The revulsion quickly gave way to direct action. I said to myself: “Person: Get your ass out of the Sea of Shit in which you stand.”
Questions poured through my head, most pressing among them “Why?” and “Who?” and “How did this shit get here?”
I imagined an underground network of nihilist activists who rebelled against the tyranny of toilets and the use of communally shared sewage systems. As a statement they didn’t flush or even use toilets at all. Instead they filled bucket after bucket with raw fœces and hauled truckloads of the stuff off to cemeteries believing their acts would lead to mass resurrections through fertilization of the dead.
Extricated from the Sea of Shit I quickly concluded “No, that can’t be it.”
I sat down on a bench near the chapel, using a couple of tree branches I found to scrape as much of the stuff off my shoes as possible.
I shook my head imagining how I’d be feeling if I actually did fall over and land flat on my face in that field of fœces.
The explanation, so obvious but obscured in the moment by the waves of revulsion, came to me: It had to be the geese. There are hundreds, even thousands of them at Calvary Cemetery. Those are big animals that, as I had observed in the past, can crank out pretty human-looking turds. During the storm they had to have huddled together to keep warm, just pooping away the time for 24 hours, trapped in their own ever-increasing Sea of Shit.
I’ll never forget walking home from Calvary that day, in a pair of shoes soaked in goose shit.
Now you know my “Sea of Shit” story.