"Remind me not to die in my building"

By Teri Karush Rogers | January 6, 2011 - 1:12PM 

was the first comment posted after a lengthy online post-mortem by a doorman, "Mr. Murphy," about a death in the Upper West Side building he used to work at.  Perhaps the most morbidly fascinating passage in the essay filtering death through the eyes of the building staff was a graphic exchange between the super and a longtime doorman about all the bodies they have discovered over the years (the guy who hung himself was the worst, they agree). 

Noting that his coworkers seemed to recall finding the bodies more vividly than any details about a deceased's actual life, Mr. Murphy (writing on author Thomas Beller's eponymous neighborhood literary site, offers this cold comfort to those of us who wind up saying our final goodbyes inside our own four walls:

"If you have to suffer the posthumous indignity of being found naked and befouled by the porter or super, you can take solace in the fact that, while the image of your humiliating demise might stay with him till his dying day, any memory of you as an individual will likely be buried under the memories of the lives and deaths of other tenants until all that’s left is, 'He always wore a hat.'"



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