The Uphill Slide

There is always something.



I meandered the roads in Allegheny Cemetery with the final destination Barb’s Corner Kitchen. All roads lead to Butler Street or Penn Avenue depending upon whether you’re headed up or down. I came upon veritable houses in the Ford and Moorhead mausoleums. Either, quite suitably sized, accommodation for one. For living, not dying. Save for the lack of running water and bathroom, the perfect stone cottage.

The names on mausoleums and tombstones were shared with towns and streets and parks of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. Vandergrift. Belknap. Rankin. Negley. Biddle. Swisshelm. The road to immortality lies with a town or street or park named in your honor to memorialize some notable achievement though few are likely to remember your story in the next century.

Canadian geese walked among the dead trimming grass. A car stopped and the couple threw bread crumbs. Why were they encouraging these poop-dropping birds to stay? On my last stretch of road, there was a noxious smell of rotting carcass. “There’s something dead here,” I thought and realized the absurd undeniability of that.

I arrived at the Butler Street entrance which always makes me think of knights on horseback with lances and flags flying from turrets. Like in the movies. Across the street was Barb’s. It was just beginning to sprinkle so forget sitting outside enjoying a fall morning. Instead I sat down at Halloween festooned tables and ordered breakfast. Barb makes a mean egg wrap and home fries. I knew she’d be good cook.


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