Crazy Hot Thing

The small rooms with the quiet people moving quietly between them were no match for the woman talking loudly to her friend. As the rest of us tried to focus on the photographs on the walls, and as engaging as those photographs were, the woman clearly overpowered them. “So they shoved a camera down his throat, you know, so they could find where the bleeding was coming from. Then they, like, stuck some sort of really hot thing down there and burned the cut closed. Yeah, cauterized. Whatever. Anyways. So crazy.”

As annoyed as I was at the volume of her story telling, I also thought that sticking a really hot thing down someone’s throat was crazy. I looked up images of throat cauterization on my phone and was startled to find that they didn’t look too dissimilar to the photos on the walls in front of me of coal miners working in Wales in the 1930s. Those men trudging through the endless black of the mines with the same look of tired frustration on their faces as my own.