The Living Dead.
It was a cold October’s evening embraced by the howling Atlantic wind. A photographer friend of mine had come from Spain in order to do a report about surfing in Ireland and it was his last day on the island. Even dragging around a hangover accumulated over many days, he decided to go outside and take his last shots of the city. I reckoned that the area around the Guinness storehouse was interesting and close enough to my home. I thought the old brick hangars, the brewery tubes and the cobblestoned narrow streets would be perfect for his purpose. But first we walked around Meath Street, passing butcher shops, street vendors offering smuggled tobacco, and pound shops selling out of date groceries. We turned towards Saint James Gate, and we came across a tiny park surrounded by buildings and a metal fence. It’s the backyard of Catherine’s Church, a small green area with trees, one sculpture and some old graves. The rainy Irish weather had created a delicate layer of different green mossy colours around the grave stones. The trees were crying their leaves away; the place had that gothic look that makes death romantic. We walked inside; my friend took his camera out, crouched and started to focus on the graves. Suddenly, we heard some noises confused with the howling wind. It came directly from some graves by the corner against a brick wall. When we turned our heads in that direction, a hunched creature emerged from the graves, dragging his feet through dead leaves and pointing with his black nails towards us. He was spitting incoherent words full of anger and looking us with dead eyes. From between the tombstones, another creature showed up his head, creeping through the ground, staring with lifeless eyes.
It took us a while to realize the true nature of that abominable apparition. It wasn’t any phantom, any zombie, or undead returned from hell’s guts, but was as close as you can get. A couple of junkies had found the perfect place to shoot up - a graveyard. They where quite pissed off with our presence, disturbing their determination to dig their own resting place with syringes. We skipped any kind of argument with those two gentlemen and got the hell out of there. We were thrilled with that vision, addicts injecting filth into their blood, embracing death in the cradle of a grave. That strong image of desolation and misery was almost poetical.
Maybe junkies get the same compulsion, buried deep in the subconscious, that old elephants have, who leave the pack and wander guided by the angel of death until they find rest in the same place other elephants have gone to die for generations. Maybe a sixth junkie sense drove them to that old cemetery like suicidal whales swim to shallow shores to beach themselves and die.