Embalming In Montego Bay

Lorris Shurriah
Lorris Shurriah


These streets are unforgiving, the whole city is, has become. There are ghosts in all corners, up and down flight of stairs, inside broken Alleys, all the cracks. Alleys of women and men, slender, bleached, medium built, tan and they don’t know who they are, some embodied in their battle scars, forever gone boys and girls smoking chemical marijuana. In their eyes is a reflection of death, their bodies are being preserved and damaged causing half their percentage of embalming fluid advocates to stop and stare, stunned by nothing at all but the high, they are frozen in their ecstasy and the chemical keeps sculpting these embalmed dead. the city is losing virtue and its allure is being conserved for tourists, the attraction is for landing planes and pullman, losing its people except for the foreigners, what it really stands for behind closed doors and I wonder how many make it home back alive, how many have experience this high? My generation is doomed, my peers are becoming mad, burning metal inside consumed in each puff bought from the older ones, sixteen years old selling their souls all for the price of a fluid mixed with nicotine, death is getting high. In their 20s have become immune to all that is felt, older are they with their glocs strapped to their belt. I see death walking on the streets in Montego Bay, something is wrong here, they are in their ghost outfitters, inviting you in with a laugh and suggestions, “ask for Babba if yuh wah de real thing” meaning ganja that has been soaked in C5H8O2, the 20th century brought back alive, the pungent odor should be enough to change your mind but they rather not and each passed by, I take a whiff of some girl’s spliff, a guys craven A, I feel threatened by death, I smell their grave. An act of recklessness, monkey see, monkey do except for this youth, I rather not chimp around, dying unknowingly knowing that I’m infused with methanol, solvents that in God’s earth is not and can’t be good for you. The trend is popular what was once used in a morgue is now the pattern of a everyday life and the chemical reaction results in crime, boosting the gangsters to swing their nines, pull the trigger on rapid, the mind is set for this, no sympathy felt, nothing at all. My generation is doomed! Buried in metal, corroded inside, an explosion of versatile violence. Rose hall is blooming tourists and the citizens are blossoming worries for this town is not for the planted and grown but for all the desperse from overseas. The devil’s hands touched Montego Bay, it feels like hell’s kitchen cooking up an apocalypse of young dysfunctional delinquent druggies not even bothering to themselves. They don’t see the destruction, life has been interrupted still they carry on, some gazing, others glaring in blank spaces, puffing away, Montego Bay losing its youngins and I wonder how long will it take for Jamaica to become entirely embalmed? Grined, rubbed in the palms, weed on the board says roll and light one and you’ll have your own story to tell. I promise you, my generation is doomed… except for the cowards too afraid to be cool. I salute you.

— Lorris Shurriah is a Jamaican writer, poet and songwriter.

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  • Tianbenjamin12
    April 4, 2018 at 10:48 am

    Lorris shuriah my hero.I love your story excellent.wow

  • Amoy Harris
    April 4, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    This, is, simply, AMAZING!!!!? I’m speechless actually. The rawness of this piece forces all heads to be turned to face the reality of this situation. Hitting the damn nail on the head every time Lorris, I am proud of u sis??❤