Thursday, September 12, 2002

Ghost Chain
When Marla died, she had use of our car since we were away for July. On the day of the Hebrew University attack, she had our car keys in her purse. Amidst all of the panic, identification of bodies, requests for dental records, international mourning, memorial ceremonies and cleaning out her apartment, no one had really paid any attention to Marla's purse.

Now that the shloshim has passed, Jody called the Jerusalem police lost & found department. She was wondering if anyone had found our car keys, and any other materials belonging to Marla. She was directed to a special office dealing with terror victims. They checked and yes, they did have a set of keys on a Toyota chain with a remote control clicker. Jody was asked to come in.

The police station is on Russian Compound. We have pretty much avoided downtown Jerusalem for the past two years. Jody parked in the underground parking at Kikar Safra and walked, warily, towards the police. After a bit of navigation inside the compound, she found the right department. There was a whole section just for items found in the Hebrew University cafeteria. In addition to our keys, there were notebooks, various backpacks, and a sketch pad with some beautiful drawings. I don't know if Marla was an artist. Perhaps it belongs to someone else who can no longer claim it.

The clerk seemed freaked out by the keys. They were covered in caked, dried blood and other elements of death I, on later examination, didn't recognize (is that the bits of flesh they always talk about on the TV...I don't know...I don't want to know). Don't touch it, admonished the clerk, apparently not knowing the basic laws of 'oxygen kills HIV' chemistry. Jody pulled out a plastic bag that had previously held some fruit and put the keys in it. She returned home and tried to scrub out the blood. It didn't all come off. The clicker lit up intermittently.

A ghostly reminder of the impact of that terrible blast on even the smallest of objects.

Click here to read a number of stories, tributes and links on Marla's death.

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