Technology in Phoenix, autopsy in Albuquerque
4 flights and 40 hours later (after having missed Japan Week), I am back in New York in the modern and technological Delta terminal (C, not D) at Laguardia Airport, with its tablets and card readers on all tables and bars at all bars and restaurants.What a difference from the Delta Terminal 4 at JFK! Luckily the new one will be finished in May, because the old one is falling apart.
Even the fastest business trips can be full of anecdotes. This time they were not all fun or nice ones, though.
Wednesday, in Phoenix I learned how technology is put together and delivered via a very interesting “back stage” tour of one of Avnet‘s largest integration facilities. It really makes you understand the technology delivery process much better.
The next day, in Albuquerque I received a very different tour: probably the largest and best equipped medical examiner’s office in the world, where I had the “privilege” of seeing restricted areas like the evidence room, the refrigeration unit full of corpses (where we will all, one day or another, end up), and one of the hardest things I have seen in my life (and I have seen very very rough things): the autopsy of a baby and an adult.
The baby, which looked completely like a realistic doll, easily handled with one hand by one of the examiners, sitting there dead, arms down to his sides, while his skull was sawn open. His skin, pale yellow, in sharp contrast with abundant dark hair, made his eyelashes and eyebrows quite prominent. As if hanging on to a last resource of identity before an inevitable decomposition.
The adult, with the thorax already completely open, exposing lungs, heart, and the rest of the inner organs, skin apart like a book.
Amazing how extremely graphical TV shows, video games and movies have made us assimilate those images. But it is still fairly hard. As one of the examiners told me, many police officers faint when they see that.
After that I took a taxi back to the airport. And the taxi driver told me how his brother had just committed suicide.
I probably do think about death and the fragility of life more often than most people. But still, and overdose of extreme stimuli left me a little bit numbed for a while. Luckily the airport’s free wifi allowed me to concentrate on a very dehumanizing task: work.
On the air, over Minneapolis Saint Paul, I saw the snow, blanketing everything and everywhere. It reminded me of the Siberian tundra, and brought back memories. Many memories.
Now I am finishing this little post on the plane approaching New York. Back to life. Back to reality?