Miner 11

“I think they’re on miner 10, I think miner 11 is next.” Is what the radio said yesterday.

Miner 11. I couldn’t stop thinking about miner 11. I’ve created a whole life story for him. But mostly, I imagine and reimagine the anxiety, not only of miner 11 but what about poor miner 33. And who decided which order, the queue of escape, who foresaked whom? Because what if on miner 9 the rescue effort crumbled? What if after two months of waiting, ticking off time by silt shifts, it all went asunder? Miner 11 has a name, a deep-rooted sense of right and wrong, an iron will to survive. I hope that the made-for-TV movie respects that truth.

I hope miner 11 is right now digging into the Chilean feast that his mom used to make. With every bit of South American decoration and ritual. The bed linens turned down, the gentle breeze of the soon-to-arrive summer billowing through white curtains. I hope tonight at dusk or early tomorrow morning right when the sun is coming up that he makes mad, unbewildered love to his beloved, because it is for this moment, for this life that he has waited in a very long queue inside a cave.

Godspeed everyman, that we may all safely emerge.

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