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Dan is in the process of writing a book about his journey and invites you all to stay tuned for further updates. He will post snippets of his book as blog posts on this page. Let us know what you think. We'd love your feedback!

Scungili and Platanos in the Boogie-Down Bronx

The following is an excerpt from Waiting for Life by Dan Seda:

"That night, I awoke with a piercing urge to urinate. I walked down the hallway towards the bathroom passing the doorway of her bedroom. 

Everything inside me wanted to keep going towards the only moonlight I could see trying its damnest to shine through the tiny, opaque window above the shower. However, my curiosity got the best of me, and I soon stopped at the doorframe for a long, hard look.   

While most people enjoy sleeping under the covers, my grandmother insisted on going to bed on top of her preexisting comforter with a different blanket pulled high over her head. 

Her room was totally off limits to everyone. It wasn’t a written rule - it was just something we never did growing up - and were never told not to as far as I can remember. I guess the overwhelming smell of musk and impending sense of doom got the best of us but there were just other rooms to fear and other plastic couches to sit on that made Grandma’s room just another item we weren’t supposed to touch or enjoy.

In the darkness, I saw the silhouetted figure of what appeared to be a mummy. Its hands were neatly crossed about the chest in a dramatic “X” and its lower appendages were squeezed together in a ritualistic fashion never allowing the feet to flail off to the sides. Shockingly, it didn’t frighten me as much as inspire me to imagine what kind of person sleeps in such a determined disposition. 

Was she afraid of dying in her sleep or hoping to do so, but was afraid that no one would find her in time before the rigor mortis set in? Instead of troubling the coroner with unruly stiff limbs, she decided to skip the process all together and learn to sleep like a nestled butterfly securely fastened in her cocoon. It was beautiful to behold but at the same time tragically romantic and peculiarly disturbing."