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Monday, April 24, 2017

The Underworld by Kevin Canty

The Underworld by Kevin Canty is about a town in Washington with a silver mine. Then there is a mining accident and ninety-one men died. Ann and Jordan are surviving wives. Ann is childless and Jordan has two small children. David survives his brother, but his mom and dad don’t do so well. The survivors are known as the “sleepwalkers” as they walk around with blank faces and a distracted look on their faces as they continue conversations, one-sided conversations. As Ann drives Jordan home after they have identified the bodies of their dead mining husbands to the suits, Ann reflects, “It’s strange how everything looks new today. She’s driven this road some uncountable number of times but today she feels like a stranger here and she can see the strange lonely little houses behind chain-link fences, the crumminess, fiberglass speedboats mildewing in the side yards, firewood stacked under blue tarps. Why would anyone live here? Years of smoke from the smelter have killed the trees. A tangle of weeds on the hillsides now. Scraps of snow in the creases of the hills high above, though it is spring in the valley, a season of mud and flowers. Half the cars look abandoned. Dogs bark at passing cars. People stuck around because the money was good, and it was good, but where is it now? This looks like a town of poor people, temporary people, like a good wind might blow them all away.”
Two miners, Terry and Lyle, spent sixteen days underground until they were found. This is a story of the survivors and how they cope and how they don’t cope. It’s about getting out of the hole.
It is so appropriate today as 45 revitalizes the coalmines and one has to wonder why. He certainly can’t be doing it for the miners, that life sucks and is so tragic. He’s doing it for the suits and at the same time changing science. 45 has no regard for nature or mankind, just the almighty dollar. He’s a suit.

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