i parked the truck and the doors opened and the dad and i get out and the pants are wrinkled and the shirt is wrinkled and the shoes are scuffed and dusty and i tug on the sweater and push my hair around and then we, that is myself and my father, we get to the door and we walk
inside and it is cool and there are so many people so many here and there and they sit and they stand and they look away and so we walk over and find a seat conveniently next to my friend and his family and i nod to those i know and i nod to those i don’t know and i squirm in my chair for a bit and play with my hair and oh my god do i look appropriate even though i’m not in black? and so much like this because it all matters, right?
and then the sobbing begins and we sit there because the whole place is silent and the poor girl she sits there and she just cries and cries and cries and the tears flow i assume even though i couldn’t see her face which is good because i wouldn’t have looked at her anyway even though i missed her all these years well here she is, kid, and all of us just sit there and listen to her sobs
and suddenly all my wrinkles and all my hair well it doesn’t really matter does it? and i rub my hands and we all just sit there because no one can offer comfort, and the service begins and we stare at the tv because we are taught to and we look at it and the scene plays out on the screen and in real life right around the corner but i guess if you watch it on the tv its not real right? right? RIGHT? maybe she should watch it over here, right? right? you ask right so many times it becomes wrong because her mum is still dead and the tv lies so much, so much, lies and nothing real and nothing real except the important stuff, because all this stuff on the screen comes from people’s heads who have seen this stuff for real, in real, on real, around so much real and so stay there, Haley, stay there because the tv will lie to you, too.
and the crowd nods and the crowd repeats and the carpet screams and tears flow and then it is all over how nice and we all start to get up to leave, my dad and my friends and we look at the pictures and i realize that i didn’t actually know this woman, i am just here for her daughter, the one that i haven’t seen in how long, kid? ten years? so i realize i am not here for anyone but myself, i guess because i feel guilty, i guess, and then i know that i don’t really know, other than how i hate going to these things because they hurt so much, because one day i’ll be doing the same thing, won’t, i [will?] i, guess so.
and then we walk down the aisle and i make sure i look at every single person in the eyes because we are all here for this woman, so we are all connected, at least for this moment, second, minute instance no matter space in time, wrinkles forgotten, hair a mess, hands clenched, who is this person and who is that and well oh well oh well, not so well, that’s a deep subject.
smile, kid, you look better when you smile, and so i do, because grandfather told me to, in my head, which is the only way i still stay sane as i put one foot in front of the other foot in front of the [door]
door, [door], door handle please get me out because its stuffy and damp and the floors crawl and the ceiling i swear is getting lower to the floor to never ever ever let me out and then i find it and does my hand grip because it’s so sweaty turn damn you and daylight and i am
side and out
doors, and out
this door, this entrance and this exit and this black hole, daylight, sweat gone, breathe again, go to the truck kid, go find the party, because parties are what you do after someone dies, right? i guess, celebrate life, if so than why so much crying? why are those sobs the only thing i still hear? no ringing, no singing, nothing, sobs, cries of oh god and tears, surely on the cheek. does a finger wipe them off? not mine. mine is on my hand in my pocket getting the keys and turning the keys and playing some music and i hope i can drive.
if this it what it takes to reconnect with someone you lost, well, i don’t know if i like it all that much.