Wednesday, January 19, 2011

At Your Funeral.

I was just shoving the garbage bag material poncho that Annie wore to your funeral back into its little ziplock bag.  It came from an Eddie Bauer survival kit we each got for Christmas many years ago, I think from Scarlett.  A whistle, waterproof matches, a fake maglite, a compass, an emergency blanket, and a poncho, a very minimal first aid kit, all inside a lexan bottle, during the Nalgene craze.

I long ago dumped the contents of the two bottles into our car bag -- the tool bag Dad gave me years back (I know you were there) that holds the things I might wish I had with me in a pinch, or if something terrible happened.  Utility gloves, scissors, duct tape, toilet paper, bungee cords, twine, jumper cables, etc.

The car bag hasn't been in the car lately, since we helped our friends move its been sitting in the dining room.  In October, it let us down when we found it no longer held jumper cables.  But it was there for your funeral.  The only part of us prepared for that day.  Emergency poncho.  Check. 

Your funeral was nice but went by way too fast.  I could have stood to be held in that spot in time for much longer, because I hate moving forward on this and farther away from the world that included you, alive, and me, with a step-brother.

At the funeral, one of your friends carried an umbrella decorated around the edge with coffins, I think with crosses.   Your grandma wore my favorite coat of hers, I think.  I could be completely mistaken, but in my mind she was in that long wool sweater coat of hers. Your friends were getting pummeled with rain, it rolling down the collars of leather jackets.  Punk rocker coats tend not to have hoods, though one guy had a black REI shell on.  I smiled to myself thinking about the coat I'd bought you, the Dickies coat with a water resistant coating.  It was a style my mom would call "gas station attendant" but I loved it.  I wondered if you ever wore it.  Then I saw you wearing it in so many of the photos that were posted in your passing.  When I was going to order it, Dad said, it does have a hood.  I argued you'd never wear a hood anyway, not up at least, it would totally mess with your hair and not work with a hat.  Joe told me you once told him I have a raincoat, but it doesn't have a hood.  That's why.  I chose the one I thought you'd wear.  Even though it was oddly without a hood. 

Dad put you in the ground himself, kneeling, straining to lower your box to its place on top of your grandpa.  Someone was holding an umbrella over his head, and the rain was rolling off it onto Dad's back.  

Dad had us each take a flower from your arrangements.  Mine is still sitting on the dash of our car.  It's a little contrived at this point.  I think I've cleaned the car since that day, or maybe it was the day before the funeral that I cleaned the car.  It is a red sunflower, the dyed kind.  I'd thought about having them at our wedding, but the color looked so dull.  But not these, they were bright red, the perfect shade of red.  They were the kind of flowers you might have chosen, but for your wedding. 

At your wake there was a guy sitting in the back, alone, apart from your other friends it seemed, with dark hair and glasses.  I don't know who he is, but I think of him often because it helps to know there are other people thinking of you every day, other people who know how much the world has changed.


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