20 August 2010 § Leave a comment
I hope you’ve got something nice to wear to the funeral. It will be open-casket, against the advice of the priest, the funeral director, and the family themselves, but the big man wanted to make a statement – the kind where you don’t have to actually say anything – and when the big man wants to speak but remain silent, he gets what he wants.
So the enbalmer, who is the funeral director’s nephew, was given the task of cleaning up the body for presentation. He was young and inexperienced in this sort of thing – most of his clients were old people, and it’s easy to make an old person look presentable, especially when they died peacefully – and the man whose memory was the guest of honor at this shindig, he proved to be the young man’s greatest challenge and eventually became the occasional ghost appearing to the lad in times of moral crisis throughout his life.
I really hope you’ve got something to wear. We don’t want to show up last, or first, least classy or most formal. You have to be inconspicuous at funerals like this – big parties tend to center around the loudest dressed, after all, and we don’t want to be pointed out as the audacious assassins, crying and bringing huge numbers of lilies or sunflowers or whatever is more symbolically creepy from the floral shop. We are here to mourn him, and the dollar bills in our pockets because he is dead will be our comforting handkerchief.