Friday, March 21, 2008

a request for D.Alighieri

yesterday my mom, aunt and i faced off against against chop-chop peggy and unctuous emilio -- picture an oily elderly jewish man and a smartly-dressed young black woman with staccato delivery -- across a vast conference room table at the druid hill cemetery.

i stared out the window at the gulls pitching and pinwheeling in the 50mph gusts because if i looked at emilio again i might throw up my thick & creamy yoplait all over his nice table. THERE. that is for shaking your head and saying "she didn't look it" when we told you how old she was. that is for unzipping your dayplanner and showing us the sample bookmark druid hill made for your mother, so that your children would always have "a touching memento of their beautiful grandmother -- along with her favorite poem!" that is for making a "mistake" on the cost and charging us $400 over what you quoted on the phone. that is for the awkward silence when we told you we wouldn't be there for the opening of the vault or the placement of the "cremains" (it's for a word like "cremains" too), and that is for your clearing your throat peremptorily when we told you we wouldn't need extra attendants for the procession to the service because there'd be three cars, max.

oily emilio cleared his throat and i could hear the gears rumbling and mashing in his head. he pushed across the table his pièce de résistance: a glossy brochure called The Ultimate Celebration of a Life Well-Lived with pictures of ornate mausoleums and crypts.

- your mother - and your grandmother - was so loved, and so special. have you considered ways to honor her memory and celebrate her long and successful life? you did love her so much. would you like to see some options for celebrating such a special lady? something that future generations would appreciate? - upon "future" emilio's cicatrice eye clicked to me.

my mom pushed the brochure back across the table.
- no thank you - she answered politely.
- no thanks - said weird sister.
- nope - said finn.
and we all three turned back to peggy who, showing a degree of intuition and wisdom emilio wil never know, gathered speed and hastened the filling of forms-in-triplicate.

as a group, we could defeat emilio. but just one of us? an overwhelmed, distraught spouse?

there should be a special circle for vultures who prey upon grief.

2 comments:

fatmammycat said...

Vile. Sometimes the pithy doesn't do some folk any kind of justice.
This is Twisty's version of the funeral home dance. It sums up pretty much my views on it too.
http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com/2008/03/16/the-spinster-aunt-and-the-funeral-parlor/

fatmammycat said...

I fucked that link up, let me try again.

here