Monday, April 04, 2005

Your Coffin Tumbled Day

Your Coffin Tumbled Day!

It was supposed to be a small, peaceful service. It's what you would have wanted, everyone was certain of it. But as the coffin got closer to the grave, your Uncle George and your Aunt Ethel roused the rest of the family with bellicose rhetoric, demanding that no one give you dignity in death went you spent so much of your life stealing dignity from others. Sisters were scolded for bowing their heads before the corpse of the man who released frogs into their bedrooms when he was a boy. Brothers were reminded of Friday night bickering over who gets to take the family car out. Even your grandmother ripped off her veil when she was asked to remember how many times you'd called her while you were alive. Before the preacher could shout a placating word, all twenty-eight family members and friends rushed your coffin.

The pallbearers (your Dad, your Uncle Marv, your friends Pete and Randy, your brother Hank, and your high school physics teacher, Mr. Reidel) just handed you over to the mob without a fight. They were disgusted that they had to be so close to your remains. The collective hands of the crowd held you aloft for a few seconds before the coffin turned in the air and your body hung halfway out the part-way opened lid. Your family tore at your suit until you were naked above the waist. They first ripped a gash in your neck, and after that the rest of you fell apart like a rag doll. All that was meant to preserve you in the grave came spurting out of you and drenched everyone's clothes to the bone. In the end, when the police siren sounded and everyone went running back to your Dad's house, you were left on the ground pinned under the weight of the coffin, some bone visible through the gash in your cheek, your left arm resting in the grass seven feet away from its shoulder. The policemen on the scene remembered when they busted you for truancy when you were fourteen. They spit on your coffin and each fired a round from his pistol into the back of your three-days-dead skull. They told the groundskeepers not to clean you up from the grass until you'd spent a full day rotting under the sun.

Happy Your Coffin Tumbled Day!