Thursday, March 09, 2006

my first service

The service is scheduled for 12:30, but folks began arriving at 11:30. Older Russian man, died after being hit by a car while riding his bike. Wife, daughter, grandson came in to make the arrangements. Wife and daughter came in this morning to make the payment. All cash, that seemed a little odd to me. They got here early for the service so they can go outside and smoke or walk around or check out the snow. Half an inch on the ground when I woke up this morning. No tears, but the wife was weary when she came in earlier. It’s very interesting to me, the dynamics at play. I feel like a fish in a fishbowl, they’re looking at me through the window, I’m looking at them. Many older people now. Music playing in the background. Flowers arriving and they’re leaving the door open. It’s cold. The ladies smile at me. They are waiting for one other woman and then they all go into the chapel together. Grandsons hold open the door. Hey, it’s cold, close that door. I wonder how many people will fill the chapel. The snow is coming down harder than ever now. The boy still holds open the door. He’s maybe fourteen or fifteen. He smiles nervously as people walk up. I wonder what’s going through his head today. Tom’s in the other office on the phone. I’m sure I just heard him say he’s just screwing around here waiting for a service to start. He’s much too used to this. I, on the other hand, want to stand in the door of the chapel. I want to see the ceremony. Is it weird of me? Am I a little sick? The violinist just asked me for a cd player, a small one to play in the room adjoining the chapel. Maybe he can’t really play the violin and doesn’t want anyone to know. Can you lip sinc a violin? The grandson comes back out of the chapel and wanders around. Tom waits at the door and watches the snow.

It's later now and the service is over. It was quite nice, even if I couldn't understand it. I did look in the door, several times. It didn't feel like I was being invasive, i wasn't trying to be. Just curious about the differences in culture more than anything. Wondering how others mourn their dead. wondering if at some point I'll be like Nate and David from Six Feet Under, making judgment calls about who's going to be a coffin jumper. Whoops, guess i'm not supposed to say coffin, too dracula-ish. Casket, say it with me, casket. Lunchtime. that's what i'm most interested in now! Hey, I'm excited to eat, does that mean I'm getting more used to it here? It's thursday of my second week and I want to eat lunch.

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