I wasn’t going to mention the Metro-North tragedy initially, because you can’t run from death. Not really. I did finally mention it on Facebook because of some compelling coincidences. I didn’t want to give it special attention, because focusing on the details of the incident wouldn’t help to remind me that death is happening, and it’s not as big a thing as we make it out to be. When my father died I was reborn into this idea. Paradoxically, I had to go through a few complex changes to come to this simple conclusion. I try living harder and more truthfully because of this. I want to be more fleshed out and connected to everything around me.
Yah I’d like to think that I could sustain this idea. We’ll see how full of shit I am in the end though. In my isolated existence, disconnected from the whole, death becomes a melodrama, and the mere particle of my human life becomes lionized, disproportionate to the calming reality. Well, shit – I hope it’s calming. I really hate the idea of holding onto life, holding onto things…
My father and I went to a funeral where the minister berated us. He told us all that we only came to church for funerals and holidays. He shouted bible passages at us and said little about the dearly departed. My father sat two rows behind me. I had floated around saying hello to people and was sitting next to a long-lost cousin when the service started. Did the…minister just say that we were going to…hell? I had to look back to see dad’s reaction. He raised a brow in suppressed glee with a hint of a smile. I looked back again and saw him gleaming.
I didn’t cry at my father’s funeral. At my father’s funeral there was just a headshot of him that my step mother blew up. Dad had been cremated. The life behind his eyes leapt out at us from the photo.
People got up to pay tribute to dad — one advertised his business between the tribute. Why not pitch a sale to all of the grieving potential customers? I looked at dad’s gleaming eyes in the photo and stifled laughter. What would dad say to this? Dad had a sly sense of humor but would also have compassion for the absurd need of this poor soul.
I also don’t know how he would have liked the song that a lady from the church had sung. For my taste it was too sweet and generic. But as you know I’m a weirdo. I looked at dad’s picture during the song. While he would have appreciated it, he gleamed impishly at me from the photo. I would have chosen “Spill the Wine” by Eric Burdon and War. The fantastical lyrics remind me of him. The group also had a grimy sensibility like my dad. My sister cried during this lady’s sentimental song. My sister and I were the first ones out of the church after the funeral. “I can’t be-lieve you cried during that song,” I said. She looked at me with her tear-streaked face and we burst out laughing, standing at the top of the church steps.
While dad was in a coma I cried walking down the street – in the middle of talking to people. I always thought that if my father died, I would just drop dead. How would I live? No one would ever love me like this again. I used to hear him in my inner-ear while he was still alive, just calling “Sandee. Sandee.” There was a black hole now.
I had prayed while he was in a coma. I guess it worked because after the initial mourning, I felt spiritually revitalized. They say people born under the sign of Scorpio experience renewal upon death. Interesting, because it happened to me. Aside from that, one day the thought came to me, If dad died, it can’t be a bad thing.
You cut yourself, and I relieve the deep, metallic flow of blood with my mouth. That ancient taste permeates my tongue. I breathe deeply in to gather it – more. I wait before an electric wave carries me — my mouth slides lightly over your arm, to your lips. Taste! Your salty blood on my tongue. Isolated senses push my muscles, again! Again. Without permission. I black out — come to…transformed. Fused, we take our time to speak and the moistness between us evaporates into the continuum of time.
And now this — aw, it’s only a minute, 42 seconds — it’s an accompaniment to my poem — just don’t look up the lyrics!