Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Funeral Director's Son

This may or may not have happened. Someone died. My father drove the black station wagon. I rode with him. Snow was falling. We arrived at the house of the survivors. Dad took up his red clipboard folio. He threw his cigarette out into the snow. It was already an inch deep. He told me to wait. He’d be out soon. He left the keys. It was cold. I knew how to run the heat. He said, okay. As though it was alright. As if to say, death is just a thing that happens, death is just a thing. He said, okay, and walked through the snow toward the house. His black coat, felt hat, and white hair disappeared. The flakes were huge. They drifted down side to side. Like feathers, they fell on the windshield. I imagined angels. Insubstantial figments. Their wings coming apart. Feathers falling down. Melting into nothing at all. I watched them fall. I wondered when Dad would come take me home. I felt myself grow cold. And imagined death. I figured it was about like this. Sitting in a car outside a house. Getting cold. The funeral director disappearing inside to help a family learn how to live without. Then snow covers everything. The white world goes dark and disappears.