I smile at the reflection in the mirror. My reflection smiles back at me. ‘We look spiffy’ I say to both of us and, ‘Honey are you ready yet!’ to Julianne, my wife. Her sister’s funeral begins in an hour, and I really don’t want to be late.
Being late if for losers, is what I’ve always said. Funerals I generally stay away from unless I knew and liked the person about to be lowered into the ground a lot. Janie will forever remain the exception.
The day we met was anything but wonderful. The living room was empty except for myself on a couch as Julianne had felt like having some coffee. The door opened and in came this ugly brunette who’s first words to me(I think) were ‘Who’s this brown haired, uni-browed turd sitting on the couch?’
I said she was ugly, but in actual fact she was not, physically at least. You know the saying, ugly on the inside, ugly on the out-
“OK I’m ready, let’s go.’ Julian said, merrily.
I did mention Julianne’s grief didn’t I? I meant practicing her grieving. I kissed my smiling wife, took the car keys and off we went to the funeral of the hated one.
Between Julian and I at least she was hated. She was loved by everyone else. Two hundred people were at the funeral. A real spiffy affair organized by her husband. I mentioned as much to Julian, who was doing a sort of laugh-cry at this point.
John was the name of Janie’s husband, for everyone’s in the family’s name started with a J. Julianne had almost been disowned for marrying me, Chris. John spotted us, sprinted towards us and gave me a hug I’d hope never to receive from man. He then proceeded to wail on my shoulder. Another unwanted happening.
Damn! I forgot to mention we were didn’t I. We were at the church, twenty minutes late. John was the priest. The family was also Anglican, while I was agnostic. That almost got Julian beheaded. But I was rich so they forgave her.
Anyway, five minutes of uncomfortable (on my part at least) wailing later. John returned to the altar to give his sermon. He told us all about the life of the wonderful woman now laying silently in the open casket.
At some point I noticed that everyone was crying. Aunt Janine’s cry was horribly funny, Uncle James’ horribly disturbing. Julianne’s cry had become more laugh than cry. I was still looking seriously spiffy. All the crying, all the grieving, all the hushed conversation’s stopped suddenly though.
Because Janie had just woken up.
Columns by OricXe