No flowers, no speeches, no tears for this person who has already been forgotten.
In any case, I’m still standing here, parallel with two strangers waiting patiently for just one more person to arrive.
We don’t make eye contact for what seems like an eternity. This shall pass for the bitter folk who will not arrive has realized their many years investing in such a tortured soul has finally come to an end, and they have nothing to show for it. Who were we to be so sure he would turn around and stop spiraling down? Yet, we were so sure.
The younger of the two gentlemen asks me to put in a few words. For this 42-year-old man I hardly know, I had nothing to say. I remain silent and hoped they understood.
I should’ve said something. I could’ve said anything. This body before me has played an enormous part in my childhood. This heroin addict was the reason why I am the person I became. Of course I had plenty to say.
“I spent a great deal of my summer slaving over that massive picture you asked me to paint you and you never hung it up. What was wrong with it? Why did you shove it behind your bookcase? What should I have done? What does it take to make you happy? ”
But instead, I played my part and remained silent.
I stared blankly as they lowered his casket and put the finishing touches on erasing my uncle’s existence.
All of which makes me anxious, though there’s nothing more for me to do. I turn and walk away.
I can’t help it if I’ve forgotten how to cry.