I walked through the doorway of the church, the feeling of unwelcomed civility poured over me in an overwhelming downpour. People from my left and right shuffled their heavy feet past me to make their way into the main corridor. The sunlight from the east poured into the stained glass spraying dues of purple and gold across the carpeted floor of the church. It rang true and righteous against that peppered grey floor and the light wood of the pews that were as bare as the day they were made. The different shades of black wandered throughout the decreasing space of the octagonal church and were hugging and embracing the unfortunate few that were high above the rest. The cascading walls formed into a beige pyramid and highlighted the massive mahogany cross that sat at the end of the room. Below the cross was a shimmering laminated box covered in flowers and bright colors. Pictures of a past time were planted all around the casket that sat in the front of the room. I stood motionless in the doorway but no one seemed to mind my stalling nature. The lid of the casket revealed a white billowy cotton to comfort the shell of the person that lies there before us all. On the right side of the room sat an overwhelming organ with an impatient little woman at the helm of it all. Her anticipating foot tapped incessantly on the ground as she watched the waves upon waves of people clash against the front where the family resided. One horde after the other, each group of vultures hunched their shoulders further and further down to show their enthusiastic sympathy. It was disgusting, really? Perhaps I’m biased, seeing how it was family, after all.
A sudden nudge internally pushed me forward into the sea of sorrow that awaited us all. A cornucopia of black sundresses and grey dress suits lined the sides of church as they congregated with one another after consoling the forever sad family in their darkest times. No doubt to judge this ornate ordeal with the other services that they had been ethically obligated to attend. The peculiar thing that seemed to catch my eye were simply the faces that emerged from the crowd. One after the other, faces from my distant past and recent all the same appeared in the chaos of all the glum to show their support. Those that ignored the occasional greeting whenever it was possible…those that only claimed to know me from “That one time…” What a touch of nostalgia it was to see their face. A blend of happiness and resentment twisted and turned until it was something that I could recognize: nostalgia. We could have sat together and reminisce until we became another show-boating corpse in front of a room but, what would be the point? It would bring us right back to where we had originally started and intended to stop. I shook my head and pressed forward through the crowd. With each step I took, the people before me shifted their weight back and forth and I was able to pass through them with little resistance. Through all the turmoil, I found my crying mother and my red-faced father huddled together. Her beautiful blonde hair straightened and strained as she uselessly held back the tears that flowed seamlessly from her puffy eyes. Stoic and bitterly humble, my father’s face was shaggy with a stiff five o’clock shadow as he held my mother firmly in his strong arms. They reluctantly greeted the lines of sympathy-sucking parasites that formed on either side of our dying family. It was disgusting. It was beautiful. After a few moments of hearing the cliché ramblings of sympathies and lying regrets, I could not stomach it any longer.
“What on Earth could you be talking about? None of you…I’m sorry, maybe a solid quarter of you bothered enough to check on him while he was here with us!” I yelled as loud as I could but it made no matter, their faces remained the same solemn stone as before. I knew they could hear me though…perhaps it was my thoughts. I know they can be stronger than what I say for most of the time. I glanced quickly enough to see a man in a baggy suit standing close to the open casket while he had his had rested on the hand of the person that lie motionless in their eternal bed. My eyes could not take me to look at who might be lying there. Not yet…I glanced over to see who showed their sympathy and it was enough for me to question all of the reality that rested before my own soul. No…
The organ bellowed from the side of the room and the herds of people shuffled silently to their designated place. I remained motionless in stupor as all who I watched sit before me. Sobs and sniffles rang from time to time in open corridors of the house of the Lord. I went to sit next to my family and my brother but there was no seat left for me to sit down with them. Not a seat left in the place. A crowd of those faces both distant in my past and near, collaborated together to remember the shell that lies behind me. My head swiveled round once I heard the woman behind me clear her stuffy throat to speak to the masses. I stood stupefied.
She spun a poetic web of lies that se was told only days before about the life that was once lived by the plastic-like corpse in the room. I will admit that, though beautiful, it was all a myth of a life that was once wished to live. How unfortunate do the unfortunate do the unfortunate feel and the fortunate feel motivated thus. In her spurring on and on, a hand rose from the casket in a creaking motion. My eyes glued to the bony limb that was dressed as formally as one could be to an unexpected turn of events. I glanced back and forth but none seemed to mention nor notice the supernatural. It was I and I alone.
The body raised itself from the clutches of the polished cotton and silk of it’s’ bed. A widows peak touched the top of the head and those navy blue eyes glared into my soul making it scrunch in cowardice. The once prominent smile had faded into a malice that could only be foretold as the mark of the condemned. I knew that smirk all too well…The heavy ring around it’s’ neck pulsed heavily in the iridescent lighting of the church. Pulse after pulse, the throat gorged out and the finger of the body before me pushed me forward. I shook my head quickly in disbelief. I fell to my knees and the gravity of my heart fell heavily to the floor. The soullessness, the death in its eyes were that of innocent depression and disillusioned happiness. I knew it all too well. The glimmer in its eyes was gone entirely and it sucked me in unknowingly. As much as I fought, as much as I struggled, Death is such a convincing thief. It gripped me by the ankles and drug my into the coffin with it. My lungs hurt from all the hoarse screams that erupted from my lifeless body. Mortality, Death by short, caressed me in the darkness of the now closed coffin. The pulsing of its neck beat against the top of my head as I rested my head against his chest. He whispered my name and I knew in that instance.
All lost, all forgotten…it all belongs to him now. All of it wasted in the flickering wind of opportunity abandoned to eternal fate. What a reality of the abyss.