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Latest Member: Howard Forum  |  Other Topics  |  Off Topic Discussion  |  Monday September 24, 2001 « previous next »
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Author Topic: Monday September 24, 2001  (Read 127 times)
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

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The world becomes a dream....

« on: August 05, 2017, 08:58:41 AM »

Monday September 24, 2001
How to describe tonight? Dumb. Lame. Disrespectful. Mass-hysterical?
We went to the cemetery after hours and stepped over a small, decorative rock wall to take stones and the silk roses Mandy dyed black, back to his grave and I kept thinking, bad, bad, bad idea. The fact we were quiet and this was the middle of the country didn't console me much, and I expected trouble. Petra was saying this is exactly what M. would have wanted us to do, break the rules, visit at night. It was pitch black until finally it seemed to lighten up and either my eyes adjusted on a miraculous scale or it lightened outside but I was just thinking it was darker in the cemetery than it had been outside when that Drew guy said exactly the same thing aloud. Cemeteries do not and have not ever bothered me, and I will not say this trip did either but I think it was getting to a few of them and I was picking that up. If I'd been alone I would have been fine, with them I was on guard. Not creeped out, only...leery. Waiting for guards, police, anything. It felt bad there. It felt wrong.
So without flashlights it took a while to find the grave. I counted rows and that didn't help, finally that Matt dude spotted the tree that was about fifty feet from where M. was buried. I said to Mandy if they had tombstones instead of those sunken bronze markers it would have been so much easier. Walked over, no cars, absolutely no birds, no insects, still as a church. We found his grave and it's not as new looking now, less sunken, they've added to it, grass is starting to replace the straw. So we all kind of stood there for a minute, the five of us, and Mandy put the silk roses down and I was going to put my rock there but Marianne said to wait till we leave for that, so I put it back in my pocket. So we stood there and Marianne sat down on the tablet and cried and I didnít say anything, nobody did, but it was like we'd talked about earlier, how she cared about him even after he treated her so badly and went to art school with Drew. I doubt even his mom was as sad as Marianne was. Then she got up and started walking off, fast, and so we didnít have that much more time, Matt poured the stuff out on the grave and Mandy ran over and got Marianne's crystals and we all left them in a row across the top, which is a better custom than leaving flowers that don't last long.
Then we walked the long way around the path back to the car, through the cemetery, and past the morbidly named part called "Babyland" which was horrible with its little dolls and stuffed bears still being left on graves of babies now old enough to be parents in some cases. Mandy and Marianne sat on the wall that went around the front of the cemetery in a circular shape, and Mandy was kind of rubbing Marianne's back and I stayed distant from them, and that one gay guy I didnít know was telling the other gay guy I didnít know about some paintings (I just don't want to write his name down tonight, but M.) had done and they wanted to drive to get them back from some friends of his at the art school but after a year he wasn't sure they still lived where they had. I stood in between these two groups, about fifteen feet from each, and thought about how terrible it is to die because not only is it painful and scary, it's a total invasion of your privacy to become lifeless. All that you are, were, have done, leaves your custody.

This was more terrible by now than a funeral because it was more real and less impersonal in its lack of ritual formality. It was all real and this friend of theirs, whom I only marginally knew, was dead and wasn't going to come back after seven or eight months anymore than Brian or Grandpa will, no matter how much someone misses them, and say anything, he was dead and this was all he had as far as influence, just memory, and gestures, friends and friends of friends and lovers coming in the dark in some sort of homage to pay tribute to the past.
I was really very glad to leave but the sadness lingered. Again, less in me (for someone I barely knew) than as an energy pouring from the other four like inaudible sound.
By the time we left it was about one, I'd guess, and we went to Marianne's mom's house where her stepfather lives on one side and her mom on the other, practically by the looks of it, like two houses in one, and they were asleep, so we went into the rec room downstairs and Marianne said she felt he wanted to tell us something tonight in the cemetery. I was divided between feeling bad for Marianne's drama and grief-fueled fantasy, and remembering everything that happened last summer. I figured no one would take her seriously, but Drew said he felt exactly that, and the Matt guy said all he felt was loss. Then Mandy said they should see if he could tell them anything on an individual basis, and if they sat and tried real hard they might feel what he wanted to tell them.
I wanted no part in this. Wanted less than no part in this. I wanted at that point to get out of there and keep going in the opposite direction. Where once I would have mentally smirked at this, now I felt uneasy, and have to admit that.

I said I hadn't felt what they said they felt, so I wasn't going to join in. They said that was fine, I hadn't had the connection with him they did, which is undeniable, all except Mandy had been his lovers, is the word I guess. So Mandy, Marianne, the two guys Drew and Matt, they all sat on the floor and asked me to use the dimmer to take the lights down. I did and Marianne said this wasn't a sťance, only a chance to let him tell them what he was trying to say at the cemetery. So they closed their eyes and sat and it was quiet and they stayed that way for longer than any of those attention deficit disorder types by all rights should have, then Marianne started crying again and that Matt just broke down and Mandy got up and walked away and sat in a chair by the wall and it was one of the spookiest moments of my life, sitting there in a stranger's house under those circumstances while these people seemed to lose themselves to emotion.

And then some power hit me too, and I donít think thatís too dramatic a way to put it. I felt this wash-over of utter drear, bottomless remorse, sadness, gloom. It felt like what a soul in torment might feel, longing for life, hating death, taken too soon. It must have been a small taste of Hell (I may laugh tomorrow but it feel felt like that) and I was feeling a fraction of what they felt. I felt smothered in sadness, in regret and doom. It was the most horrible thing.
The only good thing I have to report is it did not last long when the lights were turned on and some music and a TV and some normal LIVING things went on, and eventually everyone seemed fine, but it shook us all up, every one of us. It was as if we felt what his soul felt, the life he had to live and should have lived had he not died at college age losing so much talent and having so much to do. A sudden, unexpected death and all that was stuck in him, and it was as if we all felt what he is somewhere even now feeling this ineffable ongoing misery.

God it was a bad night there.

"If I should meet thee after long years,

How shall I greet thee? With silence, and tears."

--Lord Byron
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