Ecce Mortis: The Death: Here Joe Lies In Truth

Uncle Joe died. Friends, Relatives, Strangers came to mourn. Hundreds.

I served as pallbearer with Father, Brother-in-Law, “Relatives” barely known (Strangers?). Metallic blue coffin. Like a shiny new car. Shame to bury such sleek merchandise. God-man Rep in vestments hoarsed his bland, generic eulogy:  Joe this, Joe that, Joe fill-in-the-blanks.

Harped successes of Uncle Joe: Detective Novel, The Missing Pomegranate; twenty years “thought provoking” columnist for defunct radical weekly, En Garde.  No mention of moments spent and lost.  Nothing missing known.

“Uncle Joe was an independent man,” I delivered the family eulogy. “Different from you and me.  He left impressions.”

“That was a good thing you said,” said Father. “He lived a long full life. So what if he didn’t have kids? He’ll be remembered. All these mourners. Who would have known? I thought he was a lonely man. Poor old Uncle Joe.”

Necropolis stones like dominoes stretched far as eyes could see.  Names.  Names.  Lived lives.  Ended ends.

Three categories of dead: forgotten, long-forgotten, so-forgotten-as-if-never-been.

All the dead, however long forgotten, shared details. Groggy mornings, work days, snacks; television, radio, whatever devices backgrounded living at such time that living was done:  entertainment; worn, familiar streets; mis-steps into shit or gum; bloat-belly after-shock of greasy food.

Necropolis sex consequence. Taste sex smell sex, consequence.  Sex. Sex. Consequence.

Coffin lowered down, down. Deeper down.

Head stone: “Here Joe Lies In Truth.”

Someone burying another, one day, will see Joe’s stone and imagine, or more likely, not note or conceive, the author of The Missing Pomegranate;  Radical; Columnist; Gambler.  Unofficial, unacknowledged mentor to The Missing Young, who will themselves be old or dead when new young living gaze upon Joe’s faded stone.


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