Now… at this part of the story, you need to know two things before we can continue. One, this cemetery is very old. And two, the part of it that I love the most is quite secluded. It has sprawling family plots with magnificent Oak trees and the occasional bench. The good news is that it’s the perfect place for a pity party. The bad news is that this perfect place is full of “loops.” In other words, the roads to these family plots all have semi-private circular driveways. Which normally isn’t a problem, unless you’re sitting in your car… crying… and a funeral party arrives… and blocks you in.
Yes. You read that correctly. I was sitting… in my car… crying… when a hearse and several limousines showed up and blocked the driveway’s entrance and exit. You see, when I pulled in, I was so lost in thought that I hadn’t noticed the SIX FOOT HOLE IN THE GROUND that was immediately to the left of my car door. In fact, I hadn’t noticed much of anything until it was too late. At which point, approximately twenty-five people were standing there staring at me and wondering who the hell I was. And, while I don’t know the protocol for said event, I’m pretty sure what was going through my head wasn’t it:
- Silently join them and let them wonder if I was the deceased’s friend/mistress/illegitimate child.
- Stay in my car and let them wonder if I was the deceased’s friend/mistress/illegitimate child.
- Get out of my car and explain that I wasn’t the deceased’s friend/mistress/illegitimate child.
At any rate, as I sat there, refusing to dignify my presence to strangers, simultaneously facing my mortality and my failure, I remembered Tolkien again. Only this time, I didn’t hear Gandalf. I heard Gimli, “Certainty of death, small chance of success... What are we waiting for?” I guess another writing contest, but who knows. When I told my mother that night, she only said, “Everyone fails, but not everyone keeps going. Make a choice.” I think I’m still deciding. Til then, talk to you later.