there are tulips everywhere (and I hate them)

Short Stories / Sunday, February 25th, 2018

There are tulips everywhere and you didn’t even like tulips.

Why would people make the effort, take the trek to the nearest flower shop upon themselves just to bring the wrong fucking sort of flowers to your funeral. It’s not like you hated tulips or anything but it’s just that you thought it was nicer to pick wildflowers, even if their petals weren’t as perfect as those of tulips or roses you got for 30 pounds at the florist. You didn’t see the point in wasting money on things that would wilt in the span of the next three days and that you could just as well nick from our neighbour’s flowerbed. And people who love you are supposed to know that kind of stuff about you. Now, I’m not saying people who bring tulips to funerals are generally bad people, all I’m saying is, it pisses me off how they all want a piece of cake from the sadness your death presents to them. Your death is a freaking cake and they are all starving for a piece. They leap at the chance to dress themselves in sadness for once, to talk in hushed voices about you, they want to weigh in their heavy, melodramatic words about some wonderful thing or other you did on that one sunny day some-fucking-when in spring and they use it to escape their dreary life and to remind themselves of what a lucky bunch of bastards they are that they get to go home after this depressing service, unlike you poor soul who’ll stay right in the box where you are. Home where some or other dull husband is probably waiting to have dinner cooked for him, who, once it’s served won’t say anything but let them feel that he doesn’t really like what they cooked by pushing it around on his plate for several minutes before he gets up from his chair to go watch TV while they do the dishes. What do I know.

Maybe I’m just a sad old man who misses his wife. I just don’t feel like anyone else deserves to grieve for you the way I am grieving, or even comes close to understanding how much I’m grieving. Their lousy attempts at sorrow make me want to get up and puke all over their polished shoes and crinkly Sunday suits they put on in honour of your death. What do they know. Nothing.

You know what? I am grieving for selfish reasons and it costs me nothing to admit it. I’m grieving for the time that stretches out in front of me like an endless tarred road uphill without anyone to care for me, or look after me the way you used to. I’m grieving for the fact that I now have no one left to listen to my stories that bore everyone else already. I’m grieving for the fact that I lost the only person that probably ever truly loved me, or loved me even though she truly knew me. I’m grieving for a lot of selfish reasons but –

I am also grieving for you. For the things you loved and you will never see or do again, I’m grieving for the fact that you will never have your grandchildren sitting on your lap again, I’m grieving for the fact that you’ll never slow-dance to “Ain’t it a Good Life, Mama” by the Holy Grails with me again, even though you loved that song so much you could almost sing it backwards. I’m grieving for your laughter and the way it was there even if it wasn’t, always hidden somewhere in the corner of your mouth, ready to burst out at any given moment, even the very inappropriate ones (it still isn’t deemed acceptable to shake of laughter when your own grown son trips over and almost fractions his shin).

I’m grieving for me but I’m also grieving for you and right now, most of all, I grieve for the fact that there are so many goddamn tulips at your funeral.

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