Tuesday, November 1, 2011

How the Loser Spent Halloween

Fifty nine years ago Monday, October 31, 2011, the Complete and Total Loser's parents got married. At 11 a.m. this same day the Loser, his brothers, over 200 people and the Loser's father gathered in a church for his mother's funeral rites. 
The Loser spoke to the gathered. It went well, considering that he has never, in his life, spoken in public. He didn't fall apart or blow more than one line. He's not sure his remarks were appropriate. People seem big on biography and the mentioning of many names in eulogies. The Loser mentioned just three names: His mother, his father, and Kurt Vonnegut. That's another story.
On Saturday the phenomenal storm knocked out the power in the suburban house the Loser has shared with his father for a week now. When the power goes off, the heat does, too, and the house temperature dropped to the low 50s. Cold for inside. The Loser knows he shouldn't whine; the storm killed a dozen and many others are still without power. At 10:35, as the Loser and his father did their final inspection for the service, checking ties, making sure buttons were buttoned, the power came back. Lights glowed, the refrigerator hummed, digital devices reset their clocks and beeped. The Loser was tempted to look heavenward and to thank his mother for this but A) he is not a magical thinker and B) if she had a hand it in, it would have been damn nice of her to get things on the night before, as had happened in many areas nearby. 
The Loser spent the last hours of the evening writing Thank You cards to friends who had expressed their condolences. Being a Loser, he has few friends so there were only eight. He actually wrote to everyone who attended the service on his behalf. A childhood friend, a coworker, a couple he's known for over a decade. Three cards.
Her favorite chair is a comfortable one, and the Loser sat in it using a book she liked as a hard surface to write on. Flowers from the service sat before him. He wrote in cursive, meaning that if the recipients keep the cards their grandchildren surely won't be able to read them. The Loser will put stamps on the envelopes tonight and mail the cards tomorrow. Done. Over. 

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