My Funeral

There’s mum.
She’s crying.
And dad.
He’s not.

Sandra – that girl from accounts. I suppose she thought she was my girlfriend. That’ll be why she’s putting on such a show, sobbing like she’s just lost her one true love. (The occasional quickie in a cupboard surely doesn’t qualify.) She hasn’t noticed that Bryony from marketing is doing pretty much the same thing three pews behind her.

Mr Swatterbelly, my fifth year Physics teacher. What the hell’s he doing here? He hated me. Lines and detention every second or third week.
Must be guilt.

Watching your own funeral is a cathartic experience. You’ll see for yourself, if you get the chance. I’d highly recommend it. All these people gathering in one grey, chilly, miserable place to mourn your passing. Like the worst birthday party in the world.

The priest says a few words about me. I wonder where they’ve come from. The dog-collared, mushroom-haired man in the pulpit certainly didn’t write them. I’ve never seen him before. They (the words; since dying I’ve become painfully aware of pronoun misuse!) gloss over my faults and celebrate strengths I doubt I ever exhibited.

If you can’t be insincere at a funeral, when can you be?

The congregation mumble their way from the church and is absorbed into their brigade of automobiles. Onwards to the graveyard. A diminutive city of stunted marble buildings, each home to a thousand insects, critters and flesh-eating parasites. Like the human world in microcosm. My final resting place, apparently.

Again Father Mushroom burbles a bit about a man he never met (by now, I am sure he’s talking about someone else) and they lower the coffin into the ground. I watch intently as my father’s cheek twitches. Was that a tear? Maybe he’s saving them for later.

People shuffle uneasily past me and I hear morsels of clichéd conversation.
‘Died so young.’
‘Terribly sad.’
‘He’ll be missed.’

I don’t appreciate any of the sentiment and find it impossible to distinguish between the earnest and the bogus.

As the last dark-clad mourner leaves, I approach the grave and examine the fresh mound of dirt. I rip off the false moustache and plant it there. I’m surprised it stayed where it was supposed to for as long as it did. I had little confidence in the glue when I applied it this morning.

No idea who he is. Down there. He nicked my car. Burning alive in a blazing wreck is more than punishment enough, I reckon.

I might keep the wig.
I quite like being blonde.

The following two tabs change content below.
David Baillie is a freelance writer and artist. Born almost thirty years ago in Scotland, he now lives and works in the East End of London.

Latest posts by davidbaillie (see all)

There are 2 comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please enter an e-mail address