Just a little story I got an idea for earlier. Beware, its in desperate need of editing and I have no idea where I was going with this, but just trying to get some opinions if you guys think its worth a go at? Enjoyy.
As I sit in the front pew at my dead friends funeral, two questions come to my mind. One, how did I get here? And two, who says you cant smoke in a church?
The latter seems to be an obvious question with an obvious answer- Thou shall not smoke in the land of the Lord is what seemed to jump in my head first. I chuckled to myself. Chuckling at a funeral is never a good idea. Attempting to escape, I stand up and walk down the aisle to the back door, open it, and step outside.
Its a nice day. Too nice. I feel the wind blow through my hair, I close my eyes, and I take a deep breath. I know this feeling all too well. It was only 7 months ago when I was in this exact spot doing the exact thing. Only difference was it was my mom in the casket, and my best friend was standing here with me. For the first time today, I feel alone. This is nothing new though, I havent really felt alive in years.
I reach in my left front shirt pocket and pull out my Marlboros. I reach for my lighter, and my pockets empty. My lighter happens to be in the front pocket of jeans on the floor of my apartment. I shove my cigarettes back in my front breast pocket. I hear the church bells chime and I know that the service is almost over. Thank god.
My car is the fourth parked car in the recession line. It stands out in the line of nice cars like a sore thumb. Its red with dents lining both sides and a busted tail light. I pause. In five seconds a million memories flash through my head. This time last week Tommy and I were driving downtown to buy a birthday present for his little sister. After Tommys parents died in the accident last year, Tommy s sister was all he had. I feel like I should say something to her today. I should talk to her. I cant. I shake off the guilt and start walking again.
As Im walking, I feel a tap on my shoulder. I jump and turn around. It was Lily. I about shit. I havent seen her since high school and then she wasnt much of a looker then. She is now. She asks for a cigarette. I tell her I have no lighter. She smiles and reaches in her bag and pulls one out. Once again I pull my Marlboros back out of my front pocket. We light up and I take a long drag.
We make small talk until people start filing out of the church. I ask her if she is going to the burial and she says yes so I politely offer her a ride. Of course, we talk about the weather, and try to catch up on each other lifes lifelessly. I feel uncomfortable with her sitting in Tommys seat but I dont say anything. I think she notices, and she starts to look uneasy as well. We ride the rest of the ride in silence. Ive always hated the feeling of driving in a recession line. Everyone knows your pain and sympathizes, but more than ever, they are just glad they arent you. I wish I wasnt me, too.
We arrive at the memorial site, and I quickly jump out of the car
The memorial is lengthy. Tommy was in the military so there is a lot of extra speeches and a special service. Nothing like my mothers funeral. I can still picture just the way she looked that morning. If I had known she would be gone so soon, I would have thought of something better to say than Dont give the nurses a hard time! I always said this when I left the hospital. It started out as being a serious plea, but unintentionally, it became a way to not thinking about saying goodbye. And excuse to not think about what could happen that night.
I think about all the things I wish I had told Tommy. About how proud I was of him, and how he was such a better person than I could ever be. How I envied the life he lived, and how happy he was.
The three gun salute fires. I look back at Tommys casket as they lower it into the depths of the Earth. I miss him already.
As Im walking back to the car, Lily finds me and tells me she is catching a ride with someone else. I say Sure. I know she doesnt want to ride with me. I dont want to ride with me.
The next few days drag and I hardly make it out of bed. I keep asking myself if I am still alive. I shouldnt be. I dont want to be.
Monday morning brings work. I dont want to go, but I know there is only 12 more days till the rent is due, and Im still $200 short of making it.
I work at a machining company. We make and distribute car parts. Its not a hard job, but I can hardly tolerate the repetitiveness of it. This is where I met Tommy. I started working here 3 years ago, and was placed in his cell. Cell 9. He showed me the ins and out, and eventually we became the best pair in the team. We doubled our quota monthly. I guess he the reason I stayed there so long, though I didnt have much else going for me. He made things seem less bad, always tried to help me see the good, and worth, in everything and everyone. He didnt judge, he wasnt mean, and he wasnt cruel. He never knew it, and I guess I didnt either, but he was everything I began to wish I was. He worked in un-airconditioned sweat shop, so to speak, making $12 an hour, when he had a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
He had once told me the story about how he got here. Said he had a job working at a big company designing the machines he now worked with. He loved the job, but couldnt handle who he worked with. At the time, to me, it seemed like a fucking stupid idea for him to quit when he was making so much more money at a better job.
I had told him that no one really likes their job, and thats why its called a job. He disagreed. He loved coming to work. And though I never admitted it, I think I began to like coming to work too. He was such a positive person and his outlook on life was so admiring. I couldnt help but want to be around him.
Now, I look around. I have a new cell mate, and we are nearly 15 behind count for the day already. I miss Tommy so fucking much. I wanna tell him that this new guy is fucking retarded and I cant stand him. His name is Jim and hes from Kentucky. I hate Kentucky. And I hate Jim.
Its time to go home now and I feel the most okay I have in days, but I know I dont really want to be alone. I grab my phone and dial Tommy. I know he wont answer, but I call anyways. It makes me believe he still here.