Dee's Journal


Entry #6: Where do you go when you die?


The bus ride to Los Angeles was about 6 hours long but it felt like a whole entire day. I was tired but I couldn't sleep and the batteries went out on my walk-man so I couldn't even listen to my music. Great, huh?

In the seat across the aisle from me was this old guy who smelled like he had forgotten what a shower was for. And to make it worse, he was having this one way conversation with the lady sitting next to him. She probably wished she had taken the train or even walked instead of picking this bus, but she was real polite. He'd be talking to her in this really loud voice like she was deaf or he was deaf or something and she just listened. He was saying all this stuff about how he used to be some rich guy. Running his mouth about how he was always traveling all over the world on business. "First Class, that's the way to fly. Not only do they show you first run movies but each seat has it's own screen and it's own phone."

What?! Not your own private bathroom? Forget it!

Then the guy goes on and on about the food, just what I did not want to hear because by this time I was really hungry. Did you know first class serves things like chicken Kiev, whatever all that is. Yap yap yap about Caesar salads and chicken teriyaki all served on fine china plates, with silverware that has that heavy feel in your had and the wine... man, he must have blabbed for ten minutes just about the wine! Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet. Jeez! So I'm listening, 'cause there was nothing else to do since he was totally monopolizing the airwaves, and I'm wondering, if this fool has all these frequent flyer miles saved up, how come he's riding on this crowded bus in the middle of the night? Of course, he never said. And I'm also wondering why this lady is putting up with this invasion from who knows where. I mean it actually mad me mad the way she sat there listening. Why'd she have to be such a "lady"? If it was me, I would have told him after 15 seconds that I wasn't interested in listening to his noise. But she just sat there, smiling softly and nodding as if he was the most important soul on the planet.

When we finally got to Los Angeles my butt was so sore from sitting that I could even feel it any more! Aunt Beatrice came to meet us but I fell asleep in her car so I don't remember anything about the trip to the church where the funeral was.

There was a strange feeling at the funeral. There were all these relatives there, some I sorta recognized, some I swear I never saw before, but they all seemed to know me all right. And they did that obnoxious adult thing about saying how I've grown up, and while they say it they're looking right at my breasts! Not it a sleazy way, like some guys do, but in a way that makes me think that they think my breasts are something that I made to show off, like a project in art class and that by them noticing my breasts it's supposed to make me feel proud or something. It didn't make me feel proud, it made me feel like I wanted to put on a big bulky sweater. These relatives were all really happy to see each other again, and inside that church, it felt like there was a party going on. Like they all seemed to forget why they were there... I mean, it was a funeral! And down by the pulpit, surrounded by wreaths of flowers, was the open coffin. I really did not want to look inside but I also kinda did, if you know what I mean. I wanted to see Grandma Webster one last time and even though I was freaked at the idea of looking at a dead body, I knew I was going to do it anyway.

So when no one was paying much attention to me and my breasts, I just walked over to the coffin and looked in. She wasn't in there. Instead there was this waxy looking old skinny dummy lying there, wearing grandma's shoes and one of her dresses. Maybe that dummy fooled some of the relatives, but it didn't fool me. My Grandma had crinkles around her eyes when she laughed and she laughed a lot. This dummy's skin was smooth as a brown eggshell. And my Grandma's hair kinda buzzed around her head in all directions. The hair on this dummy was so perfectly curled it looked like it was glued on. But the thing that was really gave the whole thing away as the sick bogus joke it was, was that dummy didn't feel like my Grandma. Anytime I was near her, even with my eyes closed, I could feel  her presence, like a gentle breeze in my heart. And looking down into that coffin, I couldn't feel a thing. My Grandma wasn't in there. I wonder where she is.




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