That afternoon, I viewed dead neighbor, Pauline's body, at Guido Funeral Home [nope, no irony whatsoever, sorry] down on the corner. Gave her son Peter a note I wrote denoting fond memories of his mother and left it at that. When you die, cremation is the way to go. Not only is less space taken up on the lawn but there's less leeway to fuck up your dead face. Never looks right nor real. Always looks like a frozen fright mask. A wax museum dummy. Better to burn the cold detritus of your last gasp and leave behind a warm memory or three. Perhaps one that involves smiles and long hard chuckles. In Peter's case, he needed the wax mask. Peter told me that he wept over his mother's dead face the moment she expired and that, as the minutes passed, it looked nothing like her. She turned into a wet bag. One minute it was Pauline, next it was Leatherface from TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. He needed the hack job that laid before us. I couldn't reconcile either option.
What's the point of a funeral but to question life? Too much emotional confusion and distraught feelings clutter the occasion. The most amazing reaction I ever witnessed to a loved one's death was when SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE celebrity, Dan Akroyd flipped out at SNL alum, John Belushi's funeral. Akroyd was seen on television at the burial site, sitting on his motor cycle pointed away from the casket, wearing his 50s leather jacket, slapping high-fives to the procession line, cackling and waving a proud fist. Akroyd couldn't embrace the loss, so he snapped and made it a party. Bewildered, I came to understand the fruits of Akroyd's trauma. He was celebrating life. When I die, I expect my people to drink 40 oz. bottles of Malt Liqour while dancing fierce over my dead ass to Afrika Bambaattaa & The Soulsonic Force's PLANET ROCK!
Met up with ex-gal pal, Molly Tropp [avec tubby sans hubby] at Tuk-Tuk @7PM. 8-Months pregnant and shining like a nova, it was great to see her after so long. Having moved to the deep valley of Olean, NY had put a crimp in our budding friendship post break-up. This dinner was important to get the next phase of our relationship running right nice. Plus, I wanted her to meet SBX, a British native like herself [even though they had in fact met once briefly, eons ago]. Joining us were Fingerman & Michele, Mike & Marie, and SBX. We congregated over spicy Thai and caught up. I rubbed Molly's stomach waiting for it to kick while Fingerman debuted his magnum opus, BEG THE QUESTION. The production design and values were top notch and it looks to be a hefty read. Having read its previous incarnation [MINIMUM WAGE], I'm on pins & needles to enjoy it's 'perfect collection' revisionist spin and final ending. This graphic novel looks to help make the literary promise that the comix form so wants to yield.
My new found cousin Samantha's nickname is ROACH SMALLY, and that concerns me. In her emails, she tells me that she listens to heavy metal, smokes pot, and types "yah" a lot [maybe for beat effect?]. She can't spell worth jack ["enternet" instead of internet], and really wants me for a pen-pal. Something I, unfortunately, have no time for. Ergo, my Live Journal. I shot her an email wondering if this was a prank. Soon after, I got an email from her father Myles [whom I met in 1982 with his Korean wife], and he catches me up with his family history of the past 20-years, insisting that Roach Smally/Samantha is his 16-year old daughter. They live in Arizona. Myles offers an olive branch to make a bigger & better family. I'm scratching my head 'cause I've never known more than three people to share my unique last name and I just don't know how to feel and/or what to do. So, I shoot Samantha an email asking her why she calls herself "Roach Smally." Next day, I get a letter in the mail. It's from ROACH SMALLY. She sends me a hand written note in red pen and writes that she is "small." Accompanying the letter are two photographs. One is of her parents in the desert, and one is of Samantha standing by a cactus with her dog. I'm not sure what I'm looking at. I turn it sideways and upside down. It doesn't make sense. Then it hits me:
Big head. Little stumps for legs. Chubby fingers.
Samantha is an Asian Dwarf.