I wanted to write that song for you, the one that already exists, you know, the one that goes ‘oh, la la, lalala, la laa, la laa, la, lalala, la lala, a la, la, la’, and buy its forever rights as an NFT in your name, store the cold wallet in a small wooden chest with a decorative and rusting key and encode the coordinates to the roots of a particularly gnarly tree on a treasure map inkjet printed on velum, with perfectly imperfect burned edges, which I’d keep in a very ‘cool, chill way’ tucked between the puff pastry and ice trays in the freezer
which, surely, would say something about how, surely, time has diminished us
and then pack some ripped stockings, fly spray, USB sticks, toothpaste, noodles and a hat in a Countdown bag
to move again
In my mother’s house again
In my mother’s womb again. I can’t quite move without
hitting the walls
Peeling paint from my, nails.
you see every single movement, even when I am still, practising my ‘frozen’ face
But, no, no, no, no, hold up just a min
One thing that I do find weird, is that in your notebook, you’d written the name of the celebrant who would conduct your funeral four days before you got your diagnosis. Which, come on, is a little freaky.
I cannot stomach sentiment about death or hospitals or bodily functions — and especially not of the names of specific drugs or scientific medical diagnoses, or linoleum, or fluorescent lights, or a crisp autumn morning, or a nostalgic food group, or a lost puppy, or rain, or mist, or a ‘better place’ or cum, or anything visceral.
Grandad went over time in his speech, and it made me nervous. And then Uncle started off his speech with ‘Her illness was BRUTAL’, and I had to stifle some laughs, push them back down disguised as tiny whimpers, and not make eye contact with anyone, because all the drama and the build-up needed deflating, and more so the drama not inflating.
I imagined him either flinging himself on the casket, somehow dislodging the lid, knocking over a candle and starting a fire, or else dropping his share of the load when we carried you out. Not much faith in the living, I mused to myself (in an aside — ‘haha’)
At the cup of tea afterwards, the four-year-old wanted to know why the dead person wasn’t there waiting for us at the party, on her special day, and six months later asked if we could go back to that cafe with all the flowers and the little sandwiches
The roof rafters were exposed, very Grad-Designs-Barn-Reno chic (which seemed fitting and lofty) and so high up; a golden helium balloon — a letter or number —, the kind made delectable by mommy influencers, had floated up and lodged itself between them, tail hanging like a tampon, or a tacky, trapped angel (I thought to myself).
Back at the house, Cousin fainted, and Uncle, drunk, leaning in too tobacco-breath close, complimented my outfit.