They were lined up along the street and around the corner. Fans had come from all around the world to pay last respects to the singer.
Family members sat off to the side as the procession of people made their way past the casket, many with tears in their eyes, some just looking blankly at the dead woman surrounded by a sea of flowers, a figure akin to something from Madame Tussaud’s.
An autopsy was done to confirm that it was indeed a suicide and rumors circulated of a note left behind. Because homicide has a much longer shelf life in the tabloids, the scandal sheets were fueling murder gossip. Those closest to the chanteuse had been aware for some time of her struggles with physical pain and existential anguish.
The cavalcade of people continued throughout the next day, photographers snapping at every celebrity. The following day a motorcade of black cars made its way to the cemetery.
Within a couple weeks the possibility of any wrongdoing withered and the story stopped receiving attention. The sales of her recordings, which boomed upon the news of her death, levelled off. Neither the fact that a note did exist, nor its contents, ever made it beyond the closest family.
I hereby join George Sanders who in his byebye note said “Dear World I am leaving because I am bored.” I feel like I’ve gone through one too many rounds of all the Traditions; they’ve become as transparent as dead leaves to me. That engagement announcement last week — all I saw was her gown proclaiming “are you good enough?”, and his Rolex replying “yes!”.
Maybe if I had gotten an operator’s manual when I arrived. But of course it’s too late now — the bones are always aching, the mind is getting dull and way too set in its ways. When Sanders played Lord Wotton in Dorian Gray he hit the nail on the head — “what the gods give they quickly take away.” I am so tired of the passing parade, the Eternal Recurrence, the poppycock embedded roles built on top of biology’s pull, the superheros, the ouroboric tribes, and the ever after, happy or not. It’s check out time at this hotel and I’m turning the lights off on my way out.
Her husband was beside himself, trying to hold in his frustration and anger; subdued fury looking for an outlet. She had talked about it, so he understood, and yet he didn’t understand.
At the wake, a niece, who had been away at college, asked about her aunt’s appearance when the flowers were removed; her face so gaunt, yet her belly almost pregnantly round.
After an autopsy — he snarled — they told me they take the organs and stick them in a bag, then they sew it up in the stomach.
As the niece recoiled from this horrifying description he added — “I wish she’d known that. Because yes life is exhausting, but it’s too fucking surreal and tragic to call it boring!”
Twenty-nine of thirty-one stories — 500 words or less, written one-per-day during December 2018 — The Hunt & Peck Parables PatchWord Quilt™©.
© AleXander Hirka 2020. All Rights Reserved.