May 9, 2007

Life Underwater

That's what it feels like for me now. Underwater. That peace you find when snorkeling or scuba diving. The quiet of the briney deep.

Eventually you want to go to the surface, because it all starts to feel a little alien, your skin grows cold and clammy, and you need proof that life on land still exists, somehow.

I want to go to the surface and face what awaits me there: my brother's funeral. We're still waiting for things to start happening, courtesy of the U.S. Army. This sounds callous, but I just want to go there, get the funeral over and done with, and get back to Phoenix. That way, my grieving can start in earnest. Being underwater is not conducive to grief, you see. It's an artificial existence where everything and everyone is muted, somehow. Sights are distorted. And despite many people being around you to give you comfort, you are isolated. You also focus a lot on breathing. In...out. In...out. In...out.

I found a dress finally, at Macy*s. Of course, because God has a rollicking good sense of humor, it is the exact same identical dress that my sister bought for the funeral two days earlier. She has bragging rights to it, therefore; back it goes to the store.

Last night I ran to Walmart because I desperately wanted some Yoplait guava yogurt (the best) and peppermint tea to settle my queasy stomach, and since it was like 11:45pm, Walmart was one of the few places still open. Phoenix can be such a one-horse cowboy town sometimes. Would you believe that I found a perfect black funeral dress at WALMART, of all places? It's true. It's everything that I was seeking: short sleeves, knee length, stylish cut but still very conservative, and plain black. Twenty bucks. I bought it. I would have been stupid not to. I'm not a snob, I needed something to wear, I can accessorize it differently for the visitation and the actual funeral and burial, and who cares what I am wearing, ultimately, anyway?

Copyright 2007, Laura Linger

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