The lid to the coffin creaked an eldritch gasp as I opened it, after clearing the remotes and books that rested on it, collecting dust. Pangur was at my feet, always by my side, emulating the creaking sound of the coffin with her meowing. I removed the old blankets and sheets and pillow cases from inside it.
The suit made me curious but also anxious. How would it fit? How would it look? Terrible, no doubt. I painfully wanted it to look good, something different for a change, something adult. The suit beckoned me to wear it. Try me on, it said from the bed. I abided. It’s spell manipulating me, and after it was on the mirror scoffed. Nice things just weren’t meant for me. I cleaned up well, thanks to a comb and some pomade, but it was a charade. It wasn’t the real me. The true version of me. The style was wasted on Wilhelm Flood, looking inappropriate on my frame.
The suit was Ralph Lauren, which meant fuck all to me, grey with stripes. Grau. The lady at the store informed me that it was a classic look. I had no knowledge on the subject but I always leaned toward classic rather than modern. I didn’t like anything current. It had a notched collar with front button closures, just when I thought I thought I’d never have any closure. The suit was fully lined with both interior and exterior pockets. 92 percent wool and 8 percent cashmere. She told me these facts as if I understood the difference which I, of course, did not.
I stood in front of the mirror and saw someone else, a different person, someone pretending to be mature, pretending to be alright. I appeared fraudulent, a person in disguise, an imposter. Admittedly I was more of an awkward adolescent than that of a twenty eight year old man. I couldn’t even tie the tie I bought. The tie had little pairs of eyeglasses with crossbones skittered around. My reflection was of someone who was unstable, insecure and lonely. I saw someone I didn’t envy. I saw someone I barely liked in the first suit that he bought for himself. No more hand me downs.
How would it feel to have Glory on my arm at a non-depressing function? Why does my brain waste energy on imagining things that will never happen? Wishful thinking was moot.
I purchased the suit because I was a grown up and grown ups tend to wear suits from time to time. Long overdue if you thought about it, but I had an ulterior motive. There was a hidden agenda with these threads. Time to live up to my age, though in the back of my ponderous mind I knew I would need the suit soon. And though I would be overwhelmed with grief I still would be burdened with self-consciousness. People may obsess over materialistic nonsense, worrying about appearance, the last thing the joyous or the grieving ever care about is how you look fucking look. With that said, my suit looked better on a hanger, just like your fetus.
Obscene jokes aside, I dreaded the day I would be forced to wear this.
Catherine feared the day as well. News and rumors had always trickled down from the fat chatterbox mouths, like an overflowing river of vomit, splashing over onto the feet of the children. Talk about her health conditions always reached us, us being Hattie’s ungrateful children. Truth be told I felt like shit whenever Hattie’s name was mentioned. Whenever some stranger from the neighborhood, whose business it was none of, suggested Catherine and I should go to the hospital and see her or patch things up I felt terrible. If only they knew I also felt like shit when no one brought her up in conversation, I needed no reminding of my mother, Hattie was always looming in my mind and chipping away at the walls of my heart. I felt awful about her, always.
Pangur Ban licked my feet, “How does that taste, lady?”
I was reminded of how unattractive my feet were. The hair that sprouted grossly from my toe knuckles were black Schwartz. My feet were so white they were almost transparent, ghostlike. Ridiculously pale. And all I could think was fuck the sun. Tim Curry as Darkness in the 1985 film, Legend, spoke inside my mind. Sunshine is my destroyer.
I grabbed Pangur and held her above my head, “The last kitten dies tonight.” I feigned cutting her throat with my index finger.
I put the elderly cat down and crawled into the coffin. It was not the first time I had done that, but it had been awhile. It smelled good like wood and clean linen. I wanted to eat dryer sheets. If I died I could potentially be buried in this suit, but definitely not in this coffin, as my pallid feet hung out of it. I wondered about my funeral and its attendees. How cliche of you, Wilhelm, so utterly unoriginal. I can’t be bothered or concerned about cliches or how uncool I was, when I could easily write everything off. Fuck everything. Isn’t that what I did? Write things off. Cut people off. Everything is ruined anyhow. Look for a flaw and you will find one. There is always hair in the painting.
If I had any say, I’d prefer no one showed. In my daydreams it’s completely empty. The sight of loved ones in those symmetrical rows looking at my melting corpse is too much to endure, and oddly enough I find it irritating. I haven’t earned the privilege to bestow that heap of heartache onto another person.
I wanted to feel things, other things, the feelings that I failed to feel, and there are so many. I wanted to know if closure was real and not just deafening silence. Permit me a moment to come to terms with myself. The flower arrangements would breath and throb despite being truncated and forced on display. Everyday is a day closer to making death a reality. Whether it’s mine, yours, Pangur’s or Hattie’s, it’s coming full steam ahead.
The worst part about death to me is if you haven’t accomplished anything yet, and I havent accomplished a fucking thing.
The vibration of my cell phone distracted me from my obsession with death. It was pulsating on my desk. I should have changed my number but like a lot of things I should do, I hadn’t. I have a thousand missed calls and voicemails. Heads up, even if I wasn’t ignoring you, I’d never listen to my voicemails. I hate them. It was mostly from Sundeep Ceraso, Sonny and Edith. I really didn’t know what I was doing but I was already committed. Do people really have their shit together or are they just better at faking it? Was I the only person who felt lost? I didn’t know much but I knew I wouldn’t be answering my phone anytime soon for most and the next time I saw my mother I’d be wearing this fucking suit.