AlvernoINK Spring / Fall 2017 - Page 14

conversation, knowing we would speak another day. He didn’t let that happen. I saw his eyes meet me and call “Jean!” just like he always did. We talked about his birthday plans, my recent trip to Ireland, and other nonsense like good friends do. I promised him the bottle of Jameson I brought home straight from Europe, not knowing that I would never actually be able to give it to him. Thoughts of our last conversation help me understand the cliché, “Only the good die young”.

The unsettling concept of religion is a bridge I intended on never crossing again. It is unlikely that I will willingly step into a church unless God forbid another one of my friends ends up in the front casket. Nonetheless, I listened to his parents’ phone calls and letters, telling me that bible study can save me, and praying every day will make the hurt go away. I knew it was bullshit, but I was desperate to ease the pain in their hearts the best that I could, so I was always there. The day of his burial had to be the sunniest of the entire year. The sky was entirely blue, as if somehow, some way, someone had moved the clouds out of the way for my dragonfly to see us with him. The pastor spoke to us about our lives’ misery if we choose to believe that there is no life after death. I rolled my eyes under my sunglasses reminding myself that “church talk” was everything that he hated. Yet, I was willing to act like I believed anything for the sake of his parents. I watched them stare down at the casket without looking up. Their faces were still and I could tell that they had cried so much that they simply had no emotion left to pour out onto the grave site. They stood apart, hands gripped together behind their backs. I watched their legs uncomfortably fidget until the service was to end. As the talking ended and the people of the service began backing up to attempt to return to our lives, the workers of the cemetery walked to our group.

The way they were dressed was ill-mannered to the family and friends standing in complete shock and sadness. They both wore lime green baseball hats, with tattered green T-shirts that read “Forest Hill Cemetery”. The khakis they wore were stained black with what looked like grease and the look on their faces told me that they had nothing to say. They simply wanted to get their job done and leave. The crowd stood looking back and forth and one another for an answer as to what they were doing over here. As warm as my skin was on that July day, I felt chills cover my body from my legs, up as I watched the workers pull the flowers off my friend's casket so they could lower him into the ground. “They can’t do this in front of us”, I thought. They don’t even do this in the movies. I watched realization struck the mourning father’s face while his head dropped back to let out a low shriek. It is no question that a sound like that out of a grown man can bring anyone to tears of empathy.

The ebullient drinking, reminiscing, and laughter that is performed at my dragonfly’s new resting place is unfair, despite the Marlboro Reds and drops of Jameson that are left for him, preventing the growth of grass in front of his new home. I sit in sorrow, in front of the image of his smiling face placed by his mother, surrounded by the moving views of the untroubled neighborhood. Happiness should not be permitted around this area, just like it is not possible to be performed on my favorite porch. My fondest memories, friendships, and places are questioned. There is no pleasure found in the feeling that anything I love can be damaged at any point.

the death of my porch