Vignettes

Just a few snippets today.  It’s a post that I’ve been partly writing in my head for most of this week.

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I went to my friend’s wake yesterday.  It apparently hadn’t sunk in yet until I pulled into a parking spot.  I had to sit in the car, waiting for my crying face to calm down before I went in.  Unfortunately, I hadn’t finished my crying and I kind of lost it by the time I got to my friend’s husband.  He said, “It’s okay.  It’s really sad.”

Also, I have to say this for the record – I love my friend and I love her family because they were a part of what shaped her into who she was but… I absolutely *hate* open caskets.  I’m sorry.  I really do.

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I went to my friend’s funeral today.  I wasn’t sure I was going to – I thought it might be awkward.  Usually I think of the funeral as being for the family, to help them with the grief.  A ritual to say goodbye.  But then I figured I would probably regret not going, so I woke up this morning, planned what I was going to wear, and then went into the studio.  I worked a bit more on one of my recent canvases.  Remembering that I wanted to rearrange some of the small ones I have up, I grabbed my tube of Polyfila, pulled pictures down, pulled nails out and fixed the nail holes in my wall.

The service was good.  Her husband made an amazing eulogy about who she was – he was so brave to stand up there and speak.  Their daughter, I think, had a better idea of what was going on today.  There were a lot of people in the church.  I sat between two of my old colleagues, which was good.  I gave one of them Kleenex.  Score one for me on the Mom Test.

I did my measuring, leveling, and hammering after I got home.  So now I have room for more canvases.

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Let’s rewind in history and switch countries for a moment.  A vignette I wanted to write about Galway.

I was walking down Quay Street in Galway, just after having my dinner at The Malt House and my pint of Guinness at The King’s Head.  I had just watched an extremely inebriated man be “escorted” out of the establishment (yes, even in Ireland, someone gets tossed from a pub when he’s too drunk).  He was wearing sunglasses and very slowly still “finishing his pint”, trying to stave off the inevitable.

I was following these two men down the street, just trying to keep my head up and eyes open.  I was walking alone through an unknown city around 10pm – just being smart.  I watched them as they drifted together, linked fingers, and then drifted apart again.  Together and apart, holding hands and then not.  My heart ached – the unlinking of the hands usually coincided with someone being passed or someone approaching.  I wanted to go up to them and give them a hug.  I can’t believe how much that must hurt – to not feel like you can express yourself in public.  Perhaps not feeling safe enough to.

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Also on Quay St, on my way to The King’s Head pub, I passed a man and a woman walking the opposite way.

“Oh yeah, there’s a McDon@ld’s back here.  I need a Mc-Something…” says the man.

In my head, I say, “Why??  You’re in Galway!”

Yeesh…

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