This is the story I will tell at my funeral.
The world is full of unreliable narrators and I’m one of them. I mean what kind of tale would I weave if I was left unchecked? What’s my story? What will be said at my funeral? Should I leave it a pack of lies for a family to unpack in order to rationalize me? To whom does the task of personal story fall? If we are the sum of our parts, then our moments and experiences are the chapters of our self-published (vanity press) novels. Who vets us, but ourselves? When my brother … died unexpectedly we were left with forty-three unfinished chapters of an unfinished novel; it is as if the dirge wind died down and his fluttering discursive leaves fell to the ground an unmitigated mess. Inks stains and lacunae; drunken diatribes and stolen passages – half finished sentences utterly lacking in punctuation… Underlying assumptions left unsupported. Post hoc, ergo propter hoc: Patty-Whack give the … a bone. His life was not paginated. There is no Baedeker. Where to go to revise, what to edit out, what to fulfill? In these abandoned annotations, myriad megillah messages slurred on answering machines and in the mangled mess of Mnemosyne’s mane; erratic inked furrows on calendars and indiscriminate underlined passages in the Gospels; in the tin foil lining of a packet of smokes, on paper napkins, and on composition notebook paper reeking of … my brother left these explicit instructions … and … burn … How to end this muddled tale? Come again? Speak into your tin can… I have a story I want to tell at my funeral and I’m not going to leave it to anyone else to roll into paper bones for the fire or to feed the insatiable dogs lingering, tongues fat and protruding, smelling fresh marrow and blood, the maddening labyrinths.