I've been at work for an hour.
I have my music going, the phones ringing off the hook, and the staff behind me rowdy as always trying to make the deal that will set them up for the rest of the week.
I spent the morning crying for the first Him I felt love for.
He conducted basically the entire cerimony. The priest did the first and last prayer, but He had 10 pages of kind words and funny stories and truely telling tales about the man he is the Junior to.
He held his sister close in the pew. He read her speech for her. He acknowledged the coffin often.
I sat in the back. I cried when he walked in. I laughed at his jokes and dropped tears when he lost it at the end.
I waited for the standing room only crowd to file out the already opened back doors. I stood and contemplated and then put my purse down and walked right up to Him.
He put out his arms like I'd seen him do to everyone, acknowledged me by name as he leaned in for the hug. I didn't know what to say so I didn't say anything. Where a part should be, a kiss on the neck I recieved, and a lean back in. I held him tighter, heard the staggered breath in my ear and felt his chest quake. I wanted to be the one to support him, make it ok to cry, to be the one he could crack his shell with... but I leaned back a bit and told Him he was a good man. The space between our bodies filled to eighteen inches and he asked if his speech was ok. He told me he tried to make sure it wasn't all gut wrenching sadness and needed assurance that he was funny and not that they were laughing just as a break from the crying. I told him it was very well put together and that he did a great job standing up there and delivering all the kind thoughts.
I knew there was someone behind me trying to get to him so I stepped to the side. When the path cleared I asked for his address to send a card to.
He told me to call him.
He then told everyone in hearing range how to get to the reception.
Then looked me straight in the face and nodded.
I sat in my car parked across the street as he hugged the women and shook hands with the men and listened and held his sister tight. I watched him over do the cool guy gig with the pretty girls and wondered how many of them were his fucks, like me.
When the crowd cleared a bit and I wipped my tears and straightened out my hair, I turned the motor over and headed toward the freeway.
I got off to cut through town to the next freeway.
The street where the reception was commencing was second on the left.
I called a friend from the parking lot. Told her of how I wanted to go in but didn't know why. She allowed me to talk out my reasoning, but ultimately be both knew that I could go in under the guise that I needed to pee and it was lunchtime and there was a sandwich I could munch while figuring out what I was doing there.
He came in. Shook more hands, hugged his sister more, and the woman carrying His child was barely stopped to touch his arm as she pointed to the back corner where she would be.
I got a sandwich, found a place to sit, and was soon joined by a sweet pair of old ladies that used to be my neighbors when I lived with Him.
We ate and chatted and I watched His grandpa at the next table spread his sandwich into the mustard on his plate. I saw Him past the half wall taking care of everyone and smiling whenever possible.
I was ready to leave. I saw Him convincing His sister to eat a sandwich as he neglected His own. I thought how I could just tap Him on the shoulder and say goodbye and walk out the door and leave Him behind.
He got up. He started greeting and shaking hands and thanking people for coming. And the sweet old ladies were talking up a storm. And it was nice to be treated like a person for a minute, so I drank my water and nodded and watched him make His way to my table.
His approach in included "well, look at all the lovely ladies we have at THIS table!" He grew up down the street and around the corner from these women and they laughed about the basketball in driveway story He'd shared.
He turned His attention to me, bent over, and hugged me where I sat. Two arms, bent way over, and didn't stop to see if he could peek down my shirt. He thanked me for coming over, lingered a second when I looked back at Him, then turned to greet His grandpa, gave a little jest to the man who would bury his son in a few hours.
I stood. I was glad He could remind grandpa of who I was so I could address him directly and tell him how glad I was I could come pay my respects to a family I hold in such high regard. I looked up and saw Him tuck in His lips and look me in the eye and appreciate me. He backed up a bit when grandpa went back to dipping his sandwich; I asked him what he was doing the rest of this week. He said He might get back to work just to get His head straight again.
I told Him I actually have to get back to work this afternoon, that I never had to stand up in front of a crowd and talk about my mother and I thought He did an amazing job.
He leaned in for a hug goodbye. He kissed my cheek again. He again gave 18 inches between us. I looked Him in the eye, and he looked back, and I watched Him transfer his focus from one eye to the other and he just kept looking at me, into me, through me, and His cheeks lifted ever so very slightly and I nearly lost my composure right there in the middle of a Moose lodge.
I told Him he would have a beautiful baby.
A new man stood before me in an instant - this one fidgety and shifty and looking in Her direction but not trying to see Her.
"Oh, ... yeah... so you saw... you saw my other... "
I am stuck for words. I look at Him not being able to look at me and I say "your other what? No, I say Your Girl. You will have a beautiful baby." I fixed his collar and picked the random blonde hair off his shoulder and looked up to meet his gaze again. So I looked right back into the eyes that will forever haunt me and said "I can tell you are very proud."
He looked down again and raised His head only to tell me "thanks again for coming, get yourself to work; someone has to pay those bills!" and got tugged away to meet some more people who are sharing the loss of a Man among working men.
I thanked the ladies for a lovely conversation and excused myself. Tossed the garbage, grabbed another water bottle, and didn't fidget with my purse or jacket as I made my exit.
There were picture boards at the doorway and no one blocking the view.
I remember telling Him in Vegas that I would just love to see baby pics of Him.
Today I did.
I remember the stories He told me in Vegas and wondered if I would ever see Him cry.
Today I did.
I watched my dad a few weeks back and thought of how much love He had with His father and was so jealous in the middle of Disneyland and so grateful that I had seen a father and his Junior son be best friends.
I wondered last week what I would be upset about leaving as a loose end if I died. He was all I could think of that wouldn't resolve itself satisfatoraly.
I'm not making this up.
The priest actually started his 5 minute intro saying "we are here to honor the life and memory of Mr. Him Jr..." I blurted from the second to back row "SENIOR", and a few murmurs were heard.
When He came to the podium minutes later, He introduced Himself as Him Jr., and said He was alive and well and He would be speaking on the life of Him SENIOR. A big laugh rolled through the crowd, and I was able to look at Him and see someone who would be fine without me.
He has no idea how important this mornings funeral was in my life.