Thursday, November 13, 2014

A potpourri of thoughts

The point of Morning Pages is to just sit down and write, and don't worry about what pops into you head. I am just trying to explain why my topics today are so jumpy. You get a sneak peek into the maelstrom in my mind. You're welcome.

If dreams have meaning, I'd like to know what the hell it means that I dreamt that a group of friends and I broke into Paul McCartney's home yesterday. And then some of us (not me!) trashed a nursery. And then we ran and ran. Today, we came back to fix it all, hopefully before Mr. McCartney returned home, presumably from a world tour, and then he arrived and we hid and waited for him to discover the nursery and have us all arrested.

I can't even begin to explain that. Except to say that out of all the Beatles, Paul is my favorite and I would never, ever trash his house.

My cats are assholes. I think I've written about this before, or maybe it was only on Instaface. It used to be that pretty much only Max was an asshole, and he still is, but now Tachi is also an asshole. I say this because they got into a fight at 5:55 a.m. (couldn't wait til 6:05 when I was up, you little asshats?) and what woke me up was Tachi yelling at Max. Lately, Max is the one who has been waking me up shortly before 6. He's taken to dragging his water bowl around and eventually tipping it over, all over my hardwood floor. I can hear this from the bedroom, and I don't like the idea of water sitting on the floor, so naturally I get up and drag my sleepy ass out to the kitchen to clean it up immediately.

I do not know why he's doing this every day. For 15 years he never did this. Ever. Now it's like he's training for the water-bowl-tipping segment of the Cat Olympics. It comes down to this: the bowl he tips over is the one he's been drinking from, so it's usually only a quarter or half full. (Which is still a lot of water to clean up at 5:30 a.m.) I guess he figures he can get to it better if it's out of the bowl and on the floor. Hey, dumbass, you have another, full bowl of water right next to the one you are tipping. No need to tip. Just move over about five inches. M is as confounded as I am, and says things like, "He needs a bowl with a wider base so he can't tip it." But here's the thing, much like how M didn't want to put any money into the old house because we knew we were wrecking it, I'm not exactly keen on investing in a 15-year-old cat. Especially when this appears to be just another asshole phase. Plus, he needs to just stop doing it already. I've half a mind to get down one of my giant mixing bowls and using that for his water, in the hopes that with one giant bowl he won't "run out" each morning and feel the needs to tip. The only thing that's stopping me is that perhaps he is really that stupid and will simply tip the larger bowl, leaving me a larger mess to clean up.

We buried an uncle yesterday. We weren't close to Harvey, unfortunately, because he was a really great guy. He is of the Baha'i faith, which means that he eschewed embalming and was simply wrapped in a white shroud and buried in a simple hardwood box built by one of his brothers. The beauty and simplicity of this is so appealing. I have never understood the tradition of paying for an insanely expensive box that gets either lowered into the earth or stuffed into a tomb behind a stone wall. The pine box is much more appealing; ashes to ashes and all that. Well, what's really appealing is the way they do family tombs in New Orleans, but M says we don't have the sustained heat as New Orleans in St. Louis and therefore it would never work. Alas, I will not spend eternity with my remains mixing in with those I love.

Anyway, this was a funeral unlike any I have ever been to, and it was really incredible. We gathered at the gravesite where a woman, the Harvey's niece who is also of the Baha'i faith, led us in prayer. I'll have to look up the meaning behind it, but she said a few lines 19 times each. The prayers all had "verily" in them, so we heard "verily" a lot. A word that has fallen into disuse and should be brought back, much like how most people don't say "half past" any more. We were given flowers to lay upon his casket when we said goodbye. It was beautiful. 

After the hardwood box was lowered into the ground, strewn with purple flowers on bright green stalks, we gathered in the cemetary chapel for a service. There were photos and flowers, and different people spoke, and music was played. Some of the songs were in tribute to the Harvey's love of KSHE radio, so we had a Kansas tune and then we finished with ELO's "Fire on High" per his request. As the music, classic rock, pulsed through the chapel I cried, thinking, "This is how it should be. If you like rock music, then rock music should be played at your funeral. Not dirgey hymns that don't really make anyone else feel better." While I looked around at the weeping mourners, I also noticed they were smiling through their tears, remembering their loved one and celebrating his life. It was special. After the small reception that followed, M and I climbed into our car and played more Kansas, and REO Speed Wagon off our iPhones. Then, in true Harvey fashion, we blasted KSHE.

This, my friends, is how it should be. We should celebrate people in death for exactly who they are in life. If I follow Harvey's lead, though, someone will have to turn on NPR at my funeral, which will be a little disconcerting, especially if it's a straight news report and not something fun like Wait Wait Don't Tell Me.

So goodbye to Harvey. Carry on, my wayward son. There'll be peace when you are done. Lay your weary head to rest, don't you cry no more.


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