The Canadian years, 85, tune in and drop out.

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Sunday 22 February 07:19


Tune in and drop out

Tune in and drop out, CKXL was in the air, it was Friday, visit day. In the evening I would go past the morgue. The funeral chapel had its own freezer room and the deceased that had  been ordered not to be buried or cremated at justitial order, stayed there. My father had picked out a beautiful coffin, oak he had wanted for his son,only hte best. It had a velvety inside and my brother lay in there, covered up by a sheet as he if rested. He had sat with some gloomy representative at our table and had picked out a coffin. My brother was in his best suit and you had to know that half his shoulder was missing because you did not see it, they had done him up nicely. My mother had fainted at her first visit to the morgue and could not deal with it in her few bright moments.

She had looked at me with big eyes when she was brought around with a bottle of perfume under her nose. ‘So it was true after all,’ she gasped in my ear, ‘I thought it was in my head’ and she looked at me so heartbreakingly sad that I had preferred to die, then and there. I'd almost rather that she was in a daze because when she was clear, she cried incessantly and that made me very sad, more than I already was, because she was inconsolable and she wasted away faster than ever. In stark contradiction Betsy did all kinds of games with the kids, there was a lot of singing and dancing and It drove me almost mad.

After school I would go to the morgue, my brother had been for dead weeks. The ranger had ordered with his jury that my brother was to stay there, he was evidence. My father did not visit my brother and would continue not to do so, eventually the coffin  was closed and had gone to the crematorium and my father had not seen his son since the fatal hunting expedition, but then again he had caused a very early farewell in his own way. The next inquest hearing would take place in a month. The first meeting was a formal reading of facts and a list of names of those that would be interrogated by the ranger. The witnesses had to be notified well in advance so that they would not fail.

There were problems with the insurance company because my father was still the beneficiary and was also seen as prime suspect. My brother was indeed slain on a Friday and the following Saturday Karen would have been beneficiary. The company first wanted to await the outcome of the inquest. I was tired of all the conspiracy thoughts in my head and could not, just could not learn any more. I was happy at school, there nothing had changed, but for the rest I was still dead inside.

There was something that I had to remember, that was far away and at times it was almost within reach, I did not know what it was but had a growing realization that it had to do with my brother. . The final course had started and my friends had become serious and made plans, I was lost in the crowd but enjoyed the school, I made no plans and was a very mediocre student. I just managed everything, but without interest. I could not talk with anyone, my sisters were too small. Betsy stole my house and my sisters away, I avoided my father and my mother was unreachable. So many people around me and I was so lonely, I became strange, I was often talking to myself or to my brother at times. I knew I did that but it did not matter to me. I planted seeds in a jar and watered them daily and said things such as, this is for you Evert, I hope you like them.


I parked the Pontiac at 'the chapel of rest, "where they kept my brother captured in his coffin. They are holding the wrong one I thought, when I got out. Three silhouets broke away from the portal and came to me, I recognized them immediately. Richard, Don and Beverly. ‘Shall we go inside,’ said Beverly, you come here too often, alone.’ Don and Richard embraced me briefly. ‘Come on,’ Don said, ‘the night is young, and your brother would have found that as well,’ he meant it well and respectful, I could hear it. ‘Your choice of words is still as miserable as ever’ I said and  unconsciously, I grinned, for the first time in weeks.

Moments later we were allowed to come between some screens, where the coffin was put down on a platform with wheels. An employee opened up the half cover, and my brother was once again in the light. ‘Fifteen minutes,’ he said, and walked away. Beverly went forward and said, ‘you do not know me but we belong together, your brother and us and she nodded politely and he comes here too often alone. From now on you’ll see always one of us at his side and the dam broke in me and without sound the first tears rolled from my eyes, for the first time since the hunting party and they splashed next to my shoes on the floor and I had to wipe my nose on my sleeve and without sound I cried for my brother. I tried to hide it, but Don put his arm around me and said, ‘let it go, let it go, that's good, We are here with you man. You are cool. Nobody finds this strange. Beverly looked at me and her eyes were moist as well, ‘you have so much pain,’ she said,’ let it go. Don is right, man, drop out, drop out man, we are with you.’

When the employee came back I told him, ‘from now on I’d  like the lid open when I come and only closed when I’ve left, will you do that for me?’ ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘if I think about it,’ and he shrugged. ‘Man you have no heart,’ Richard said, ‘we don’t hide our dead away, we want to see them. it's not much to ask, I want our friend waiting for us in the light.’ ‘That's right,’ I said and we walked out.


And now, tadah, said Don, we are going for a milkshake at Pop’s. ‘That's on the other side of town,’ I said. ‘We’ll survive it,’ said Don. ‘Boy, your word choice is really bad,’ Richard said, we’ll go collect money and then send you off to charm school.’ ‘What is a charm school,’ asked Beverly? ‘Oh there you learn to walk with a book on your head so that your posture improves,’ said Richard and some sentences that are correct and that you can use in a variety of situations, without grieving people.’ ‘For example, do you know what time it is,’ and with a distorted voice he gave himself an answer. ‘it could well be an early summer,’ it was bland but we all laughed. So my brother got visited the last six weeks before his cremation, by me and a friend and my recovery began, I started to become human again.

San Daniel 2015

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