Ken & Andie part 6
It’s the undertaker kid Ken. He drove here in the hearse bringing us more thank you cards. We had such a big funeral , we must need more cards he says. I watch from the hallway to my room. It’s a small house, you can hear everything. I let my mother handle this. I let my mother handle all the neighbors streaming into the yard because they think she killed herself too. But she didn’t. The hearse wasn’t for her. He’s standing in the doorway in his black funeral coat and black Hamburg hat. He must have come from a small funeral. One that didn’t require a flower car, the car he usually drove. The hearse was his charge today.
If someone died a nice death, then a nice hearse was dispatched to pick them up, and take them to the makeup parlor and the bereavement theatre. There was respect and nice ways in the old neighborhood. If it was a maggot ridden body, a murder or any decomposing nightmare, the station wagon with thick bags was sent.
Things for me were spiraling into hell. I was glad in a way the undertaker kid set himself up to become a buffer. I guess he was used to hysterical people. I was bone tired. Soul drained. Every few days he would visit. How many thank you cards do you need? I stayed in my room. I was trying to sleep after late shift. My mother, who requires attention the way a vampire seeks blood, did not find the flirty fuel in this one. She became annoyed and told me I should get up and talk to him. I didn’t. I didn’t answer the door when he brought flowers, and flowers, and flowers. Flowers entwined with wire, flowers he salvaged from the dumpster at the graveyard. Bunches of flowers, beautiful flowers that brought back that cloying smell that lodged in my brain behind my eyes. Sometimes in the house, I would walk through a concentrated form of this smell and think my brother was there. I thought his spirit was a vapor and it smelled like a floral forest. The undertaker kid became as regular as the mailman, and the neighborhood got used to the visitations of livery Cadillacs in and out of our driveway.
I had a couple of Bee Gees albums. This song just summed up the time, and Kens need to be needed. It completely represented the boy waiting at the front door.