We could hear her shrieking from three rooms away– the sound of it caused chills to tap dance up my spine and neck. As she entered the dimly lit room where we silently sat draped in the shadows, she anxiously scanned the crowd. Her tear-streaked face was a twisted mass of agony, as though she were suffering from pain akin to what ancient Indian braves inflicted on their prisoners after a successful war party raid. Then she saw me.

“Oh God, WHY, WHY, WHY!!! How could she leave us!” As the left shoulder of my suit coat was quickly being soaked by the seemingly endless, gushing Niagara from her eyes, her ragged breathing caused me to pause with momentary concern. It was as though she was being forced to breathe through a straw…she just couldn’t get enough air in spite of how much she heaved and strained. The sound of it was making my ear ache. My body was being shaken as she shook; I was a slave to her tight embrace. People stared. I stared…at the floor.

double-ugly-cry-faceIt was the funeral of my great-grandmother, and the quivering mass of wailing flesh latched-on to me was a great-aunt who absolutely couldn’t stand the deceased. Better yet, great-grandma hated her equally as much, maybe more. I…hate…drama.  Continue reading