Monday, June 14, 2010

My Eulogy

We are sitting at lunch, in the cafeteria. It is time to enjoy the only half-hour of the day we get to wolf down some kind of lunch. Maybe, between bites, we get to hear some gossip, theories on management, or just complain about the cruel hand fate has dealt the sanitation crew.

All of us have issues. Nobody is immune.

My dad died a few months ago. This is hard, we all agree. Some have already lost parents. Other have parents who live in different states. A few have parents they never got to know. As one of the janitors tells me, his dad went out for milk and he still hasn't found his way back home. Somebody else pipes up, and aks how many times his momma has moved since his daddy went to find milk. She probably had the other car all packed with their stuff the minute the man went to the store. We all laugh a little. Another janitor wonders if this person's daddy had the good sense to know his way to the grocery store. Maybe he's still lost? Finally, somebody suggests that this man's daddy probably is still in front of the dairy case, trying to decide between 2% and skim milk. His daddy's so dumb, it's probably a good thing he couldn't find his way back. Hopefully, this missing-daddy's progeny hasn't fallen to far from the tree....we all laugh. We are janitors, after all. It's not rocket science. But we can all read a milk carton and a map.

The talk turns back to losing a parent. My friend says he'll be happy to give the eulogy at my funeral, if anything ever happened to me. He just loves me that much, it would be an honor to stand up in front of my laid-out, bleached out, very deathly white body and tell everyone how much I meant to him - and everyone else, of course. Like he remembers the day I walked in. My first day on the job here, and I was a heavenly vision placed here to clean toilets. An angel sent to ease his soul (in an ugly t-shirt and stained jeans).

I imagine what my parents would think. It would be funny. My mom, the university professor, has an awesome sense of humor, so she would get the joke. My sister, in her Ralph Lauren, Hollister, Abercrombie and Fitch, Rich and Thin world, would be horrified. If I got hit by a bus tomorrow, I would definitely love to have this co-worker give my eulogy. Simply because it would be awesome. It would be the best eulogy in the universe.

We all listen at lunchtime to the eulogy. He says he will tell my family what a hot momma I was, my hips swaying gently along the office aisles in those tight jeans (he pantomimes a very CURVACEOUS set of curves in the air in front of him). And those brown eyes, just a hint of gold in them and they sparkle in the light (he looks skyward, pauses for effect and continues). She was an honest and caring person, giving me quarters for a Coke. I could just stare at her all day in wonder....

She came to us and I fell in love the first day, he says. Like a dream - an angel sent from Heaven to lighten the weight on my weary soul. So it is with a heavy heart, a heavy soul, that we are here today to say goodbye to this girl, this hot-damn momma who knew sacrifice, and yet had the strength to persevere (pound on the table, pretend to cry, sob, wipe his eyes....pause for effect, and continue).

May the damned bus.... (his voice a dramatic crescendo, pause to check the gallery).....
That hit this Poooooor bitch (another loaded pause)....
Go straight to Hell!!! (end with Go Straight...fist pound on Hell - final fist on table, like a gavel)

Everybody laughs. I laugh. All eulogies should be this colorful. Every funeral I've ever been to has had AWFUL eulogies. Stiff, formal, not very fun, awkward and clunky delivery - most everything dependent on the reporting of who-this-is by a grieving family. I want this man to give my eulogy. It doesn't matter what I've done, or not done in my life. And I want a barbeque afterward.

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