Jun 23, 2008

TEARS AND THUNDER AND OLD WHISKEY: AN IRISH WAKE

Bristol, Connecticut – "This tastes like the root cellar!" One cousin passes the flask.

Another lofts it: "here's to 75-year-old scotch! And Emma!"

The po-faced funeral-home wake merges into a wild rumpus back at the ancestral pile. At a certain point, I should be worried about the drunks cruising upstairs on grammy's chairlift, then sliding down the bannister while necking booze from the bottle. But somehow I've handed my expensive (for me) SLR camera to an enthusiastic tween and then the evening blurs like some Beat poet gathering ormaybeisitfurtherbackandJoycean?

A murky blended-family relation wings off the rail and thuds onto the floor.

Thunder echoes. Unseasonable hail tinkles.

About half the revelers wander outside. Several frolic in the abrupt downpour. "Emma says quit horsing with her stairchair," someone – maybe one of the last Irish or Italian Catholics – announces. "It's an omen."

I'm not so sure. My devout grammy never persuaded her largely godless brood to behave in life much. Why would she bother now?

6 comments:

  1. There is nothing like a good party to celebrate a great life. Where I come from, we carry the coffin in black and then change into colour for a huge feast and dance!

    Emma will still have to be suitably embarrassed of you lot when she hits the great unknown!!!!

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  2. I kinda like the Irish (or Irish-American) pre-party: being hungover makes Mass almost tolerable.

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  3. Emphasis on "almost" there...

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  4. Tanya1:56 AM

    I didn't know Emma, but I bet she'd like the spunk of the mourners...

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  5. She'd have tutted, but secretly been chuffed, I think.

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  6. cathy simpson2:37 AM

    I had the pleasure of knowing emma and NOBODY could fill her shoes.She was so proud of her family and friends.

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