I thought I would collapse as soon as I got in tonight, but here I am.

The wake was okay— except for being absolutely terrible like these things are. Right up until the moment that we walked through the door to the room, I was hoping that it would be someone else. But one look and there was no denying it was Dan. No cameras popped out, so it wasn't a sick prank either.

The funeral home did a really nice job. They were incredibly respectful (and didn't pay us any notice when my sister and I sat outside for a half hour afterwards). They stayed true to the picture, and I felt very well taken care of. Yada, yada, A++ would not like to have to use again.

My only regret is that I didn't think to make sure someone sent something like a fruit basket. Because Dan's attitude, if the situation had been somewhat reversed, would have been, "Fuck flowers. Send food."

The first words out of my mouth as I looked at his face were, "Oh fuck, Dan." And from there on out, it was real. For every moment I felt like I was floating out of my own head today, there was not one moment where I could pretend that this would turn out to be something different than what it is.

There were so many people it broke my heart. There were so many people who came and stayed the whole time. My brother was so loved and did not know it.

Advertisement

We did manage to get a restaurant at under $20/person for the repast, a word I'd never heard before today, making me feel as though I've slipped between the cracks of the multiverse. It's happened before— words and products that seem to come into the common lexicon suddenly without me noticing their introduction. That shit happens to me so often, The Nerdy Mr and I had to come up with a word for the particular type of unease— we call it feeling non-continuous. The last major death in my life, I'd woken up the night before sharply and suddenly to a commercial for Nugenix— I mean, in what universe does anyone name a drug anything that sounds like eugenics? Where I originated, that's just not done. It still makes me cringe every time I hear it. Or like the day I figured out Lyrica was being advertised like two separate drugs.

The Nerdy Mr had a tough time today. He couldn't be inside because he felt the home had done too good a job, and Dan looked too much as he had in life. I get that. It's unsettling. That doesn't mean he wasn't in the room, but there were more people there than the room could hold, so there was a lot of walking around. It was good though, Dan never could sit still. My sister and I did laps around from the main room to the sitting room, outside, a loop around the building for a break, and you know, I think I spent the whole day in the same mode I work conventions and shoots in. The estranged uncle stood at the front of the room, the distance between him and the casket increasing slowly all through the four hours. Later I watched as the line slowly moved forward, and realized that the distance was changing because most of the people who were there were there because they knew Dan, they knew me, or they knew Amanda. And the people who have come to know him through us don't have very fuzzy feelings about him. But that is material for another entry. Several other entries.

There was a prayer ceremony that felt sprung on me. My sister and I hadn't been told about it, which some of you probably already grasp is a recurring theme for things the estranged uncle does that upset and unsettle me. I could have maybe dealt with the instabilities better if he didn't keep claiming he provided so much stability. My grandmother never fully grasped the wordplay of calling the man hyper-critical. See? Several other entries.

Advertisement

I really didn't mean to make this so much about the estranged uncle, you guys. It's just that he kept telling me to not be mad at him. Which, naturally, was making me mad at him. Do people really not get how that works?

And he doesn't understand which things I'm mad about anyway. I'm not mad at him over this— might as well be mad at the clouds for making you drop something when the cat jumps at thunder. There's related shit in there, and you could blame the clouds, technically. And some people do indeed blame the clouds. But it's not productive to think of it that way. It doesn't make sense not to take the cat into account. I'm mad at him for things that have happened in the past six months— like harassing me for money my sister "owed" that I knew she paid him because I helped her come up with that damn money. Not saying anything to anyone about when he would bring the clothes when he decided to change the plan. Thinking that any point during today would be a good time to broach the topic of our relationship. It doesn't help get done what needs to be done. And let's not open that fucking can of worms while we're standing directly in front of my goddamn dead brother. Anything before that, well it's a lot more pity than anger.

Before we left for the night, I loosened Dan's tie. I just couldn't take the thought of him wearing it all night. In life, he wouldn't have worn it more than a third of the way though the event. He'd never sleep like that.

Advertisement

I should get some rest. This is what I get for being afraid I'll sleep through it; I can't sleep.