Brace yourself, Kurt Vonnegut-style. About 3/4 of the way through this free-associative post, there will be a funeral.
The stuff I chose, the bandana, an Israeli tichel and a cap, came to just over $25, but there’s a bit of a shipping cost, so all these (three) hair-covering THINGS came to just over $8. A bit more in Canadian dollars, but still… lots of fun shopping the site. I am prepared to hate one or two, but hope one of them, when they arrive, will be my New Favourite Hair Covering Thing!
What? One site doth not a SPREE make? And oh, yeah, what about the FUNERAL?
Well, okay, I also went on eBay and bought a new USB cable to go with my new cellphone.
What? Yes, I bought a cellphone.
Here’s why – the Straw that Broke the Camel’s Back, so to speak. I showed up at the school today to drop off tuition forms and – humiliation on top of humiliations! – the door was locked, and nobody was answering the buzzer. They’d helpfully taped up a sign that said, “to access ___ (the school’s name), please dial–” and the school’s phone number with an extension.
The Entire World now assumes you have a cellphone, and there I was, stranded in the parking lot, with no cellphone.
So I marched back to the corner of Bathurst and Lawrence, where there is a pay phone, but no, I did not have the requisite fifty cents to drop in. So I had to drop in a WHOLE dollar and wait while it rang, all anxious that I’d get hung up on or get somebody’s voicemail. Short story: I got through, told them I’d be back in THREE minutes, hung up, walked back and went in to pay.
And then walked back to the plaza where I’d left my car, stopped at Second Cup for a premium coffee beverage and then marched myself down to Radio Shack, or what used to be Radio Shack before they changed to a new, dumb name. And walked in and said, “what’s the cheapest I can get a cellphone for?”
Well, naturally, they upsold me on a monthly plan (I was leaning towards prepaid), but I still think it’s pretty good. Very basic; very bare bones. I tell myself I won’t use it much. And that I will never be stranded again.
All this time, by the way, I was supposed to be at a funeral. Here it is: the funeral.
My sister Abigail felt sorry for me and came to stay with the kids, but later recoiled when she found out that the funeral was for our former neighbour, the husband of our former Crazy Neighbour Lady. They both moved to an apartment in the fall, but apparently, he hasn’t really been well since, and on Sunday, he died.
His name was Yaakov Zev: Jack. He turned 89 the day before he died. Happy Birthday.
He had no family, no friends, no ties to the world. He worked for Canada Post his whole life, but his coworkers – and before that, his military colleagues – probably all died decades ago. so when two neighbours came to tell me about the funeral yesterday, I decided it was important to go. Indeed, the only people at the funeral were pretty much old neighbours from our street.
It was the most generic funeral I’ve ever seen, though Ted says he’s seen worse – like one where nobody showed up (he guesses the guy had left money for a funeral, maybe prearranged the thing, and nobody came except the rabbi).
This was a little better, but they didn’t have a minyan. Luckily, one of the funeral guys flagged someone down from off the street to make ten men, and somebody stepped up to say Kaddish. It could have been worse. I don’t know if all the guys the rabbi was counting were Jewish; the wife wasn’t Jewish. Some of the neighbours weren’t Jewish.
I didn’t cry; I didn’t feel anything except glad I’d gone, because nobody is so worthless that he doesn’t deserve to be remembered.
And now I’m a bit sad, imagining perhaps the simcha when he was born; the clamour, the bris, the pidyon haben, maybe (he was a first son and only child), the bar mitzvah – the raw potential in a life as yet unlived.
Somebody must have loved him terribly at some time; maybe a lot of somebodies did. But as I hope I learned from Nanny, it’s not enough to have BEEN loved once – you can’t take it for granted that you will always have people. You have to work at it, your whole life long.
So I consoled myself by buying a cellphone and leaving my sister here with the kiddies for an extra hour. It’ll do them good: they all got to bond, right? Plus, I did give her lunch and one of my coveted Starbucks DoubleShots from the fridge, so it wasn’t a total freebie.
And that, there, was my day today.