Last week I was out roller skating in a parking lot early in the morning when the guy in the big black truck arrived. The guy in the big black truck likes to park as far away as possible from other cars, and he likes to make a big deal about it. That is, he takes a dramatic arc on his way to this tucked-away spot and in so doing, comes closer to me than he needs to — this even when I’m already sitting on the curb taking off my skates. His car is enormous, immaculately black, and shiny, with (of course) tinted windows. The guy in the truck circles like a shark checking out a surfboard to see there’s anything edible on top of it — a quick swoop and then away; although away is about seven feet from where I’m sitting, unlacing and annoyed.
I’ve wondered if he’s like this because I’m sitting in the spot he *actually* wanted, or if it’s just because he’s a giant dickwad who needs to show off.
Into the cemetery
Anyway I’ve always thought this tendency to occupy the edge space was an impulse of people with new cars or people who need to live in the country because they’re doing something illegal. But then I was walking Shaggy in the cemetery a few days ago, and noticed a few graves wayyy far away from the other graves, in the corner by the fence where they wouldn’t be likely to have grave neighbors. Apparently some people’s need for privacy extends into death itself. (Although I can tell you from experience that living on a corner does *not* grant you more privacy. It means people can see into more of your windows. I understand there are not windows six feet underground, but you see what I’m saying.)
Now, I think we can be pretty certain that no stray dead bodies are going to be slamming into the dead body in the corner in the way that a car could possibly hit the big black truck in the parking lot. There is no risk here. So why would you choose the gravesite wayyyy over in the corner?
I suppose it’s more of an allergy to neighbors in general. For example: my dad’s grave is up the hill from these corner-grabbers, and when we chose a spot for him, we got him a tree. It’s a nice spot. He’s cremated anyway, but he still has a grave. It’s nice, it’s classy, it’s made of Lake Superior granite. All of our names are on it, which is weird but also badass. But the point is: Do I think all the graves around him are tasteful and attractive? No I do not. There is a heart grave slightly downhill from him. You know the type. It’s kind of pinkish with the jutting headstone shaped like a heart. Okay. Not my style, but also not my business. Recently a new grave popped up that has a Batman etching on it. There is a sad story attached to that one that I won’t get into, but also: it’s a Batman grave. So we got my dad a nice tree, and his neighbors are Batman and the grave equivalent of someone who dots their i’s with hearts. And you know what? Whatever. Are we going to move him? No, of course not. And I don’t think he’d want us to.
The veil is thin
Look, it’s that time of year when the spirit world is closer to the world of dummies than normal. If I were a spirit I wouldn’t bother with all the dumb shit that goes on among the living, but alas, it’s nice for those of us on the dummy side of things to know that technically the spirits are closer to us than usual, and might be able to communicate with us right now if they could stomach it. But: I’m not about to ask the corner grave guy (I’m assuming a guy, right?) why he needs to be in the corner, just as I’m not about to ask the big black truck guy why he doesn’t go shove it.
If truck guy hits me with his truck, though, I’ll die in my skates, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Hopefully I’ll get a spot close to the tree as well. Weird neighbors are mostly okay with me.
If you end up near me, though — just be cool, okay? I’m here, and I get it, here you come. I see you. I don’t know if you noticed, but there are also spots over by the fence.