And of course the preparations had to be made posthaste and without delay not a second being wasted. The news would be out soon. No time for mourning, because mourning can last forever (and then some) and even as you fetch the cereal from the dusty lower shelf of the pantry and sit slicing the bananas into the bowl in the breakfast nook there can be mourning. But not now no time the major media outlets must be notified.
They would undoubtedly want to know of his accomplishments. The magazines would need to make their charts and miscellaneographies and the papers would need the facts to back up newsprint tepidities like beloved and haunted and quintessential something or other.
I began to compile a list.
Runner-up in the Pine Wood Derby. First kiss eighth grade Elena Williamson. 36” Northern on Red Lake. Buffalo nickel which he found on the day he met his wife he kept for three years. Always kept a neat and orderly dressertop. Youngest branch supervisor in seven years. A family man. Drank only on the weekends. Stole packet of Bubble-Yum only once, as a child, and promptly returned it as a matter of conscience. Blue-eyed smile impossible to evade even on worst of days. Coached boys swim, 4 straight state championships.
The media was on it right away. Were at the house before I could finish my list. People from all around, that we never knew. The softball questions were loudest and the darker ones whispers but would remain so. Brianna knew us as old friends.
People gathered from all around, whom we didn’t know, around a house that was not his. One boy carved a star into the sidewalk of the cul-de-sac. Microphones everywhere and on such a springtime afternoon with perhaps 4 clouds in sight and the innocuous fluffy sort besides incongruities on all sides. But this was not a time for mourning because there were preparations to be made. There were stories to be told, but which? They all make money when the vultures come to feed.
Goose turned to Brianna, and said Quite frankly, he may be worth more dead than alive.
Yes. This is all he wanted I think, to be loved like he was newly dead.
There was a strange inelasticity in her voice final like sadness and I frowned. It was not the time for mourning. It was not the time for folding laundry, a red shirt in the basement that you know is not yours, or the big soft bed that is too big now.
In the street now the people were dancing. People who had already forgotten what they were dancing for, just happy for a reason.