In a motel room, somewhere in northern Minnesota, in the middle of nowhere, sits my cousin, on the edge of a bed, his head in his hands. He slowly lifts his head and scans the room, looking at the kitsch furnishings. He feels dizzy as his foggy mind asks questions:
What is he doing here? Why did he come here? How long has he been here?
He can’t remember the nature of the business that brought him here. What he does know is that he is very angry about something!
There is a picture, hanging crooked on the wall, of a village church. He stares at it then the faces of some people flash before him.
Now, it all started to come back to him. The six hour drive almost to the Canadian border. One of his wife’s relations had died and they were going to the funeral.
When they arrived at the motel the girl at the desk couldn’t find his reservation or process his credit card. She couldn’t even find keys to the room.
Time was getting on and they were in danger of missing the viewing of the deceased. He told the girl they were there for a funeral and he asked for directions to the chapel. The girl had no idea where it was even though there was only one in town. It was good there was a phone book handy. They got to the body viewing okay. But the next day they had to travel to another little burg sixty miles north to a small church for the funeral ceremony. Now, this church was so tiny they had to sit in the basement and watch the proceedings on remote TV!
Then it was time for the interment, his wife told him to pull out onto the road and wait for the procession. My cousin, by this time just wanted to go home. He looked in his rear view mirror, and low and behold, the procession was headed in the other direction! He had to turn around fast to catch up to it. They were going to a different cemetery than the one near to the church.
Now, the time came when he had to socialize with his brothers-in-law after the burial.
One of them, according to my cousin, only talks bull-shit! He’s about sixty years old and he claims to be a Korean War veteran. Impossible, the war ended when he was a child. Then in the next breath he talks about being a Viet Nam vet, he was in the army but never in Viet Nam. My cousin swears this guy is nuts.
The other horse’s ass, he means brother-in-law, is a supervisor at his company and feels my cousin and his wife are in the lower class and he shouldn’t socialize with them for fear something will rub off. My cousin was ready to blow his fuse, but he bit his tongue.
My long lost cousin was now longing to get away from this no-man’s land. There was nothing to do there, unless, as my cousin said, you were a farmer “ who is outstanding in his field”.
On the way home, he had an opportunity to cut off the horse’s ass on the highway, he and his wife cheered as they sped away.
“ Wake up, darling, it’s time to head off for the funeral,” his wife smiled.
“ Oh, no, I just had the worst dream about this trip.”
“ Don’t worry, darling, it will be nice meeting some of the family again.”
My cousin sat up on the edge of the bed and put his head in his hands.