AN ENDING - brenton booth

I wore big sunglasses and a designer suit to hide at my father’s funeral. The priest read a ridiculous poem and a few bad songs were played. A relative organized the songs. I imagined my fathers disapproving spirit trying to destroy the tone-deaf sound system.

When they finished I got up and gave a speech. I held back the tears well enough and made everyone laugh—I guess my time at drama school and onstage was good for something.

After the reception everybody praised my speech. “ Your father would be SO proud of you,” is all I kept hearing. Though I wasn’t really listening. I was thinking of the way he looked in the casket before the reception. Looking at his naked, vulnerable face. I felt everything I had ever done wrong. I was a bad son.

I couldn’t get the look on his face out of my head. When the hearse drove off to the crematorium I felt a great relief. At least one of us would feel better soon.

Brenton Booth
Hermann Hesse