Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Corpse and a PSP

That's what my last weekend came down to. It's a good thing I'd written all that in advance because my father-in-law's aunt passed away sometime between Friday and Saturday.

Now, I come from a very small family (count 2, including me) so I'd never dealt with death so hands-on. And I think I've watched way too many CSIs as I was under the impression it would take a while after she died before they put her in the ground. But they were having none of it and she was going down under on Sunday. And so it was that while I was taking a shower on Saturday I was informed that I would be making a round trip totaling around 450kms that same day (that's 280 miles give or take I think). Even though I'd never met the lady, you could say I was very upset that she died.

Then a more pressing concern hit me "what am I going to wear?" followed by a more urgent "does this mean I'm not finishing Star Ocean this weekend?" I had picked up The First Departure thinking of going through three of the installments of the series in one week but I am severely allergic to car rides. My stomach gets a bit upset and my sphincter tightens up whenever I travel at speeds exceeding 100kph (60 mph). When I was younger I'd refer to cars as big metallic beasts from hell, with their big eyes and fangs and smoldering behinds (read headlights, grill and tailpipes). Buses were something like overlords and trucks overfiends (yes, that's an Urotsukidoji reference). That fear hasn't subsided so it's safe to say it wasn't a pleasant ride that one, in the dark, on a highway. Anyways, this meant I wasn't going to be able to play at all over the ride there and back as I'd probably end up barfing inside their nicotine scarred Mercedes. We wouldn't want that.

I girded my loins, put on a black skirt, proper shoes, counted my blessings that I'd shaved my legs the previous day and steeled my mind for the ordeal ahead. Something refreshed my sullen spirit though. When we stopped at a gas station we got to see one of those kids that runs around a lot have his debut head-first encounter with technology as he tackled an automatic door before it had a chance to open. Good times.

We got there and before I knew it we were heading inside a fairly old church. Or chapel. I don't know these things. This place apparently dates back from 1565 but I was fairly not impressed as the temperature was a good ten degrees lower than in my beloved capital. On the drive there we'd learned that a friend of the deceased (which was close to turning 97) had also perished the same night (she was a week away from 100) so the church ended up hosting two bodies for two grieving families. I did my rounds, introducing myself, kissing a bunch of old ladies, feeling very much like the literal black sheep in the flock. At one point, trying to avoid melting my coat on a radiator I stood a bit too close to the casket and I felt the blood drain from my cheeks at the prospect of tipping it over and living the most embarrassing moment I would ever come to experience. It didn't happen though.

So there we stood and sat and chatted with hard-of-hearing old folk for a while, looking a bit glum and smiling sympathetically, the corpse with its white shroud over its face, hands contorted holding a rosary, me feeling more uncomfortable by the minute save for the heat from the radiators.

We finally departed from the religiously charged premises and had dinner and drove back. When I finally got in my own bed it was well past 1 AM but I still gave SO:TFD another go. I spent the following day in bed mentally recovering from my first brush with death and all the cold, gloominess and old-smell it entails. I ended up finishing the game and got started on The Second Evolution (which didn't turn out that well). But more on that some other time.

1 comment:

  1. she was turning 98, not 97 :D (in 10 days from today, i think)