Tonight during writing group we did an exercise on setting. Since my entire weekend and the first part of the week have revolved around funerals I thought that I should probably write about it. Actually the truth is I was really struggling to think of a setting that I could picture and the funeral home was what was always coming to the forefront. I decided to stop fighting.
Here's what I came up with...
The stifling heat was present always, no air conditioner, but today it was compunded by the steady taps of rain outside. The air felt like pneumonia--wet, dripping lungs, thick and weighted.
The casket always caught her by surprise. She wondered if funeral directors did this on purpose--lured innocents into a room full of people talking, hugging--then hit them with the sight of their own mortality propped up in a box, fingers neatly intertwined.
As she excused herself through the weeds of people she thought what a bizarre custom the whole business of funerals was. She looked at Pat from across the room. Pat in the box, dressed to the nines, while all around him people who had gathered together because of him ignored him. The crowd by the photographs was always larger.