Leslie Stops the Whole Damn Funeral
Then the preacher. Minister. Whatever those guys call themselves. He didn't even know Mike. Surely didn't know that Mike had decided he was an atheist. Like me. He didn't know Mike smoked dope and cigarettes with me and Leslie every chance he got. Didn't know that, I'm sure. Not by the way he talked. Didn't know about the way we'd drink vodka and laugh till all hours. The three of us.
Anyhow, I know what Leslie was thinking about all through that. Because I was thinking the same thing. She was thinking about how horrible it was that Mike pulled out his handkerchief when he was hunting. How you just can't do that. Somebody's bound to think that's a deer's white tail bouncing and shoot and ask questions later, which is just what they did. That guy. But what are the odds, I want to know. What are the odds? Life does suck.
Then the preacher got all choked up, hearing Mike's mom taking on the way she was. And the preacher slowed down. I know what Leslie was thinking. She was thinking of that last night the three of us had together. How we got really drunk and went walking downtown, the whole town all decked out in Christmas lights. She was thinking about how we ducked into that ally and smoked that joint and then some cigarettes, then went walking some more and how beautiful the lights looked. It was a wonderland, really. Even Christmas carols didn't sound so bad. And Mike there between the two of us. And I don't know if Mike was holding Leslie's hand or not. He was holding mine. I know that. Sometimes he held both. But Leslie didn't know that. No. She never knew how Mike was going to dump her, as soon as he got back from that hunting trip. She didn't know that. And I wasn't going to tell her now was I? Let her believe the way she wants. Let Mike be what she wants him to be in her memory. And I have what I know. That's the way I see it.
But that preacher, or whatever you call him, slowing down. And choking up. And then he looks around the room. Overheated room, with all those warm bodies and one cold body in there. And Leslie's sniffling. Me feeling nothing. And I'm about to give Leslie a fresh Kleenex. Then the preacher, he says, "Is there anybody in the room wants to say some final words?"
Leslie stands up right then. And she stops the whole damn funeral. Right like that. She stands up in Mike's letter jacket and says, "Yes, I have some final words," Leslie says. "I'm pregnant with Mike's baby."
I guess that stopped me too. I dropped the Kleenex box anyhow.
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