I arrived at the site a little before my scheduled appointment of 9:00 in the morning. I had been to a couple of wakes, but I needed some research for my book, so I wanted to see everything that happened behind the curtains when it comes to the business the afterworld. Well, caring for the departed, better said.
The location where I was asked to go was one of the three owned by the mini conglomerate of four successful undertakers. Made up of a three story superstructure, the building looked more like a mansion, than the place where the departed make a pit stop before they get boxed to ship underground.
I was to meet with Dean, one of the assistant directors and shadow him. A fearless man generally, my hands started to tremble as they made contact with the cold copper of the door handle. I pushed in, but it wouldn’t budge. I rattled the handle several more times, still it wouldn’t open… Maybe, I was wrong… Maybe, I wasn’t meant to be here….
“You might want to pull, before you break it.” The raspy voice of an old dude that looked older than the earth itself was the little incentive that I had to make me jump up and scream: “Shut up demon!”
“Dean… not Damian! You must be Lance…. So pleased to meet you!” The man himself… what an embarrassment… I haven’t even started yet and here I am screwing up from zero hour. “Take a walk inside, make yourself comfortable while I make a couple of calls.” Dean motioned for me to sit on a couch in a small room that apparently was a used as a viewing room, judging by the rose gold casket placed on a pedestal. Within it contained a lady of old age. Impeccable permed white hair adorned her impeccably made up face as she seemed to rest in eternal sleep…
Left alone, with nothing to do but wait… I kept staring at her… My emotions were a turmoil of curiosity, anxiety and adoration. Curious for the process that leads to that grandeur esthetic finesse, anxiety for the inner doubt that she might get up and eat my writer ass, and adoration for the calm energy that surrounds a viewing room…
Five minutes pass by and no sign of Dean… Having seen too many Zombie movies, I decide to make friends before making enemies… Maybe that will save my behind from getting devoured… “Hi, I am here for a job interview. What about you?”… nothing…. “I am sure you have lived a fulfilling life and have made every moment of it worth it.”…. still nothing….. “Maybe I am boring you, but to be honest I am here sitting scared shitless, but I bet you don’t even care…” Thud!
Holy fuck… the hair in the back of my neck lifted like billion antennae pointed up towards the sky… my vision turned dark… I lost my pheripheral… “I… I.. am sorry for… disturbing… you…” God, it was becoming so hard to breathe… I could not really tell if she had moved or not. Slowly, I got up from the couch and sliding along the wall… I began my way out of the room…
“Fuck, I cracked my brand new iPhone!” Dean walked in the room rubbing his devices screen as if he would rub a cat’s scratch on his arm. “What’s the matter? You don’t look so good…” Dean was surveying me attentively, more like a psychiatrist, rather than a man who spends the rest of his life sticking wet cotton up the departed’s butthole.
“I am fine. Too much coffee, I guess…” I lied. Pretty sure he didn’t fall for it. After all, the man has had his share of newcomers into the field.