At My Funeral

By Lucía Orellana Damacela

The mortician has added a pinkish glow to my cheeks, better suited for a porcelain doll if you ask me. I can see the shiny blush reflected on Auntie Aida’s glasses, which in turn look more rose-colored than usual. The reflection shows me wearing the lavender wrap-around dress, the one I wore to my last birthday dinner with the guy that ran away when I got sick. Oh well.

The room seems full. I don’t hear what they all say but it is clear that my demise hasn’t been a conversation stopper. Cousin Rupert passes by. Bet you can’t read my poker face now. I see real sorrow too; my sister’s and my mom’s tears make me want to be able to cry. Please, please don’t cry. I also see the evil eye of a high school nemesis. Come on girl, seriously? Even the runaway guy is paying his respects, accompanied by whom I presume is his missus. Why am I surprised? You have no shame. The wifey sizes me up with yardstick curiosity. Hello dear, boo!

I have been stuck inside this now unfitting skin suit since they stopped the noise around me and took the machines away from my hospital bed. It was weird at first when I found out I couldn’t control or move this body anymore. It was surreal to hear and see but feel no pain when they brought me here to the funeral home, drained my blood, injected some fluids. I knew how it should feel like, but felt nothing, total disconnection. As if I were awake under deep anesthesia.

After hours in this room full of visitors, this is getting old. I assume this is the last time I’ll see them, but I can go without. On the other hand, I wish I could smell the chrysanthemums and carnations that surround me. A glass window above reflects the room. I see that people’s attention is dwindling. Even some of the candles are starting to die ‒ no pun intended.

Finally, they take me out. I can hear the drizzle; I wish I could feel it. The movement stops and I hear voices. Now they are taking the coffin down; I know it because the voices start to fade. Suddenly I imagine feeling panic filling up my veins, just like the fluids at the mortician’s. The prospect of an eternity of darkness makes me convulse, if only in my imagination. Then it is as if a gate is suddenly opened and I am ejected, coughed out. From the top of the coffin I take a last look at my disease-defeated body. Free at last, I soar.

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Lucía Orellana Damacela is the author of two chapbooks: Life Lines, which won The Bitchin’ Kitsch Chapbook Competition (The Talbot-Heindl Experience, 2018), and Sea of Rocks, forthcoming. Her literary work has been published in more than twelve countries, in venues such as Jellyfish Review, Crack the Spine, Flash Frontier, Flash Fiction Magazine, Tales of Two Cities (Ethos Books, Singapore), and Bath Flash Fiction Anthology. A bilingual English-Spanish writer from Ecuador, Lucia blogs at notesfromlucia.wordpress.com/ and tweets as @lucyda.

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