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And third, this is the last time I am going to see lakes. I want to ask what he saw and felt and knew when he died.I want to ask him about his childhood, of which I know nothing. I want to ask him about how he met my aunt on the train in New York City and why they moved to rural Connecticut when they were just kids, married not even a year.He’s right about my aunt, who is an excitable person, and also is a lovely word, and just then a big hawk floats right over the road in front of us, so neither of us says anything for a while.
I think he is wearing his work boots too, but I cannot see his feet.
His hair is swept up in its usual wave, and he is wearing his telephone lineman’s uniform.
He will perorate thirty minutes easy on the sermon.
And second of all, it’s not like you can have a funeral for a guy if the guy is not actually present. I want to ask what form he is in that he can be here with me but also dead.
So I don’t say anything, but it’s like he can read my mind, because he says, Look: (a) it’s not like I have to give a speech at this event, and (b) it’s only one beer, and (c) you would think that if ever a man could be excused from what is and isn’t proper, it would be on the way to his funeral.
I want to ask him if drinking a beer is a particularly good idea at eleven in the morning, but who am I to question a guy on the way to his own funeral?
For one thing I will be in a closed casket, and for another I was never much for dressing up, as you know. In my army uniform or my lineman’s uniform, not so bad, but in a suit, no. The rest of the way to Danbury we continue to make detours to see lakes.
I had to wear a suit the day your cousin entered the convent, and it added to the discomfort of the situation. There’s Mamanasco and Naraneka and Waubeeka, plus various small lakes that are basically large ponds.
It’s not like my feelings are going to help the kids get jobs — am I right? On the east side of Waccabuc, right on the Connecticut border, there are two little lakes, and we stop to stretch. Herons sure look like dinosaurs to me, says my uncle. You have to admire a species that gets it right and just stays with the program like that.
I don’t know if we are ever going to get it right, but I suppose it could happen.