I CALLED up my friend who's unofficially organizing Perky's funeral tomorrow, I was stressing about where it was, who I was going with, how I would get there and what the hell to wear. I do have a suit, but it stinks of 10,000 cigarettes having hung on the back of a door for three years. Also I don't have a shirt to go with it. Or a tie. Except for a bloodstained old school tie I found on the street and have used as nothing other than a heroin tourniquet...
I was told: just come as you are, wear normal clothes, that's the type of date it's going to be. And I was saying, Yeah but I don't want to turn up as my regular scuffy self and show everyone up. And I was told: You'll be fine, you'll be fine. Then I said: Well shouldn't I dress as if I'm going to the doctor's?~ and she said: Yes! That's exactly right!
So my sartorial stressings are sorted, at least. I presently have a huge bucket of clothes soaking in the corner. (I hand-wash.)
I said I'd Google the address and bus-routes for the crematorium, so I'll have to ping off and do that in a sec.
O man I how am I going to get through tomorrow. All the drugs in Burma wouldn't do it for me. What am I going to do? What will happen? How will I cope?
I've never been to a funeral before. Not a friend's funeral.
The only ones I've attended were my Grandad's and my old Aunt Dot's.
How I'll handle seeing a coffin that I know contins a body that used to be inhabited by the most marvellous, wonderful woman who brought so much (and the most classic Turnip accent you've ever heard) to so many ... How I can look on this coffin and think of her laid out inside so lifeless and still, staring blankly into the dark; this person who was so full of life and is now about to be chucked into the furnace and burnt to ashes ~ how can I possibly do this?
I don't know how.
I don't know.
Of course I will survive. But what about poor Pinky, so cruelly left alone? A woman who, despite the most gruesome, grotesque, horrendous life you could possibly imagine ~ in childhood and in adulthood ~ has survived and lived as best she could. A woman who has endured years of psychotic illness. Nobody can comfort her. For there is no comfort. And no hope. (At least none to be seen.) To pretend otherwise would be to descend into clichés and platitudes and I'm not into them.
I cried this morning. I actually cried. And I never cry over suicide or drug deaths. These are personal decisions or inevitable consequences of life ill-lived. So how can I cry over the inevitable?
Perky's death was far from inevitable. It is wrong, so wrong. And that's the difference.
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