****This is also published on Facebook****
I went to my aunt's funeral today. She was in her 80s and sick. I was able to make a sloppy connection with my extended family but it felt like we were reaching for each other while wearing blindfolds during our conversations. On the way to the church I found myself in the middle of an inexplicable panic. I calmed myself by listening to "Tangled Up In Blue" and "Simple Twist Of Fate" in my car. I feel sad and drained.
I kept fiddling with my Ray Bans and wondering how inappropriate it would be to wear them in the church. I finally put them away. When I walked in, I gave my cousin Fred a wave. He was crying a little. At my uncle's funeral, he and I had shared a close moment when we sat side by side and both burst into tears. He had shared his tissues with me. We've never been close at all; he and my brother were the ones who grew up together.
My father was reading the obituary. My aunt was his older sister. I slid into the pew at the back of the church. My father has a very straightforward delivery consistent with his personality. I hoped the flower shop I recommended to him in the Castro came through. The specter of my family's internment during WWII came alive in all the older Japanese folks sitting in the pews as my Dad talked being sent to camp in Arkansas. I cringed inwardly upon hearing those facts as I always do.
Afterwards, I got lost on my way to the restaurant. I drove around looking for the freeway entrance and ended up by the Cow Palace then on Mission St. then somewhere else. I wasn't worried. My family teased me when I walked into the restaurant but I told them there was nothing wrong with driving around the City because I live here. I didn't know exactly what I meant by that but they seemed to understand.