Today though it was different. The last 5 of my 15 was spent behind a pearl white Camry. We exited together at MLK and I followed him all the way down the boulevard, past the turn off for the hospital and right on down past the cemetery. Was this guy on his way to drop off a kid on his way in to work? It was kind of early but not entirely impossible. Maybe he was on his way to the airport for the United flight out to Denver. Or Detroit. It wasn't until we slowed in unison for the yellow aglow at bottom of the hill that I noticed it.
In Loving Memory of Chris
Stuck to the back of his rear window in slanted cursive letters. An attempt at classy with its italicized font yet painfully innocuous. Pardon my ignorance but just who was the brainiac who decided to mass market this phenomenon? The epitaph in a car decal. And just how does one go about purchasing one of these? It's been a while since my last funeral but maybe it's like an add-on to the package; a gift-with-purchase perhaps?
...And when you upgrade from the oak veneer to the solid mahogany we include not one but two widow decals to commemorate your dearly departed...
What would Chris have to say about this? His brother, his partner, his cousin, his little league co-captain, his whatever was driving around Des Moines with him stuck to the back windshield; the 9 of 2009 starting to roll downward after two years baking in the glow of a Midwestern sun.
The whole thing just creeped me out. I mean seriously, what happens when it's time to trade in the Camry? Do you get out there with an X-acto blade and scrape Chris off the back window? Do you even remember that Chris is there riding four inches above the ice scraper stored on the back dash?
I do understand that people handle grief in many different ways. I get it, I respect it. And if centering your your loved one's name and stats on your back window somehow helps you move through your grief then all the more power to you. As for me, I really have no desire to be remembered in this fashion but if you must, then consider this post fair warning:
I'm riding shotgun across the front windshield.
In a classy arc.
And scrap the italics. I'll take the Gothic letters, 60 font.
Stretched all the way across.
well, that's just how I roll.