Tuesday, August 04, 2009

My Grandma's Dead 2
Dead and Loving It

Guatemala is shit. I've written about it before.

My liberal public school education taught me that I should respect and like all countries, but then I was exposed to communal south African rapes and middle eastern burqua stonings and I figured--hmm maybe some countries are more shit than others!

I don't pretend to understand why Guatemala is shit when America is not-SHIT-per-se, a lot of people think Africa is shit because everyone there is black, and I think that would make them shit because its obvious that people just LIVE in a country and put up with the shit, the people who cause said shit are a powerful minority of leaders.

My theory is that Guatemala is shit because its leaders like getting boned by other leaders, so maybe they don't build roads in favor of making friends with the local drug cartel. Priorities are different and everyone else has to put up with it.

I unfortunately only had to put up with it for 3 days when I was there watching my grandmother's siblings weep over her casket. They were to take the body and casket to her place of rest and we would pay our final goodbyes.

I cried once during the Joy Luck Club at the final scene where Ming-Na's character has to go meet her long lost twin sisters. The twins were abandoned in a tree somewhere in china because they were too heavy for their mom to carry them all the way to America, so the twins reconnect with the old bag and they plan to come to meet her. Mom's dead however and none of her blasted Mah-Johng friends ever sent the twins a little email saying "oh btw your mom's dead."

So Ming-Na shows up at the dock with the twin's photo and the twins turn around and they're like the most adorable Chinese women of all time, they look like Pekinese stray dogs. They turn and see Ming-Na and are confused and full of hope. And Ming-Na goes "OMG....I'm your sister....and mom's deeaaaaaad!"

I lost it again at the funeral when my aunt, my grandmother's youngest, hugged the casket and allowed her tears to flow outward and lie in small puddles on the glass top that hovered over my grandmother's face.

I was happy that I was there to console my family. My uncle, cousin, aunt, and mom, my closest were happy that I was there too (was it worth 700, no, mom has to pay me back damnit).

We picked up her casket and we drove in a funeral procession to the graveyard. Along the way we passed lush mountains, tin shacks adorned with chipped Coca Cola paintings, cops with machine guns, and the ugliest children this side of Mexico.

My extended family was there as well. They're loud and obnoxious but at the end of the day they're my family and are really no louder or more obnoxious than I am, so I can't fault them too much even though I hate them.

Our cars reached the FINAL DESTINATION!! and waiting for us there was a small entourage, it seemed like a funeral home director, some gardener in a sun hat, some pallbearers and a priest.

My grandmother's death itself didn't make me sad, she had been in great pain and was now at peace hopefully in a restful void as opposed to God's Kingdom of Domicile Nonsense. Still, I'm no pushy atheist, so let them have their Catholic fun and let's get on with it.

She was put to rest next to her mother, my super ancient Great Grandmother who, at the end of her life, resembled something that survived a nuclear bomb. I'm afraid of aging.

"Kevin...Kevin look," my mother uncharacteristically tugged at my sleeve.

She pointed at the tubby man with a white beard in a sun hat who I assumed was a gardener who had met us at the site and had been hovering around our group.

"Yeeaaaah?" I said.

"That's-that's your dad!" She told me in spanish in a tone that I can only describe as the embarrassed tone a Japanese schoolgirl would take when describing the penis of her favorite J-pop star she just saw undressing somewhere.

I'm here on my second day...SECOND DAY...and dad's already wanting quality time...oy.




justaguynatl said...

Eres un buen hijo (parte dos)...

Mark said...

I think you're visiting the wrong places in Guate...Antigua is like heaven on earth. Atitlan is probably the coolest place in the western hemisphere. Monterrico, with the black sand beaches, is not too bad either.

David said...


Anonymous said...

I really like when people are expressing their opinion and thought. So I like the way you are writing