An Urnest Man

May 18, 2012 § 2 Comments

My father, Archibald G. Milk, was always a pragmatic man. When I was young he told me to always carry a watch in my pocket and not on my wrist, so as not to seem too flashy. Every morning he ate a single scrambled egg with a glass of ice water, even on the day that he died. My father never bought anything he couldn’t use. Never borrowed anything he couldn’t give back. He was never late and he never cried and he did not drink or smoke or curse or fornicate without reason. Before my father’s death he insisted he be cremated and not buried so as to not waste space in the ground better suited for utility lines or nuclear bomb shelters. He did not want his ashes scattered at sea because that was littering. He did not want them poured into a sculpture because that was too pretentious or mixed with concrete because that would compromise the structural integrity of whatever was built. He did not want to be pressed into a record or pressed into a diamond or pressed into a locket around my mother’s neck because all of those would be too stifling. After months of arguing he was placed in an urn on the mantle of our family home, where he remained until a drunken uncle knocked it over and shattered my father on the living room floor. As I looked at the jagged porcelain pieces and carpet stains that once raised me, I could only think there is no use crying over spilt Milk.

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