just throw me in the trash.


on christmas day we went to the cemetary. i guess that's what filipinos do. we went to the cemetary and it was probably eighty degrees, and tony unlocked the gate to the mausoleum where my grandfather (dad's side) is buried. he's buried there with his sister-in-law, his brother, and his mother. we drove past other mausoleums, some of which looked very nice and expensive. we drove past them, and they looked like small homes. i got to thinking. "they can do this, but there are so many squatters everywhere." my mom said i was right. what a terrible thing that some of the dead are a lot better off than the living. danny devito was right. when i die, just throw me in the trash.

ate made us light incense and say a little prayer to my grandfather. i didn't know what to say inside my head, so i just held the incense (ha-po-pi). well, old man, it's christmas day and you've been gone for 17 years, yet here we are. i wonder if you're living it up in some crazy place, or if it's just like the way i think - absolute nothingness just as we were before birth. whatever the case, ha-po-pi. keep it real. i was probably being disrespectful, but what else could i think? he fathered a bunch of children, and then he had an affair, and then he beat some of his kids, let them grow up poor and lose all their teeth, called me a "has-been" and "poor sport" before i turned five, and then he got diabetes and died and everybody mourned. was i crying because i was sad, or was i crying just because everyone else was?

ate and my parents and tony cleaned off the vaults and tables. i just sat there and tried not to think about death, about how the mausoleum was going to one day be completely full of dead family members. i thought about the movie volver, and how they cleaned the graves in the opening scene. how did it start? was it a spanish thing? why do they do that? those crazy catholics. either way, penelope cruz was incredibly hot in that movie. penelope cruz and her cleavage are a good way to stop thinking about my mortality.

after we left the cemetary, ate gave me and my parents three small pieces of green and red paper. "we do this because we just came from the cemetary," she said. then she said to copy what she does. she blew on the paper three times, brought them down to her thigh and waved them three times, and then she threw it behind her. she does this because she's superstitious. i saw it as a good opportunity to continue my tradition of littering in other countries, so i followed suit. also, i wanted lunch.

we ate at zuni again, and i had just enough.

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