This is the third excerpt from the upcoming book Viking Funeral. Read previous posts for the preface and Not Safe For Work warnings.
I was awakened early on a Sunday morning by a call with bad fucking news. I had lived through this bad news in a dream years before, as odd as that sounds. I know. It doesn’t get any weirder than that. Well, wait, depending on your threshold of what you define as weird, there may be a few more things that meet or exceed weirder in the upcoming pages. I wish I had that creative a talent for storytelling to have made that part up, but I don’t. My talent is simply in my ability to observe, remember and document.
Where I physically was on the planet within this live déjà vu moment was different from my dream, nightmare to be honest, but the broken tone, the pitch, the timbre of my mom’s voice, the syntax of the words and the way the news tore through me were exactly the same. Nothing like some bad fucking news to bitch-slap you awake on an otherwise pleasant summer Sunday morning lie-in.
It is a bit unnerving what we perceive in a familiar voice, something as simple as a change in the way someone draws a breath in before saying something. With one word, my mom, saying my name “Mardi?” conveyed in that split second that I knew bad news was to follow. My mom half-choked out the words mixed with unsuccessfully held-back tears, “David…died this morning.” By this morning, she really meant minutes prior to picking up the phone to call me. A shiver that only comes from either a déjà vu experience or really bad fucking news, combined with an instant jolt of adrenaline that rushed through my body putting me into a state of freezing cold, shock. I didn’t ask what happened. I loathe unpleasant details. I apologized to my mom, “I am so sorry, Mom. I will be right over.” I hung up.
I returned to the still warm place in my bed where I had been enjoying the last delicious moments of sleep. I closed and opened my eyes waking myself up in an effort to determine if I was having a hypothetical nightmare or if this was really happening. I regarded the ceiling in our bedroom, I thought it excruciatingly bright white with more sunlight than anyone should have to be forced to face on a morning with bad fucking news like this. ‘Why on Earth did I get these stupid sheer curtains?’ Even if I were a morning person, it was way too bright today.
An unexpected calm began to wash over me as I warmed up in bed and deliberated these embarrassingly ridiculous, unimportant complaints. I breathed in several slow deep breaths as I was involuntarily forced to process the reality that my darling Viking Fucking Warrior of a brother had, in fact, left the building. But, and this is a big but, he also had finally been released from that stupid jacked-up paralyzed body he had been stuck with since his freshman year of college almost 40 years prior.
The comparison of these two opposite realities created an unrelenting loop in my thoughts, in my reality that could not be resolved at that moment. It felt like a newly found scratch on a favorite record that skips repeatedly, causing you to cringe until you directly tend to it. I was on one level entirely eviscerated by this new certainty that definitely sucked for me, but LUCKY HIM!!!