Every Saturday morning I take my child on a walk through a cemetery in part because this is where my wife said I should go and in part because at sunrise on a Saturday morning my look is more drifter than doting father. We are very much that fantasy trope of the lumbering alopecian Yeti (me) carrying a hyper intelligent, but physically unwell, little person (baby). The key difference of course is that the little person in question ISN’T hyper intelligent and doing just fine physically. So, in an effort to not scare the normals, we are aimed towards the land of the dead. A place where the call and response of her frequent raspberries, and my much louder impression of them, will go unnoticed. Also I look like shit which I might not have been clear on earlier.
I have never been a fan of cemeteries. I think about dying enough, I don’t need to stroll through a park full of granite ads for it. That said I’m coming around to the idea that there’s something special about them. Cemeteries are the opposite of what you’d expect. On any given morning we might see: raccoons, woodpeckers, squirrels, gravediggers, rabbits, chipmunks. It’s kind of remarkable how much life there is in a cemetery. Of course it goes without saying that there’s also a shit ton of dead people.
It is almost impossible to look at all the AMAZING names you see as you wander around and not imagine what the people were like. For instance:
Probably a rakish military Captain out of his depth in Company rule India. The type that makes a habit out of avoiding calamity.
Captain Fluke: I’ll just rest here on this boulder and mop my brow…
Arjun: Oh fer fuck’s sake. Sahib! That’s a HIPPO! You are sitting on… I just, how can you not TELL that’s a hippo!? It has a face. It’s MOVING!
Captain Fluke: What’s that old boy?
And he accidentally manages to avoid being eaten by jimmying the hippo’s gaping maw open with his walking stick. Something like that. Pretty much all of this is over the baby’s head, she’s for sure not listening. Point is I don’t dislike cemeteries anymore, they’re full of my favorite kind of people: the kind that will always be there for you. Strong silent types that will calmly let you tell them their life story. The mute appreciators of a baby’s Bronx cheer.