Day 83

Middlebury, VT

I attend a small-town Presbytyrian funeral at which Julie is nervously preparing to sing. The music begins as people sit, she sings a lovely Bach piece with organ and cello. Then there’s a long, ackward silence. I have no idea what’s going on. Then the family comes in with the casket. The minister begins a very formal, prescribed service. Very unemotional. A daughter delivers a humorous eulogy, comparing her father to the bees he kept. Only at the end does she stiffen and choke up. There are the standard psalms and some simple, plodding hymns. It seems like a very generic funeral service. Then Julie bursts into soaring, emotional song. She is absorbed entirely by the music until the end, when the sadness clutches her body, tears rise, and she quickly sits. It’s the most powerful, mournful moment of the ceremony.

Afterwards we have lunch, it’s a stormy, rainy day. Then Julie must work, so I explore the town. I can’t find any of the books I’m interested in. I have coffee & talk with the lady who sells hemp products. She used to date a celebrity then tired of the jet-set life, she says.

I take my bike to the bike shop and spend a long time there working on it. I’m instantly accepted. I watch merchandise videos and share a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. It’s really stormy now, I get soaked petting the bike back in the car. Then I spend an hour with a totally different bunch of guys in Angela’s Pub. They are all work, fishing, hunting, and play in bands. I’m curious what kind of music.

The rest of the day I sit in the library, online. Then Julie and I watch movies and eat ice cream in an indulgent evening.

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