Frances and I had gone to the grave. It was not the first time we had been there but it was extra hot, August, sweaty humid angry hot, welcome to the south hot. The heat plus the emotional stuff which I will not bother telling about, it was what you would expect, plus slaving around in the sun trying to convince the dead grass to keep trying, well it made us exhausted and a little out of our heads with hunger, and stupid me had not brought along so much as a raisin. We went to Mcdonalds without discussing it, it didn't seem strange although neither of us goes to Mcdonalds, ever. Maybe we just felt so shitty we needed to eat accordingly. Maybe grief expects poor nutrition.

The boy behind the counter is tall and thin and highschool. We approach him and say Um this is going to take us a minute, because it has been so long since we were in a Mcdonalds that we have no idea what they have. I am at a loss and there are so many things on the menu it makes my neck hurt to try to read it all and I just want to sit down and be fed something carbon-based. I say Oh I know, you have a filet right? Don't you offer a filet o' something at this establishment? Except my mouth is so dry I jumble it all up and just sound like someone to avoid. And Frances, well we all love Frances but she gets stupid when she has not eaten, plus her tolerance for even low-level comedy drops to nil and so she thinks everything I am saying is a RIOT and she is gasping and choking and generally we are not making life any easier for the Mcdonalds boy.

He says something clever like What DRUGS are you two ON? And I say Oh we were just at the cemetery trying to get some grass to grow over the grave of a friend of ours who just died and please excuse us we're just very tired and could I have some water please? I am still rasping like a pony express horse but he understands enough to go get me a glass of water and he drops his voice and leans over like he's going to tell us where to find Jimmy Hoffa or the grail and he says I am very sorry for your loss. And then he gives us our lunch free once we figure out what we can maybe stand to eat.

We were very good, we were polite, we did not fall apart until we got to the booth. And then it was all over because it was just the funniest damn thing that we had been given the hushed voice of a stranger PLUS the official Someone Died So You Get a Free Lunch!   And I grabbed onto Frances's hand right in the frenchfries and I held it tight and we kept laughing and then, you know what happens next, grief turns on you, you laugh and then you cry but you're still laughing but you miss her so damn much and wouldn't it be great if she were here to see how much pain and how much fun she gave us today. It was that moment when it breaks and it is finally ok to start laughing again after someone has left you forever. It was the moment of Oh yeah, fun, she would want us to be having some fun instead of moping around over her grave. I love it, I love it, I love it, those moments of common human emotional cliche, the ones where we feel just like everybody else who has lived through it, and it's ok, because it means that just like everybody else, we will find a way up.

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