Monday, August 23, 2010

Not Everything I Write Is Meant To Be Funny.

I know most people are used to my more smart allecky, comical blogs, and if that's what you're looking for, by all means, I beg you to skip over this one and continue to the other blogs I've posted here previously, they're there for your amusement and such. This is a more serious, from the heart piece I wrote concerning my father. It's a rather long read, so if you have 15 to 20 minutes to spare, please proceed, you will not be met with disappointment.

Also keep in mind, this was a long time ago, different feelings, different emotions, I was probably pretty harsh, but I'm not changing anything unless I notice any grammatical errors.

This particular piece is titled “A Series of Unfortunate Events....Reminiscing.... ".

It was written on my old Myspace blog way back in 2006, two years after my father died in a car accident on Monday, August 23, 2004.

Since today is Monday, August 23, 2010, I thought it'd be a good idea to re-post this here for anyone who cares to read it.

Again, nothing funny here, but I feel it's one of my best works, so I'd like to share it, fuck you, it's my blog.



Without further ado....



A Series Of Unfortunate Events....Reminiscing....



I can still remember it like if it was yesterday.
For the most part at least.
The day my dad died, followed by a week of quite possibly the worst fucking examples of Murphy's Law there could be.
By the way, before I begin, I wanted to bring up a topic about using bad, profane words in writing really quick.
Some people, usually professors, English majors, and other types of over-educated dipshits, with so much useless knowledge that they insist on sharing, say that cursing, foul language, etc, is an expressive tool of the ignorant.
I disagree with that.
Cursing is a great way to emphasize just how bad you want to get your point across.
Example?
Sure, why not.
If I told you "get your feet off of my couch, please" would you do it immediately?
Probably not.
But I bet if I said, "Get your motherfucking feet off of my god damned couch" you'd jump off that shit in a second, am I right?
The point of this?
I feel like cursing, and I just don't want people to confuse anger for ignorance.
Not that I care anyway, but just in case.
Also, this is a really long blog, so be ready for about 15 minutes of reading, though I'm cutting major details, to avoid you from reading a novel.
So don't write me bitching that it isn't very detailed, I know, it's basically a summary or something like it.
Anyway, back to our regularly written shit.


That whole week was just insane, for those of you who aren't familiar with Murphy's Law, it's a law that states, "What can go wrong, will go wrong" and that pretty much sums up the week of Monday, August 23, 2004 - Saturday, August 28, 2004.



On Monday Aug 23, 2004, we were headed to the Pocono mountains, PA, but we left late that day, my family and I, we wanted to leave in the AM, but shit just kept making us delay the trip, one thing after another.
We had to go to Jersey to rent the car, pick my cousin up to house sit, go get him some food at the supermarket, bring him back, yadda, yadda.
It took us so long, shit just kept happening.
Finally, we're on the road, it's between 1 -3 pm, I can't remember exactly, but around that time, and we almost get smashed by a truck on the Cross Bronx Expressway. (Irony, or touched by an angel? My father was killed approximately at the same moment we almost got killed).
We get to Pennsylvania, we we're heading to the Pocono mountains for a week of leisure, but we ended up getting lost, really lost, and I was lucky enough to be in the middle of my wife and mother in law yelling at each other, blaming one another for who got who lost.
I'm just sitting there wishing I were deaf.

We finally get there, late, I think they also had trouble getting a room when we got to the campsite, we had to wait a bit, which sucked, because I think I had to take a dump.

It's now the early evening, It's already getting dark, and we have to go food shopping, because it's like this at the camp; you get what they call a cabin, but it's like a mini house and you'll need to stock it with food, because there's nothing around for miles really, and their local camp site convenience store doesn't sell much, so you're on your own pretty much with that.
After buying enough groceries to fill a fall out shelter, we head over to this Chinese buffet.
BIG FUCKING mistake.
Never eat Chinese seafood, that stuff will make you shit like a hose is in your ass, which leads me to my next topic.
My wife decided to try a bunch of that poisonous shit, shrimp, king crab legs, and some other shit.
Unfortunately for her, and me, this would lead her to the biggest bout of constantly flowing ass juice she'd ever deal with.

We head out of there, the curse of the seafood hasn't kicked in yet, and as we're pulling up to our campsite area, as we pull in, I get a phone call, with the shittiest reception I've ever had.
It was impossible to hear, especially in those mountains, but I can faintly hear my friend Claudio telling me he has bad news.
Now, Claudio isn't the greatest icebreaker in the world, let me lay that out there.
Telling me he has bad news is a good way to start the conversation if he accidentally broke something of mine or killed my cat, more along those lines, definitely not to tell me my dad was gone forever.
Way to fuck the dog on that one, Claudio.
Anyway, I get cut off, thanks fucking Cingular Wireless.
So I call back, and in few words, he tells me that my dad died.
I didn't believe him, I announced it in the car, and everyone froze.
All the laughter, talking, it came to a quick halt.

We get to our cabin, and I get another call, this time it's this dude Harry, he's a long time friend of our family, and my first Martial Arts teacher and he's like "Bryan, you hear me? It's me Harry. This is Bryan right?".
I said "yeah".
He was like, "Bryan, Alberto's your dad right?".
I said, "Yeah man, what is it?".
He said, "Your father was killed in an accident, you have to come home".
I said "what!?".
He says again "Your dad was killed, you have to come home now!".
I hung up the phone, I was so shocked, but at the same time, it didn't sink in yet, I was standing there saying, "My father's dead, he's gone".
My friend Richie calls, saying he's sorry, but I just wanted to yell at him and all my friends, I thought they were fucking with me.
I told him this isn't funny, he said that he would never play like that.
I hung up with him.

My sister in law was there; she had gone up to Mt. Pocono that week too, when she put her arm around me, I started crying like a bitch.
Everyone started to gather around, see what was going on, that’s when I went inside, to the back of the cabin, to my room, and it just hit me, I was done.
I cried like such a little kid.
I called my grandmother’s house, my aunt picks up, she sounds like she's been crying since they heard the news, and I confirmed it again.
My dad was gone, forever, there's no coming back.

I still couldn't believe it, so I called my dad's home on long Island, where his fiancé would hysterically answer the phone, apologizing to me, saying that he and I had just started to build a relationship with one another, and that this is the worst possible thing that could happen to me right now.
No shit, lady.
She was saying "My poor Bryan, poor poor Bryan!".
I was asking if it was true.
Of course it was, but things like this, you're hoping someone's kidding, that it's all a big joke.
A joke that someone's going to get really fucked up over.
But it wasn't.
This was actually happening.
The man that survived overdosing on drugs several times, getting beaten to near death just as many times, and getting stabbed 13 times in the head and neck, this man has finally been taken away by Death.
The indestructible has been destroyed.
Un-fucking-believable.
I was on the phone, listening to her cry for what seemed like hours, but was probably mere minutes.
I hung up with her, laid on the bed and started to think, just random shit, like how I could have changed fate, what I could have done, and how this was my fault.
See, I had told my dad to come with me on vacation, but when he said no, I didn't really beg, try to persuade him, really get on his case; I just let it be, like I didn't care.
I really should have forced him to go, because if I did, he'd still be alive today.
This weighs heavily on me to this day, I still wish I would've just kept insisting, kept telling him how much fun he would be in for, how we could spend some time together, but I never did any of that.
Fuck.

After thinking, a good short while of deep pondering, I called a few people, to share the terrible news.
I called his ex lady, Anita.
I told her to sit down, because I have something to tell her that's going to hit hard.
She didn't believe me at all, and was kind of angry to be honest.
She was more confused than sad at the moment.
I spoke with her for a while, and then I got a call from my brother, who wanted to make sure I knew what was happening.
I was upset by now; I was just tired of hearing the truth.
Why didn't anyone call and lie to me, say that he was Ok?
It was just truth after truth, man.
Shit sucks.
Truth hurts like a motherfucker.


It's late now, early Tuesday, and I'm just lying there, crying, thinking, wishing.
I get a phone call about 3 am from the Suffolk County cops.
This lady cop, I forgot her name, which is funny, because it's all I could remember at first, but she had such a soothing voice, like an angel, really soft and calming
This lady could tell you that you're going to die in five minutes, and it wouldn't seem so bad, that's the voice she had.
Cop must have been a white lady, in her mid to late 30's, maybe early 40's,  I'm sure she has a technique for talking to people in my situation.
A way of making death seem, so peaceful.
She apologizes to me, which is really fucking old by now, but whatever, and she tells me that I'll need to come to the island's main coroner headquarters to identify my dad’s body tomorrow morning.
Great.
I'm imagining his mangled flesh staring back at me, what's left of him talking to me, telling me it's my fault or something crazy like that.
I was about as excited as a kid who just found out his dad was killed in a car accident.
I tell her that I'm leaving on the first thing smoking out of this place and that I'll head straight to LI.


Morning comes after a rough shower and even rougher time trying to sleep, and my wife is telling me she can't go.
Guess why?
Thanks motherfucking Chinese seafood.
Not that she'd want me to share this info, but at this time, she’s literally liquefying her organs and shooting them out of her ass.
It's so bad that she has to go every few minutes, basically meaning driving for two hours back to NY is not going to happen.
I felt like tearing out her larynx.
I swear.
I mean, I know it wasn't her fault, but shit, could this have come at a worse fucking time?
I have a rented car, and can't use it.
So I'm stuck traveling by alternate means.
Jesus Christ!

So, by now, I’m already with my "fuck it" attitude, let’s go.
My mother in law drives me to the bus station, telling me to be prepared, that everyone's going to be hysterical.
Yay.

When I get there, the NYC bus is leaving, so I haul ass to the ticket window and tell the guy to give me one to NYC.
He was the slowest, dumbest fuck in Pennsylvania, if he would've gave birth to my ticket, it couldn't have taken any longer.
I grab that shit, fly to the bus, barely making it on, it was packed, so I had to walk all the way to the back, by the bathroom which smelled of urine and recent farts that may or may not have led to a successful shit, I don't know.

I cry myself to sleep in that stink, waking up right before we got to the Port Authority station at 42nd.
I'm the last one off the bus; all these people packed in the aisle like fucking animals, so I had to wait.
I'm heading through the maze of tunnels towards the 2 train, crying all the way, but trying to keep it to myself, with my puffy red eyes, and swollen face.
Very inconspicuous.

I get to the train, shit takes a few minutes to get there, and when it does, I get on in the back, it's empty.
Next stop, a few cops get on.
I try to hide my face, so they don't come over and ask me stupid fucking questions.
This train was actually pretty fast, I headed to my grandmother's house, figuring I could get a ride to Long Island to identify the body.

When I get to my stop, I walk pretty fast towards grandma's.
Ironically, you have to walk through a cemetery to get there, which was a lot of fun at this point.
I pass the cemetery, still crying, and I head up the long hill to the house.
I say to myself, here comes "hard part number 1".

I see my aunt standing there from the bottom of the hill, I can already see her face, she's shaking her head, as to say no, but I keep walking towards her, crying even more.
I walk up the hill, and right into her arms, I hug her, we both cry, I feel like such a bitch by now.
I hug her for a few minutes, then my cousin Tony passes by, giving me a hug and a kiss, which normally would bother me, but whatever.
I walk up the steps, my other aunt comes out, hugs me, same deal, you know the routine by now.
I finally make it into the apartment, where I'm greeted at the door with what has become the normal for the day, a hug, a shit load of tears, and apologies, like if they killed my dad.
I really hated hearing how sorry people were.
Fuck you and your apology; shove it up your ass.
Give me my fucking dad back, or fuck off.
That's how I felt.

I just wanted to know who was going to LI.
I was then told that my bro went on ahead, to identify the body.
That motherfucker!
He always wants to dive head first into shit, without thinking.
Being the most emotionally unstable one of us, he does some dumb shit like this.
What an asshole.
But it's OK; he'd have an easier time getting there, being that he has a car and all.
Luckily, the family decided to go to LI, to my dad's house.

A family friend named Smokey gives us a ride in his big van.
We pack in; it was my two aunts, another friend, and my cousin.
I sat in the back of the van by myself, still pretty messed up with tears pouring down and all, I can't seem to stop crying.

When we get there, everyone rushes into the house, I stay behind in the car.
I knew this would be rough.
This was hard part number 2.

I knew when I walked in there; my dad wasn't going to greet me with the usual barrage of lovable insults and yells.
He was gone.
I knew it would still have his scent in the air, his belongings that would never be used by him again, the last spoon he used in the sink, things like that.
I knew this would be a bitch.

My cousin Marlene comes to the van, telling me that Linda, my dad's fiancee wants to see me.
I said, "I'll be right in".
After 5 minutes of crying, I gather myself enough to walk out the car.
My dads pick-up truck wasn't in the driveway, it was the instrument of his death, and the next time I'd see it, it would appear to have been hit with a missile, all twisted, mangled, not the kind of place you'd want to live your final moments, but it was like that for my dad, sadly.

I walk into the house; it was like a dream, but not a nightmare, just surreal.
I looked around, the place was full of people but felt so empty.
I walk over to the middle of the living room, and a ghostly figure approaches me, a person so pale, so exhausted from crying and mourning that the very color of her flesh was gone.
It was Linda, her hair was white, her face, it looked as if she was the dead one, and came to life.
She hugged me tightly, as strong as she could at that point probably.
Her knuckles were all ripped up and bloody from punching the concrete steps in anger.

After that, I walked around the house, looking for anything of my dad's.
Even the dogs seemed to be in mourning, it was crazy.
We all just hung around for a while.

My brother shows up shortly after us, didn't really say much, except that they don’t show you the body anymore, they use pictures now.
We had all agreed to head back to the Bronx to discuss arrangements.
We wanted to get everyone in on it.
Why? I don't know, but that was what we did.

We headed back to the Bronx, I rode with my dad's ex, Anita, who talked to me entirely too much for the mood I was in.
I think I even dozed off on her a few times.

When we get there, I think the whole family was there.
I grab my uncle, grandparents, and say we're going to have a meeting now.
Two of my aunts come in to join us, as well as my bro and sister.
I wanted my dad to be buried on Long Island.
My dad hated the Bronx.
It was the place that nearly devoured his soul, nearly took his life prematurely, a place that just let off too many demons for him.
Long island was like Heaven to him.
That’s where he found his happiness.
He loved to fish, and on the island, you're surrounded by water, plus, he loved the burbs, that's what the island was.
It's nice out there, but not for many young people, they hate it, I did.
But my dad loved it; it was the beginning of a new life out there for him.
At first, I thought he "sold out" when he moved out there, but I learned that people grow up, and as an adult, you want a better life, an easier one.
That's why I wanted to bury him there.
I even convinced most people to bury him there, but in the end of the meeting, we'd agree on burying him in the Bronx.
Fucking family.
I'm still pissed about this to this day.
My grandparents wanted convenience for them; they didn't care that my dad would object to being buried in the Bronx.
I felt they were being selfish fucks.
I wanted to do what my dad would have wanted, but it's too late now.
Sorry, Pop.


That night I'd head home with my cousin Donovan, he had a car at the time, gave me a ride, and decided to stay the night there with me.
Normally, this would mean we'd be joking around and playing Playstation, but this day, we were too tired, we just wanted to sleep.

The next day consisted mainly of visiting the funeral homes that the services would be at.
One on LI, one in the Bronx.
These places are like church, they smell funny, make you feel uncomfortable, and somehow find a way of making you lose more money than you came in with.
These people talk their talk, sucker you in during your vulnerable times, feed you a line of bullshit for every possible purchase, and you buy it, most of it anyway.

On LI, I remember we had to pick out a coffin.
No one wanted this task, so I took it upon myself to pick it out.
My sister and Linda joined me.
Picking out a casket for your father is something I hope no one ever has to do.
It's scary and very weird at the same time.
You feel like throwing up most of the time during your selection of death boxes, but you hold it in.
My sister was acting like she was picking out matching shoes.
She wanted it to match his rosy cheeks and overall complexion.
And to match his car too.
Fucking ridiculous.
We selected a nice one I guess.
To me they're all the same.
You stuff someone in it, bury it, and call it a day, what's the big deal of matching something people will only see once?
Whatever.


That evening, my wife would finally make it back home, though I really wanted to just start pounding her face.
I was still upset at her, and yeah, I know it wasn't her fault, but you don't think like that when you're in the predicament that I was in.

The next day, Thursday, would be the first of two viewings, this one on Long island.
This was also my sons fourth birthday.
Happy Birthday to him.
His grandfather was dead.
How fucked up is that, that he'd have to spend his birthday at a funeral for his grandfather who loved him so much?
God is not without a sense of very disturbing irony.
The irony being that it's one child's celebration of birth and one man's memorial of death.
We tried to keep my son happy, they had a kid’s area, where they could play with toys and watch videos and stuff, but I wasn't in the mood to be a good daddy, and I hope I spend a long time in purgatory for doing that to my son on that day.

Time came for the viewing, family goes in first, then others.
I was the last to go in at this wake.
I waited in the back for a few minutes, I was afraid to approach the body, thinking that the last time I saw him, we were driving to Albany, laughing and joking, and now he's dead.
After hearing the sobs and cries of everyone, I walk towards the front of the room, where his body is, though I have my hands over my eyes the whole time.
As I get closer, my aunt Brigid grabs me as to guide me towards it.
I asked, "Is he right here?".
She said, "Yeah, he's right in front of you".
I moved my hand away and opened my eyes and screamed, "NO, POP!"
My cousins and aunt grabbed me, but I yelled for them to let me go.
I was standing there crying in disbelief.
I surveyed the damage; they did a good job on making his body presentable and neat.
I would later find out that most of it wasn't actually his, but padding and whatever else they use to make a body whole.
His nose was also broken, but it seems they patched it up well.
He must have been a mess.

It was time for the other guests to come in, so my brother closes the casket, doesn't want anyone but us to see him.
People started coming in, in the end, over 150 - 200 people would come.
But Later on I realized, this funeral was bullshit.
Aside from the family, many of his coworkers showed up, few were sincere, the other scumbags that he hated probably wanted to show up to see if he was dead for real, other than that, they were all socializing, probably wondering if drinks would be served.
Fucking cunts.

My brother had closed the casket early in the day, so no one on LI really got to see my dad's body.
Which was cool.
Most of them, they didn't deserve to see him.
Fuckers.

I must have been hugged like a thousand times that night.
My sides were killing me, and I smelled like a woman, from all the perfumed hugs I had gotten.
My cousin Chris kept following me around for a while; he stunk to high heaven, and looked just as stupid in his Al Pacino as Scarface T shirt as my sister's boyfriend did in his street clothes.
Fucking retards, I swear.

I would be here for the remainder of the evening, I was one of the last people to leave, after I felt my wife and mother in law kept rushing me out.
I didn’t care that my son was tired, or my wife needed to take a rest with her back pain, or that my mother in law needed her medicine.
This was my time, and I was being rushed.
This couldn't be fucking happening.
I was pissed, but I left.

Of course we got lost on the way back, ended up in Queens or Brooklyn, I don't know, and I don't even want to think about it.
When we got home, I was really pissed, but whatever, I went to sleep.
I was really mad at my wife during this week.
What a bastard I was.

The next day, Friday, would be the funeral in the Bronx.
This is where all his old friends, relatives, even the ones you hate, they all showed up.
We got there early, my wife, son and I, we were the first ones.
My dad's body was laying at the front of the empty room.
We were so early that the delivery people were just starting to bring in flowers; one even bowed his head in prayer for my dad, which made me feel good.

So many people would show up this day, all his old running buddies, who did the good and bad with him, all the family, some I haven't seen in so long.
It was cool; this funeral was a lot more sincere. Mostly.

All my friends would show up to pay respects, though they left rather quickly, I guess they felt out of place, but I was glad to see them.
I missed a few of them because I had to return the rental car back to Jersey.
Terrific, huh?
I missed out on someone I wanted to see really bad too, who came and left.
It was my dads friend from Metropolitan Hospital, they had a recovery program, where Pop had just received awards for his achievements in his life of horrors and gave a long speech to a bunch of recovering addicts who would now have a ray of hope's light because of my dad's inspiring words, and I missed him because I was returning the fucking car.
Fantastic.
Just one more shitty thing to add to my list of the millions of fucked up things that were happening to me.

None of my wife’s friends or family would show up this day, or any other day during this time.
Not one relative of hers, not one friend, no one.
They didn’t come to the wakes or funerals.
They were either on vacation, or just didn't care to make the time to stop by, and I guess it didn't bother anyone but me, because it's never been brought up afterwards.
That's really fucked up, but I guess they felt that it wasn't important that their best friend’s son’s grandfather and husband’s father had died.
That was really special of them all.
Only my mother in law came, which was cool.
It’s OK though.
When things like this happen, it gives you a better perspective on things, and you know who’s really genuine, and who’s full of shit.
And I feel that most people are full of shit.
For the most part.

I had given the eulogy earlier, people loved it, and I somehow became the unofficial spokesperson of things like this after this whole thing was over.
I was in and out of this funeral home, I had to go pick up my uncle in my brother's car after I took the rental car back, and a little while after that, people begged me to go eat something, I think I grabbed something from Wendy’s if I’m not mistaken.
I hadn’t eaten all day, and I guess I looked flushed.


They had this ceremonial type of thing where everyone walked around the room then to the casket, then back out of the room, saying their final words to my father.
I walked over, put in an Arizona green iced tea, pop's favorite,  and my son put in a toy car, that he'd ask me for later.
I broke down again after that, guess it was too hard to maintain my composure any longer.

I remember at the end of this night, after everyone left, my brother, sister and myself all stood behind, just looking at my dad's body, that's when my brother started pointing out which parts were missing and which were intact, because he'd seen the photos.
It was kind of sickening, I wanted to throw up.
No one thinks of things like that, but my brother is one sick fucker.
I started to poke around, to see if he was lying.
He wasn’t.


The funeral directors tried barging in; to throw people out, but the family got rid of them quick.
I walked out of the room last, after my siblings had gone ahead, just to be the last one to see Pop's body before it was put into the ground.
I gave him a thumbs up.
That night I actually slept pretty well for the first time in 5 days.

The next day, Saturday, would be the burial.
We got to the funeral home a little after everyone else did; people were running around trying to figure out which car they would be in as to follow the convoy of funeral cars headed to the cemetery.
The cars had to pass by the old block where Pop was from, and then head to the cemetery.

When we got to the cemetery, the workers quickly flung open the doors to the Hearst and grabbed my dad's casket before we even stopped.
We had wanted to carry him to the grave, but those fuckers were too busy rushing.
No compassion.
We all got out of the car and the people from the funeral home gave a few words and prayers in Spanish, I didn’t really understand them, then they walked away.
My aunt Millie had given me a poem she asked me to read, which I really didn’t want to, but I did anyway.
It was OK, sounded like a DMX song, it was decent.
After that, I reminded people that Death had to sneak up on my father after so many failed head-on attempts at his life.
I said my own few words, and then I tossed my sunglasses and fell to my knees, crying.
My brother picked me up, his breath was pretty smelly, but it was cool to have someone give a shit.
Some scumbag priest named Bernie spoke too, I think, I wasn't paying attention.
When I got done crying, he was done doing whatever, so I don't know if he did say anything or what.

It was time for them to lower the casket into the ground.

They used these ropes and just plopped him in the hole.
My brother tossed some dirt on the coffin, and my cousin Tony was going to do it next, but I stopped him and tossed mine first.
Then a few other people started to do it too.
I got my son to throw some dirt in as well.

People started heading towards the cars, my brother and me stood there until the end.
We watched every piece of dirt go into the ground, up until a guy with way too many death stories started planting seeds on the grave.
It was really crazy to watch.
It was scary knowing that I'll only see his face in pictures for the remainder of my life.
We waited a few more minutes, until everyone was gone except my brother's wife and her family in their car.
We gave our final ode to my dad, a song he used to sing while touring the city collecting empty soda cans at 1 AM to make a few bucks, which goes like this: "A-O-A-E-O stick your finger in your nose!"
It’s corny, but it had sentimental value, then we did our little handshake and left.


No longer would Long Island be the place to visit pop anymore, it was here at the cemetery.
Forever.
My dad had asked me to be his best man at his wedding before he died; he was supposed to get married two weeks from the day he died.
I guess he can rest knowing that I'll always be his best man.
The best man I can be.
He'll always be my Father.
My dad.
Pop.

Rest in peace.

The most horrible week of my life came to an end.

Now began life without my father.

2 comments:

  1. It feels like it's been a lifetime ago since that day. we all grew up got older and a bit wiser, living our life without uncle Berto was tough still is. Not a day goes by that i don't think of him. it was tough going out to long island last weekend. seeing the place where he lived and where i stayed during the summers before then. brought back a lot of memories of your father. I'll forever miss him, his jokes, his cooking and the way he was like my father.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yeah bro, time flies, but old wounds still bleed.

    ReplyDelete