My aunt passed away on Friday. I’ll join my dad and sister and attend her funeral tomorrow. As one or another person of that generation passed, I generally missed the ceremonies as I lived on the other side of earth. The last funeral I can remember attended was that of my father in law, out in Shandong, perhaps twelve years ago. Tomorrow’s event is only an hour and a half’s drive so I’ll be sure to go. My only challenge is I must head out to the garage and find the box that holds my formal attire. I don’t have a suit to wear otherwise.
It’s already 4:10AM on Monday morning in China. One can only pretend it will be the “weekend” for a few hours longer. People will soon begin to expect that momentum on expectant matters from Friday. I need to head down to the shed where all our possessions, recently arrived and only partially unpacked, reside. Somewhere down there is my suit and my clothes.
There are eight boxes of or more of books. A box or two of LPs, which made the trips from New York to Beijing, to San Francisco, to Hong Kong, to Beijing and back again. And there are lots of boxes marked “tables” and “chairs.” When you open them you find tables and chairs. I was hoping to find my clothes. Scissor in hand I cut up just about all the boxes down there before deciding it was unlikely that I’d find any of my clothes today, let alone the suit I had in mind.
There was a rough blazer up in the closet. Maybe that would do. Had I brought a tie along as well, just in case I needed to go to Japan for meetings? Instead, when I opened my closet I found my tan suit. There was stain spittle on the inside lapel that looked as though I’d last attended an event at a mud-geyser but that could be cleaned. In the sock drawer in the bedroom I found a tie. I’d prefer a dark suit. I’d prefer to have a pure white shirt, but now I was much further along the road towards funeral legitimacy. It will be a while thought before I learn if any of those other suits I had have made it across the Pacific.