I went to the cemetery today to mark another year. It’s the most barren, godforsaken cemetery you could imagine.
Across the way, there are great big headstones and grass, with benches to sit on. On our side, the side for indigents, there is no grass and no benches.
You have to sit in the dirt, wipe off the flat gravestone, and pay your respects the old-fashioned way, on your knees, with tears.
One year, I went to visit with my best friend. Have I told this story before? Anyway, it was around 100 degrees, the gate was locked, but a gardener for the Nice side let us in.
The gravestone was dirty, with what we thought was a footprint. My friend pulled off her shirt and began wiping the dirt away. I was stunned to see her in the harsh sunlight, bending over in her black lace bra. I took off my shirt to help I will treasure her gesture forever and ever.
Today we kept our shirts on, and my husband used some napkins to wipe the gravestone. It says “Max is King,” a proclamation he used to write over and over when he was a kid.
My husband left a purple guitar pick and I left some stones I collected since last time. I almost forgot to show Max my new tattoo, but I remembered! It’s a piece of toast with butter, his favorite thing besides music.
And I imagined I felt his pleasure.
Max is King.