Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I don't remember that

I tell a story at a funeral. Not the actual internment; but at the tea and sandwiches afterwards.
I wonder aloud, as they carry a smallish coffin in to the church, if they measured for a man with no legs or if it is a low-cost coffin that his estranged family has ordered?
His legs were amputated, one at a time, to halt a medical condition. It did not work.

To make amends for any offence caused, I tell a humorous story about a pair of neighbours of his. Dead Woman Haunts Ball Player is in my book. The stories therein are based on real people and real happenings. These people lived beside the recently deceased man with no legs and a small coffin.
At my table are Frank and his wife, two others, and a single man. All smile for they remember the woman with fondness.
The man says he does not remember. I wonder who he is and explain who the lady was and who the terrified boy was and still he shakes his head. Frank asks me to tell the story once more.
I tell how the woman threatens to haunt the boy if he does not stop bouncing a ball on the roof of her house. She dies that night and the terrified child screams for three nights until his mother takes a hand.
Still no reaction from the man. I ask what his interest in the exact memory of the story might be?
He says he was that boy and can remember none of it.
I fear the trauma of the story has wiped it from his memory. Anyway, he no longer looks like the boy he was then and I wonder how his legs are? Next time I will ask for names before I start to tell.
I need to stay away from negativity.
Storytelling here

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