The realtor’s office has turned a minor miracle, a quick sale in difficult times, the lot adjoining the Holy Trinity Cemetery and my estranged father dead a week in the upstairs hall.
There’s still an hour before the limo leaves for the airport, so I head up the short path, a communion of sorts, for a glimpse of a place I venture hasn’t changed much in the 25 years I’ve been gone.
He and my step mother closed escrow on a June day nine Presidents ago. We were moved in by Fourth of July. Little flags of red white and blue filled our eyes the first time we peered through the tree line into the rows of rough edged stones, chiseled names, green grass and flowers.
Later that summer the older neighborhood boys called me out of the woods. Told me I couldn’t jump from the top of Cribari’s Crypt. It was an easy climb built into the side of a hill, but the leap off the front roof ridge was twelve feet straight down to the ground. I hunkered in above their silent stares and finally let go, my knee caps slamming into my chin as I hit ground. A bleeding lip the only cost for joining their club.
I feel a strange elation seeing it’s still there, the green grass climbing its flanks. I take off my suit coat, my tie, my shoes, and bend my knees slowly at the edge of the top of the tomb.