Friday, October 19, 2007

Bueford Day

The twentieth day of the tenth month. Rare is the solemnity of an event observed with as much black clothing within the LDS culture. Funerals, where one would usually expect a sea of black to represent the congregation, are adorned with more light and color in this culture than in others. And why should it not? These people believe life isn't really over at death--that separation from loved ones is only temporary and ice-cream isn't as bad for you up there anyway, so the dead are probably having a much merrier time of it than we are. There is one catch to this idea of temporary parting: it only pertains to things with living souls--not vehicles you became emotionally attached to in mortality. The Castleton's big old Dodge Ram van isn't going to make it past the pearly gates . . . no matter how many times we unloaded all our emotional drama onto its steering wheel and dashboard. The gas guzzler just isn't going to have an immortal soul no matter how hard we cried and prayed for its survival during those last splutters and coughs of exhaust it exhaled in the desert. We won't see "the beast" again. And all the "fun times" we had almost falling to our deaths through the make-shift floor boards at sixty miles per hour are just going to have to remain memories with no opportunity to relive the moment. Even the fact that we gave Bueford a name won't carry him over to the next world. Bueford is dead, and will be even when we're dead. So, why all the black clothing? Because we became so darn attached to something without a soul that now we have to mourn its loss each year--the void never to be refilled. Of course, I filled it a long time ago with NASCAR, but Becky wouldn't join me because she likes having a good reason to wear all black once a year. None of us can ever resist doing everything Becky tells us to do when she asks with that quiver-lip thing and the waterworks. So, I still wear black once a year on October 20th and hang my head and look really depressed in photo shoots. Here's to old rusty metal and make-shift floor boards: We miss you Bueford.


Bex said...

Joe! That was AWESOME! You remain my favorite writer :) I don't really know what else to say - I loved your blog!!

bex & liz said...

It's true. You have a way with words. Very impressive... However, the jury is out on one minor issue. We have one burning question that has been debated: Why did you choose to write "Bueford is dead, and will be even when we're dead" instead of (what we think would add to the dramatic effect) "Bueford is dead. And will be even when we're dead." We noticed you used the emphasis technique of beginning a sentence with a coordinating conjunction prior to this sentence, so why not here? We'd simply like to learn from the master.

quil said...

Hey, who wrote this anyway? You or me? I'll coordinate conjunct, comma splice, dangle participles, or leave out all kinds of convention whenevers I chooses. Read it the way it's written, or read it however you want it to be written--it doesn't matter to me. Unless you guys are offering me a commission, I'm not changing it.

ps. commission is welcome