Every time I walk in, you are there. I rifle through the jackets, coats and scarves and you appear; showing your face at the most inopportune times… just hanging out like you own the place, lurking and waiting for your moment to shine. But enough is enough and I’m done with your ways, the way you look at me and smirk “Did you miss me?” It’s a shame, because you really are quite pretty. You’ve looked at me one too many times; blinking, with those longing eyes.
I stare at you. You stare back at me. Your gaze is haunting.
“How about it?” you tease.
“No, no more.”
“So what… this is why I’m here.”
I am no match for your showdown. I come back to use you again and again and again. It feels like it will never end. I’ve had enough; I don’t want you in my life anymore. But it’s so hard to take control, because I am used to you being there… just waiting.
I feel like you are a part of me like the skin on my body or the bones that hold me together, and I couldn’t possibly exist without you because you have become such a part of who I am and what I represent. But I can’t let you define me anymore. I won’t.
I pull out the hanger, slide off the dress and quickly bag it with a knot. Then I stuff it in the boot of my car along with my overnight bag. I’m off to my best friend’s. I turn the music up loud and forget that it’s there.
The dress gets ousted once I arrive; left outside on the cold concrete, in the fresh country air. There is no way that it would be welcome in. It plays on my mind, a chore that I need to do, but I brush it off; just hoping it won’t come back home with me.
Before I leave I pick up the bag by its knotted ears. My BF slides the lighter into her pocket and we drive, just down the road to cow shed. Outside sits a drum standing tall, filled with boxes and rubbish. I un-wrap the bag and free the dress, trying not to look it in the eye. Ink the black lab joins us and lovingly taps her tail against my calf. BF flicks the thumbwheel and ignites the contents of the incinerator. I grab the metal stake that has been left just for me.
Once the flames dance high, I toss the dress into the drum and it rests with its elbow on the edge like it’s cruising into town with the window wound down, on a hot summer’s day. I put my arm around my friend and we nestle in close. Warmth.
The raging inferno subsides and I use that stake and flick the rest of the dress in. It drops down to the air hole in front of us and we watch the red hues eat away at the emaciated skeleton. Embraced, we stare at this thing that has burdened my life and glorified times I’d rather forget. The crackles tease our silence and I feel the floodgates of relief burst open.
The embers glow, satisfied. I reach my arms to the sky, fist-pumping a “Yussss!” Turning the ignition, ‘Fire’ by The Pointer Sisters decided to play on my car stereo. We circled the drum and left, left those black ashes behind. Up ahead, we drove toward a rainbow that appeared through the trees.
It’s hard to describe the feeling of pure elation since that day. The heavy amour has been lifted from my shoulders and I feel as though I have been released to experience true happiness once again. No more funerals. No more dress.
Funeral Dress, I am grateful for your use over the years, but it was time. Your jaunts to eight death soirees in less than four years has lead me to believe that you are quite a social wee thing. It got too tiring, you trying to break me down, every time I zipped up along my spine; particularly with the events that were so achingly dear to my heart. But now, may you rest in peace.