Some identifying information has been changed to protect privacy.

— Ed.


The receptionist knew who you were the moment I said your name.

“Oh, him,” she said. “He doesn’t have a stone yet.”

She opened a drawer, extracted a photocopied map of the cemetery, and used a neon-yellow highlighter to draw the route to your grave in section 38. I thanked her and wondered how many times she’d given those same directions in the two months since your death.

I got in my car and stared at a man operating a gas-powered leaf blower in the exit lane. I sat there paralyzed, afraid my car’s tires would mess up his neat pile of leaves. I imagined you saying, Just drive past him, Scotto. What the fuck are you waiting for?