Fleur-de-lis

Some time ago I attended a funeral in New York. The church was uptown on Lexington Ave near the Armory. It was September and the trees on the avenue were a heavy, tired green being blown by a mild wind.

The friend who had planned to come with me had, at the last minute, another more pressing obligation, so I arrived on my own. At this point in my life I was used to doing things on my own, as well as to people backing out, so I was fine to arrive alone. I walked into the darkness with the wooden dusky smell. The church was fantastically high, with stone ribs arching into the heavens like an upside-down boat. I looked for a familiar head, then realized I would prefer to stay on my own. I especially did not want to catch sight of someone I did not want to sit with. So I kept my gaze determinedly away from peoples’ faces and toward my black sandals as their heels clacked on the tile floor.

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