Even if I turned my torso entirely around, it would still make for a difficult time to spot her. She’s somewhere on the balcony amongst a crowd dawning the exact same colors as her wardrobe. Not a chance, I turn back around- don’t wanna be caught as the guy who keeps looking back into an onlooking audience. Hundreds of people staring at you isn't the most comforting sight- To tell the truth, I don’t think I ever came close to seeing her. I made out a silhouette- most likely wasn’t her, but to appease my peace of mind I’ll tell myself it was her.
Wherever she is...
Back to facing forward, I could feel the room swelling. The moment turning thick- we’d all been waiting for it, not a single person in the room came for anything else.
A thread of sound, just a single thread- shrilling, leaking from one of the hundreds of pipes stretching the ceiling, holds for the moment. Its thick enough now to breathe, taste, roll around the roof of your mouth and press with your tongue. The thread still holds… and holds… and holds…
… and holds
… and holds…
And breaks- to what feels like a piano being dropped onto your chest. The organ manipulates the air to palpable perfect storm, which would otherwise be hibernating ‘til the next Sunday morn. The musician resuscitating the mad instrument from its slumber and thrust into the stone ceiling of the church, the weight of the room brims upon heavy- brims upon a disheartening sense of “too much”- brims upon a reality we came to confront here.
Chords, scales, chromatics rip about the old walls of the building, slanting sharps and flats from the pipes of the organ, continuing an anthem you swear you’d heard before. You won’t forget this. Your memory won’t dismember it, your blood will never coarse the way it does for times like these.
The woman on the balcony, again, begins singing in succession with the rest of the quire. Loud and ominous, the sound uniforms with the moment. Time whips by like a film montage, notes slowly descend from the ceiling, all of it spinning at some irregularity than its normal life’s pace… stops.
A casket draped with a white sheet makes its way down the church’s aisle. The inconsolable truth crash lands every heart in the room: Benjamin Gidmark has passed away, and what tangibly remains of him on earth is in that casket.
There is something disturbingly beautiful in the organization of mourning someone’s absence, swiftly followed by an overwhelming, desolate sadness. To pay witness to his casket, struck harder than the initial news of his death.