Yesterday happened like Tim Burton was directing. It started off with an early morning call from mother-in-law. She wanted to know where spouse was as he had promised to have breakfast with her. Since spouse was sleeping and I hadn't even had my coffee yet, I thrust the cordless onto the ear of spouse. (It is this kind of gesture that engenders love in a relationship.) Wouldn't you know it but spouse was up, dressed, showered and out the door in 30 minutes.
Off he went to his mother's and shortly after, off I went to my regular Monday morning class with the Japanese ladies. We had tea and chestnuts and Karinto and a delightful lesson together. After that, I walked to father-in-law's house. I saw lots of robins and red-winged blackbirds. The Japanese ladies and he live on the same island. I needed to go to the FIL's house because at 1:30, we were all meeting at a cemetery outside of town to bury the ashes of brother-in-law. Spouse was going with his mom and her boyfriend, while I would go with FIL. Just as FIL and I were leaving his parking space, we heard a scratching crumpling sound and realized that somehow someone had parked their car in our blind spot in the time it took to get in and buckle up. Very strange. It was like the car appeared out of thin air. Out of the other car came a sixtyish man and he and FIL set to filling out the standard accident form. It asks for the usual things: address, location of incident, license number, and insurance policy number. I don't know how it's possible, but that took 35 minutes. So we were running late and would have to skip lunch. We drove straight to the small village of St Joseph du Lac, an hour outside of Montreal.
The small church with cemetery as back yard was perched on a hill overlooking a broad plain. The steeple shone with it's steel colored roof gleaming in the strong June sun. The air appeared as fluid, filled with dandelion fuzz carried on the breezes. I imagined a scene in the Big Chill and then the soundtrack was playing in my head. Spouse and MIL and her boyfriend were already waiting for us. After the bizarre church lady finished her hand written receipt, we proceeded up the hill to the family plot dating from the 1800's (and was paid to be maintained "in perpetuity".) We were four stoic men and a mother. We stiffly consoled her as she covered the urn with dirt, sobbing, angry. This is the stuff of life.
Spouse and I got a lift home from FIL and then spouse made us BLT's as we were then starving. FIL remarked how tranquil our little back yard and neighborhood is. He and spouse shared a couple of beers, a long time father son tradition, and then FIL left. Then the neighbor poked her head over the fence and told us what we had missed a few hours before. Apparently, while she was doing dishes, someone in the parkway (we don't have an alley, we have a little walking path that connects to the park) in back was watching her and masturbating. The neighbor upstairs saw him and called her. She turned to see him and even heard the "schlplth, schlplth" sound of him jacking off. *It was very strange to hear the neighborlady explain this sound! They called the police, but he had absconded before they arrived. Tranquil neighborhood indeed.
And then, then as if the day couldn't get any more bizarre, we turn to the other neighbor's house because a light catches our eye and there is a mattress in flames leaning up against the house. Fire! Spouse called 911 and I ran to the corner store to ask for a fire extiguisher. The crackhead welfare family lives upstairs from the fire and they were screaming while the other neighbors were telling them to get out and run for their lives. One of them came into the store just after me and started screaming at the clerk to call 911. I screamed to shut up, it's already done and where's the fire extinguisher already. Then we saw fire coming into the store from the back corner. Shit! Where are the firemen?! Time suddenly slowed to a crawl, but in reality, the firemen were there in three minutes. Crackhead boy grabbed the fire extinguisher from me and ran outside to the back. Fine I thought, it's probably your goddamned cigarette that you threw off the roof that started it asshole.
I went back home, heart palpitating, adrenaline flowing and watched the fireman theater as they put out the fire and made sure it was completely out. After that there was more drama as the crackhead family and the people below them argued. Finally, I saw crackhead boy spit right in the lady's face. I couldn't believe it. The really sad thing is that two toddlers live there.
And that was it. We made pea soup and watched a little tv.
I'm hoping today is a little less "exciting".