I'm not even gonna lie - I'm not feelin' this one y'all but because it's what I do - I'm doing it. The background story in a nutshell is this: When I was in pigtails, about 5ish and my sister Kim was about 7ish we lived with my mom in Bridgeport. Just the three of us girls. Just cool. Until mom took up with "pete moore". Boy did life change for the worse - at least for me it did. pete and mom worked together at Raybestos, a brakes manufacturer in Stratford and I guess that's where they met. I also assume that pete had a whole other family up New Haven way since when mom moved up there years later and Kim and I were in highschool we ran up on pete's son, Pierre. He's been dead but he was the absolute smoothest, chillest guy in school. No doubt. Now let's say he inherited his coolness from his dad and let's say further that's what attracted my mom to him. It sure wasn't because he liked little girls - or did he? I can remember once he drove me to the girl's club. I was riding shotgun (guess back then big brother could care less about little kids getting maimed in car accidents) and he had to brake hard. I flew into the windshield, cracking it and my head. Trust me, I did not feel like running around a gym with other screaming little girls or jumping on a trampoline after that near death experience. But wait, this nigger screamed on me! To wit: "Look what you did to my windshield!!" Not: "Are you o.k.? Do you want to go back home or to the emergency room??" Naw. Nigga just booted me out of the car and sent me on my way - probably with a mild concussion. No matter, since the next time we were all in his car (a long, navy blue Mercury with a white top), Kim and I in the back, I eased the window down and let one of his favorite Kangol's fly out to become one with the blacktop. His whisk broom that he used to brush off the upholstery or his suit or whatever, too. You better know it. Nigga.
He was a lil' fella but to me as a kid he was tall and menacing. He always answered the phone "petemoore", instead of "hello". All one word - like he was famous. Over the years he'd pop up to see my mom and she'd go all giddy and giggly like "ooooo, I must still have 'it'!" The last time I spoke in a vaguely civil manner to him was to correct his pronunciation of my name which the idiot never could or would say right. "It's Will-ette. Say it with me" like I was talking to - an idiot.
ANYway, he's dead. And the world's a better place because of it. And there was NO WAY I was going to NOT go to this low-life's funeral. It could've been the biggest blizzard of the century combined with a nor'easter, an ice storm and a hurricane - every winter weather abberation known to southern New England. I could've been vacationing at my favorite villa in the U.S. Virgin Islands and I would've cut it short just to look down in the coffin of a nigger named petemoore to make sure he was in fact dead. When Kim called me and told me he was dead/in that day's obituary section I got up from my desk, did a happy dance and put in a time off request slip for the funeral date/time. Oh Happy Day! THIS was how you ended a year!!!
Friday, December 18, 2009
10:45a.m.A sunny,bitterly cold day in New Haven, CT The funeral was at 11 so my plan was to get there for the tail end of the viewing - remember I needed to look down on him - and stake out my seat. The funeral was at Bethel AME church and since my girly-girl Gwen's been a member since birth I did a little fact checking on petemoore and his family beforehand. She said he had a wife but she hadn't been to church for a while. He was the Godfather of a former pastor's daughter (ewww! They must've been fresh out of Godfather candidates that year!). Said old pete/elmerfudd had been sick for a minute. Cancer or something. You reap what you sow.
The limousine is parked right in front of the entry way and I think perhaps the family hasn't gone in yet. I can't tell since the windows have a good tint and it really doesn't matter - I'm not caring about this man's family since this man wasn't caring about mine. I speak to the Howard K. Hill funeral guys standing century and leave my card of "sympathy" in the basket below the sign in book. I signed it the way he always f-ed up my name. Oh, but I can be a jerk of epic proportions. I know this church and a few of it's members pretty well. It's not big - 48 or 50 pews and a small 'overflow' seating area to the right of the sanctuary. Rustic, exposed beamed ceilings and dark wooden pews ensure you don't get too comfy. There's a balcony that I've never ventured into - no need to. And there was no need for anyone to venture up there today since there may have been a hot 75 people in attendance and half of them looked like they had one foot on a banana peel.
I walk straight up to the body. There was a carnation cross and a carnation heart with red roses on either side of the mahogany casket. His full head of grey hair matched his suit. He looked old. Dry. Dead. I lifted my sunglasses to my forehead and gave him a thorough examination. His hands looked old. Dry. Dead. Normally I offer up a prayer for the deceased's soul but not this time. Oh no. God would have to deal with this rasputatious nigga's soul without any input from me. I sucked my teeth, put my sunglasses back on and went to find a seat in the very back. So's I could see everything and body. I notice a woman about my age, also alone, on the other side of the center aisle. She's not sitting with the family. Maybe she worked with him at his last job? Maybe she's another one of his kid's the wife intentionally left out of the obituary.
11:00: A woman who sings in the group I sing with and attends Bethel sits down behind me. She's in one of the church's choirs and is dressed in her robe. We chatter until it's showtime. I never even bothered to look in his family's direction while giving old petey the once over, so now I'm totally focused on his wife and sons "Elmer III" and Robert. Kim and I both noticed that his eldest son Pierre was not mentioned in the newspaper's obituary. It's not in the service's obit either. What is that? I know the wife wasn't Pierre's mother but c'mon - he was his son. The obit mentions he was predeceased by a daughter but not Pierre.
11:30: The usual funeral service order is being followed and at a pretty good clip. The former pastor (they switch 'em up pretty regular at the AME church evidently) has remarks , a couple of hymns, the big upping of the widow by the current pastor: "He was a good provider as evidenced by his wife dressing her behind off!"; acknowledgements of cards by another lady that used to sing with me. Some minister or another described someone I clearly did not know with the following, exact words: "Gentle, quiet, dignified demeanor. A trustee. Quiet wisdom. Loving and giving spirit." Then the bull crap hit the fan.
His cousin, 'Reverend Joseph Duke McAlpine' gives the reflections from the family. I've seen this guy around over the years and he looks to be late 70's, tall, lean. I didn't know anything about him being a reverend and certainly never heard him preach anywhere. Whatever. He starts off by saying, "if Michael Jackson, Tiger Woods or Allen Iverson was in the house we'd all stand up. Let's all stand for pete." Coupla things here: #1 Michael Jackson's dead - if he was "in the house" I'd be out of the house. #2 Tiger has been on the ho of the century hot seat for a good 3 weeks now - ain't nobody standin up for him! #3 A.I.? Really? C'mon Pop-pop, you're showing your age. And lastly - stand up for a nigga named petemoore?!? I. Will. NOT. He referenced Ephesians 6:10 about putting on the whole armour of God and what a tough guy elmer was. Well hell's bells, I guess so - being 5'4" tall and having a name like "elmer" you BETTER be tough. How "nobody messed with them" because they "belonged to pete." I bout vomited in my mouth.
11:45: I've had enough of this ol' bullshizzle. I no more wanted to hear this man be honored and lifted up like he was the pillar of some alien community than I wanted to sniff a bum's briefs. I'm out. But you best believe on the first warm, sunny spring day of 2010 I'm gonna put on a cute skirt, go commando, find his grave, spread my legs and piss ALL over it. Or my name ain't "Louette". You better know it.