We were driving to San Diego when we got the call. Molly’s Uncle Stan had died and her mother was ringing to let us know. We were supposed to be spending the week in a nice hotel, just relaxing. I’d taken the time off work, booked it two months earlier. I really didn’t want to be heading back to Phoenix but there you go, I had no choice. Molly’s Uncle had died.
I’d never met him before; in fact I never heard anything about him until Molly, she started to tell me about him as we were driving back to Phoenix. For the whole journey, the whole five hours she started to tell me about Stan. He liked to drink. He liked to get into arguments and tell people what he thought about them and if it meant it led to a fight, he liked that too. Molly told me he had no friends, just some drinking buddies and that most people didn’t like him. From what I picked up from Molly she really didn’t like him either but felt obliged to go back for the wake and funeral, for her mother’s sake.
For someone who didn’t like someone, Molly sure put on the tears when she saw Stan’s body. I know this because I had experience of her putting them on. Once when we had an argument over what movie to go and see she started crying all of a sudden. Telling me that I always got my own way. That wasn’t the only occasion that she put them on, I seen it dozens of times. It was part of the reason that I split from her. You can’t have a woman thinking she can do the deciding by doing a little bit of crying.
Anyway Stan, he was laid out in the coffin, dressed in white. They’d combed his hair back, pushed it straight back over his forehead and put some grease into it to keep it down. Molly laughed later when she told me that he always parted his hair to the left not straight back. She was glad that in the end someone had done something that would have pissed him off. They’d also put a white carnation on his lapel. I didn’t see the point of that.
Molly’s mother played the grieving sister real well, spending the evening sitting by the coffin crying, I could see where Molly had got it from. Stan hadn’t got any children and his two ex-wives didn’t turn up. I think he’d beat them or something, that’s what Molly had told me, that’s why they’d divorced him. I ended up in the kitchen most of the evening, taking care of the drinks. There was a lot of beer, which I didn’t really like but there was some whiskey and I made sure that Stan’s drinking buddies always had their glasses full. They were the only people, apart from Molly’s mother who had anything good to say about him. As I said most people didn’t like Stan.