An illustration of the inherent feebleness of even a well-reputed memory (such as my own).
I noticed that yesterday somebody had clicked on an old post called “Tucking Melz In” and I told Sekhnet the story. Later I read the piece and was amazed to find a significantly different anecdote, bearing little resemblance to what I’d just told Sekhnet, which was, minus the first paragraph (which she already knew) which was:
Five and a half years ago an old friend, Melz, succumbed to a rare and deadly form of soft tissue cancer. When I say succumbed, I mean he died. The funeral was conducted by his long-time bosom buddy, trained as a rabbi and with a great talent for humanistic public speaking. He conducted a beautiful funeral. It’s hard to say how he held himself together the way he did.
Afterwards, at the golf course-like cemetery (no head stones) as we gave our shovels to others who were taking turns burying Melz, according to our tradition, Alan and his wife Terri came up to me. Alan said (referring to the wonderful funeral oration we’d just witnessed) “you realize, if we die before Sokoll, we’re fucked. Who’s going to do our funeral? Think about it!”
I did. As I was thinking, Sokoll walked by and we told him our concern. The good rebbe told us not to worry. “I’ll bury all of you fuckers,” he said, without breaking stride. Oddly reassuring words.
After a moment Terri said “let’s go tuck Melz in,” and we walked over and took over the shoveling for a while.
(compare with the original, written a day or two after the funeral)