The president of Proper Play Things Incorporated wailed. He stood over his father’s body literally wailing. It baffled bystanders, it proved to some of them the rumor was true of him being third generation Korean-Japanese. Japanese don’t wail. It made other people tired, those who the president had told over and over how they did not understand what it was like to lose a father. The president’s wife stood unimpressed off to the side, the wailing climbed a decibel as if to make up for her indifference.
The wailing eventually abated. Then as everyone in the funeral procession waited in the icy rain for the casket to be brought down in order to start the departure ceremony to the crematory, the president would not let his father’s body go. He blocked the only exit to the steep dark staircase leading to the first floor entrance. Someone was sent up the three flights of stairs to check on matters as the president leaned over his father, cupping his head off the satin pillow where it rested surrounded by all the carnations and lilies that had been lain there.
“The old man won’t let him go,” reported a colleague, as a collective sigh went through the twenty-five or so people dressed in black, touting black umbrellas against a cold grey sky.