I suppose I was born depressed. My mom says that I was a cholic-y baby, which was '60s slang for a pain in the ass, I guess. She said I cried all the time, and nothing would calm me down, not even a teething ring soaked in whiskey. Well, for Christ's sake! No wonder I've got mental issues! They were feeding me Old Grandad before I had teeth!
I’m twenty now. I’ve never found my place in life. I’ve remained cholic-y, I guess. And here we are, all of my sisters together again, staring at what appears to be a black lacquer Chinese take-out box sitting in state on a marble pedestal, surrounded by those ghostly white lilies people love at funerals. Instead of chicken chow mein, the container holds the ashes of my mother, recently deceased.
They’re going to put her in a little hole in a wall, but they call it a niche. Seriously, that’s what they call it. I always thought a niche was the little shelf in the rock-face cliff of life where you managed to scramble up and hold on with bloody fingers long enough to claim it.
After all, maybe the term is perfect. In the end, it’s what we all do: we occupy Chinese food containers in anticipation of the coming of the great Dragon, the one who will make all things right. Is that our niche?
Peace, at last.