Through the big church windows we watched a black dog on a long chain chasing its tail. The priest elevated the thinnest cummunion wafers I had ever seen, as thin as parchment. The faithful lined up to drink wine from the same cup, a white cloth circling the rim after each sip.
On the drive out to the graveyard, the guy I rode with told me how he went to jail once for stealing apples from the state prison, & was discharged a few days early for refusing to eat.
At the graveside ceremony, the deacon splashed holy water on the wrong marker at first. The widow read the inscription & was astonished to discover the name of her best friend.
We gathered afterwards at the home of the deceased, where the church provided food & the family provided alcohol. Most of the rest of us only brought bons mots and funny stories, but a fiddler & a jazz singer brought their songs, which they performed separately: instrument without voice, voice without instrument, & both without the man for whom they performed.