Found his urn on the bookshelf--at first I didn't see it--and dusted it off. I have a meeting at 3:00 to sign papers for his cremation. Contents: three expired driver licenses, the small headshots like nesting dolls of Randy moving backward in time. A metal pill canister, empty. A drawstring bag holding a few old Indian head pennies.
We bought the urn in Vermont, the week of my graduation. Randy had come up and we'd planned to drive to Maine and then down the coast, staying with friends in Boston. It was our first and only real vacation, complete with spectacular whale watching off the coast of Salem, Mass.
On a drive near the Vermont College campus, we saw a sign for handmade pottery and followed the driveway to a split-level house. The garage door was up, and a woman inside let us browse around while she answered a phone call in the house: lots of pieces unglazed and not-yet fired. A pottery wheel and buckets of water. Clay dust on the shelves. And some beautiful white clay pieces with cobalt blue decoration that Randy wanted.
"It's a perfect urn!"
"Do you think it's a good idea to mention that that's why you want it?"
When she returned, we said we were interested in a platter and matching canister. "Oh, I don't know if you'll want that once I tell you. . . Well, see the extra lip beneath the lid? This is actually an urn, for--well--"
"Perfect!" we rather squealed. She recovered admirably.
And it's waited for him since.
Rodney Gomez: A Short Tablature of Loss
3 months ago