It Matters Anyway

The glob of spit arced into the coffin. Kate almost couldn’t believe she’d just seen that. She looked around. Mom was looking down into her lap. Brother Ted was across the room talking to a cousin. And this chubby forty-something had just spit on Kate’s father and was walking away. She smoothed out her black skirt and followed him outside. Kate caught up with him halfway across the parking lot. Her tap on the shoulder turned him, and then her fist in the gut bent him over. She pushed him back against a minivan.

“What the fuck was that about?” she said.

“Gak,” he said. He regained his breath just in time for her to hit him again.

“What makes you think you can walk into my dad’s funeral and spit on him? Fucking spit on him!”

“Jesus,” he croaked, “Stop hitting me.”

Kate stared hate at him.

“Your dad,” he said, “abused me as a kid. I hope he’s in hell.”

Pieces fit together in Kate’s mind. Volunteer activities. Time spent mentoring. Time spent alone.

She hit him again, then slammed his head against the car. “You’re a fucking liar. Get out of here before I hurt you.”