10:03 p.m. - August 07, 2005
I've gone out of my way to interpret funerals. The agency donates interpreter services pro bono for community funerals and when asked I go. I've seen a wide range of ceremonies, from the elaborate to the simple, and each one has been beautiful to me. A while ago, signing a Hail Mary next to a priest, I realized why I'm drawn to funerals. It isn't recognition of loss, or grief, or seeing other people's sorrow. It's because for just a slight moment I feel connected to people, as if a suspension bridge has been made - or found? - across which I can freely traverse only until the service ends, at which time I scurry back to sit on the bank looking at the people on the other side.
It's an entirely selfish gratification, grabbing what connection I can in the most vulnerable of situations. I am not ashamed of this, though it disturbs me slightly. I feel part of the crowd when individuals come up to me and hug, thanking me profusely for being there/beautiful/athousandvariationsthereof; I feel connected when I'm recognized long after as The Man Who Interpreted X's Funeral; I feel less alone when my eyes water along with everyone else's.
Thought of this while watching the episode. A refreshed pledge: When it's time, do so alone and far from people so I'm not found until much later.