He would sometimes talk about his coworkers as if they were friends. I suppose they were of a sort, as deep as a relationship one might form on your job. I'd heard about the guy I'd watched walk into the funeral home, but I'd never seen so much as a photo of him. My father wasn't allowed to have friends you see. As my mother (along with many of her gender) might tell you, men want just one thing, and a "friend" will only cover for a perpetrator. It wasn't truly a rule; not written down anywhere, not spelled out in magnetic letters on the refrigerator. But everyone in the house knew. Dad couldn't have friends of his own, but only those spouses of my mothers' friends, and only then when the four were together.
endlessly to read my father's eulogy, breaking every ten words or so to
catch my wind, or whatever that is that men do others might call
weeping. But I did finish by focusing on one man in the whole of the
"audience". Tim Foresman, in his United Transportation Union letter
jacket, sitting in the back of the funeral hall, honoring a man he
called his good friend, in spite of the fact that who he honored wasn't
allowed friends. At that point, the rules didn't matter. All that
mattered was justice.