Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Funeral

Mason and I were driving home down Ancha San Antonio and the traffic was particularly slow. Coming up the hill we saw why: a typical Mexican funeral procession was making its way south through the historic district to the PanteĆ³n, San Miguel's main cemetery. Like most funerals there was a black car in front (except for when the pallbearers carry the casket down the street and there's no hearse at all). Behind it was a wide crowd of people dressed in black jeans and t-shirts, carrying umbrellas, sheaths of long white flowers wrapped in newspaper, and two-liter bottles of coke. Every procession has a group of walkers heading to the grave site. There are no strings of cars, their headlights shining on out of respect, policemen directing traffic. Lower-income Mexicans don't have cars so they do what they do every day: they walk to the cemetery, as they walk to work, as they walk their kids to school (sometimes two miles each way), as they walk to shops and bus stops. Mason and I pulled over and waited. It was a young crowd but there were not a lot of tears. Mason waited until they passed and then said to me, "I hope he lived his full life."

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