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--- T O N I   D E   B O N N E V A L

Dan said that it wasn't no never mind at all that Mother Teresa up and died the same week as Princess Di. And maybe he was right, but it didn't feel that way. It felt like all the famous people who really cared about other people were suddenly up'n dying all at the same time.

"So maybe Liz Taylor'll go too," Dan said. "She gets all weepy over AIDS."

I said, "You ought to be glad you don't have it, the way you shoot up."

He said "Shut up. You don't know anything."

Which may be true. He says he's clean but I don't necessarily believe it. But for a while I really was afraid that maybe Liz would go. You know how like things happen like that in threes. Only she didn't, thank God. Not that I'm all that crazy about her. I mean, she's more my ma's generation or even Gran's than mine, but I don't like things doing that. I mean, happening by numbers like they got to.

I watched Di's funeral. Every bit. I propped Ma in her chair and turned the set on so's she could see it if she wanted but she didn't want. She said she didn't see any reason for the fuss. She said how she was sorry for her kids, but they had plenty of money and they weren't the first to lose their mother and without so much money. And I knew that was true, not that Ma had lost Gran, who still lives with us, if you can call gumming her rosary all day, living. Still, once in a while she'll perk up.

Gran perked up when Queen Elizabeth came on before Ma made me turn it off.

"Dear girl," Gran said. I thought she was talking about Di, which surprised me. But she wasn't. "I remember her coronation," Gran said. "Lovely girl." And went back to her Hail Marys. Whatever.

Only Ma wouldn't let it drop. "Dear Schmeer," she said. "Cold as a clam. And I say if anyone killed Diana it was that Charles. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. All of them cold. Regular douche bags." But ma did have an ax to grind because my Dad had walked out and then got remarried. And seems like his Ma blamed Ma for being such a bad wife--not that I met that Gran-- and which Ma said was a lot of garbage. "He was a a turd," she said. Which is why Dan is on drugs the school therapist says, because Mom shouldn't have said our Dad was a turd and deserted us. Though I don't know why not if it's true and I don't know why that'd make Dan want to be a shit too. You'd think it'd make him want to be opposite, like I don't want to be all mad and frozen-faced like Ma.

Anyhow she didn't want to watch the funeral so I switched channels and got her her medicine. She says she's going to be okay and not to worry, but I don't know how we'll manage when she dies because what'll happen to her SSI? They sure aren't going to give it to me to watch Gran, and Dan can't. That's the funny part. I mean I'm the only not on SS anything but how'm I supposed to watch them and work?

So I watched Di's funeral on the set in Dan's room, which is bigger'n Mom's anyhow, and I bet he got it hot. But I don't look at anything but the screen when I'm in his room because I don't want to see anything. If you can't cope with what you see, why see it? Just to feel bad? I don't need that.

Anyhow he was out so I grabbed a quilt and a Diet Sprite and left Mom and Gran watching Oprah reruns and watched. It was something.

I fell asleep before it was over, --it was the reruns, of course. I didn't have a chance to get the real thing at 4:30 a.m. cause weekends I do the late shift. But it was okay because I dreamt about her alive and that was better. She was in the blue dress, which is my favorite. I like the black too, the one she wore with John Travolta dancing. I don't even know where she wore the blue but she has on the diamond tiara and is bending forward, smiling. In my dream it was like she was smiling at me. I mean, I know she wasn't but I felt like she was and, God, that made me feel good.

I woke up and Ma was yelling, "Hey girl, girl turn that down," but I didn't mind.

You know, it's funny how a dream can make you feel good.

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