I visit my father's grave site once a year to make sure the fucker is dead. Maybe your relationship with your father is better. If so, then fuck your happiness.

I balance a bouquet of supermarket flowers on his tombstone. I bring flowers because, you know, I'm aware that I might forgive the bastard someday and want to have a track record of proper cemetery-related behavior.

Then I notice that a wedding is happening in the distance. A fucking wedding! And not some goth travesty, either. It is black tux, white wedding dress, and laughter.

What kind of cruel fuckers hold a joyful ceremony—a celebration of goddamn life—in a cemetery? Who invites the ghosts of their ancestors to their nuptials? Who are these fucking people?

They are better people than my father ever was. And better than I am now.

I walk toward the wedding because I imagine these folks will graciously welcome a stranger. And then I turn back and grab my father's flowers. I must bring a gift to the wedding. I want to begin, finally, a journey with something in my hands. recommended

Sherman Alexie's most recent books are the poetry collection What I've Stolen, What I've Earned and the short-story collection Blasphemy. He won a Stranger Genius Award in 2008.