Black. It was always black. The art was to blend in so that they never really remember your face. Though, that’s as far as blending in goes. With this job, she had to be expressive too. Emotion was key. The better you are at letting them go, the further you go in life.
Her cries were getting louder. You knew immediately someone had died. Someone important, someone loved. Now, if you knew Edith you would not care about this any more. Edith cried daily, maybe twice a day, maybe more. This was her living. Today she was at Mr. Schulmann’s funeral. She had never seen Mr. Schulmann before. She didn’t consider it a loss. Today her tears had to seem much more real. They were paying her at the end of the wake. The tinge of sadness spread clearly as she thought about keeping this charade up for any longer than an hour.
That paid her well. Maybe, she will take a cab to the next funeral.
As the days went by the balloon grew bigger and bigger. She kept it well hidden. She worried that one day it will get so big that others might see it too. She didn’t like others. They asked too many questions. She would have to share the balloon too. They would never take care of it as she did. She never let it touch the ground. She could never trust anyone else with it. What if someone popped it? The loss, it would be unbearable.
Everyday, she parted some more of her life to it. If you could see it, you would have been alarmed by the overstretched latex that could bear no more of its contents. Even she knew this was getting out of hand. She wouldn’t be able to keep this on forever. So she let it go. It fell to the ground, weighed down by all the words she had trapped in the balloon.
One by one the words floated out.