For one of our auxiliary performances, we were told to dress like we were “going to a funeral.” I asked what that entailed, and was met with guffaws and dropped jaws.
If this surprises you, let me explain how it works. Where I’m from, if you dress up for a funeral, you are attracting attention away from the deceased, and showing off to other funeral-goers who may not be able to afford nice clothing. Thus, a three-piece suit is one of the most disrespectful ways to treat the departed.
Whittier Strong is an MFA candidate in creative nonfiction at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. He presently serves as nonfiction editor for Permafrost. His work has been published in The Rumpus, The Good Men Project, Apogee, Jonathan, QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology, and elsewhere. A native of Indiana, he earned his BA in creative writing from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minnesota.
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