Your whole life story came out almost as an apology. A stifled cough in church, a formality. Something said often and meant rarely. Have a good day. Wish you were here. Happier now that you’re gone. You like animals. You like to laugh. Your memorized, normalized, homogenized two-line-bio. The you you want your coworkers to know about — a caricature of normalcy, the painted paper-mache shell of the-person-you-want-people-to-see. It’s boring. Your quiet mouse squeak fades into the murmur, your mask fades into the scenery, and I’m alone again, waiting to hear that echo and crash sound, the tear and gnash. Waiting to sit, eyes teary, reality sundered and eardrums raw with it. Waiting to savor the desperate grunt of something genuine fleeing through your ragged paper teeth.