Becca Reads



I read the obituaries. I don't go searching for them, and I don't read every word from the first line of tiny print to the last, but if I pass them on my journey through the newspaper, I check the big ones to see if there are any that interest me--people I know, names or headlines that catch my eye--and then sometimes I glance over the little ones, especially the long little ones, which list accomplishments and memberships and those left behind. In No-Longer-Red State Capital City, where the print was clearer and there were often photos, I read the little ones more often, but here the print is just too tiny, unless I'm really interested.

Why do I read them? For famous people, because I like to know what's going on and what happened. For ordinary people, because I'm fascinated with how people live their lives. In general, because of my terrified fascination with death and loss.

S never reads the obituaries. But last night when he got home he went immediately to the newspaper and found the obituaries. There was a big one of the guy he buys his beef from, a young guy, very young, who had this incredible beef farm. He died over the weekend, in an accident, and S had heard about it that day at work. We never met him, but he knew people we knew, including our downstairs neighbor, in a random coincidence. And the beef, I don't eat it, but everyone who has eaten it says it's the best beef they've ever eaten. And he was so young.

Sometimes I wish I didn't read the obituaries.


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