We get a quick glimpse of Todd in the congregation (he of the Livestrong bracelet and the Claire-fucking on Nate's birthday) before Claire herself appears in the doorway, with Lawyer Ted at her side. They appear to have come straight from the car -- not because Claire's hair is windblown, because it's not, but because she's wearing the same blue jeans and purple screened t-shirt she's had on all day. She leaves Ted at the door to the chapel and joins David and Keith in the front row. Her brother looks at her and shakes his head in disgust. "You could have dressed," he tells her. When she says she couldn't and he tells her everyone else managed, she snaps, "The rest of you win." Which is basically all David needs to hear. Pretty much ever.
The Dylan fades out. I wait for "Keep a Knockin' but You Can't Come In" to take its place, but I am disappointed. Instead, Rico comes up the center aisle and takes the podium. "I think we're all in shock," he begins. "We've lost a lot. A son…a father, a brother, a husband, a colleague…to me, an inspiration." Ah, so that's how Rico ended up cheating with a stripper. Maybe he can go get himself a better inspiration now. Rico starts getting teary as he describes Nate's "gift," while Vanessa watches him sympathetically from the gallery. He finishes, "And I just think he'd know what to say to help us if only he were here. Thank you." Rico scampers back to the back of the room. Ma Chenowith starts sobbing openly and fishing for a tissue, until Olivier, who unbeknownst to her has been standing to one side behind her, chooses this moment to make his presence known by stepping forward to help. Which of course only makes Ma sob louder. Everyone suffers through this noisy, phlegmy drama until David finally steps up to the podium.
He begins by introducing himself and saying how he used to get picked on at school, and that Nate served as his protector. Actually, he says, "He'd go and talk to whoever was tormenting me and I'd be fine." Right then, of course, a figure in a red hooded sweatshirt passes ominously through his peripheral vision at the side of the room. Maybe the "Nate was my protector" angle wasn't the best way to go with the eulogy. This probably would have gone a lot better if he'd chosen a theme like, "Growing up in Nate's shadow prevented me from ever developing any confidence or self-esteem, which led to a pattern of self-destructive behavior from which I am now free! Free at last!" That would have worked out much better for him in terms of the symbolic visions that would have resulted, I think. David takes a moment to recover, then continues shakily about how young Nate suggested that young David just laugh at his tormentors. Because Nate was tired of talking to people, I guess. David says people were drawn to Nate because he could make the best of a bad situation (although I maintain that he was much better at the reverse), and stops short when the red-hoodied figure appears in the chapel's doorway. He blinks, and it's just a guy in a suit coming down the aisle. I don't know where Suit Guy thinks he's going, but here he comes. David tries to continue, but chokes on the words. Keith hops up from his chair and gently leads David back to where he was sitting, closely followed by Ruth.