Out in the driveway, Rico's busy arranging the vehicular logistics. He puts Claire in the Keithmobile with its owner and David, and sends George with Ruth, Maggie, and Sarah. He catches up with Brenda and asks if she's riding with Ma Chenowith. When he hears Ma's not going, he offers her a ride with himself and Nate in the hearse. Brenda declines. Rico doesn't really have time to push it, and he doesn't actually care that much, so he gives her directions, his cell phone number, and a big FUNERAL sign for her windshield. Suitable for framing!
Later, the little cortege of four vehicles pulls up along a dirt lane in a park somewhere. It kind of looks like where Ruth was lost last week, only flatter. All the cars are dark-colored, except for Brenda's bright-red sedan in the back of the line. Everyone starts to get out of their respective vehicles. Except for David, who looks past Keith's bald head to see a red-hoodied figure standing between a couple of trees off in the distance. He bangs his head against the headrest in fear and frustration as Keith gets out. Keith turns back and asks if he's okay, and David says he can't get out right now. Keith says he'll stay with him, but David yells at him to "just give me a minute!" The woods are empty now, but David is still freaking. Keith raises his hands in a placating gesture and walks forward to the hearse. And off in the distance, that distant red hoodie appears in the space he just crossed in front of. Kind of a neat, subtle effect that I actually missed the first time. David tries to hold it together and waits for the hoodie to go away.
Keith is surprised at what he sees when Rico opens the back door of the hearse: "There's no coffin?" Rico says Nate didn't want one. "More natural this way," George says, joining them in helping drag the canvas-shrouded corpse out of the vehicle. Rico asks where David is. "I think the three of us can handle this," Keith evades, grunting with effort as they awkwardly haul the body away and let the hearse door slam shut behind them. Good thing the old guy came along to help with the heavy lifting.
As the three pallbearers make their way to the plot, George and Rico are in the lead, while Keith carries the back end. I have no idea which end is the feet and which is the head. It just looks like a big, lumpy, off-white oblong area rug bag. Rico slips in the grass, but quickly recovers. Good thing it was the one who had the least distance to fall. If it had been George, Sars would still be waiting for me to send the recaplet. The women, walking ahead, reach the gravesite first. It's just a hole in the ground next to a tree. No marker, just like Nate wanted. I'm impressed that David was able to arrange this so quickly. The men (minus David) reach the open grave, where there's no bier or even a carpet to rest the body. Keith wonders where to put Nate down without getting the shroud dirty. It's going to be plenty dirty in a minute, Keith. "Dust to dust," George says more poetically as they ease Nate onto the grass. Ruth stands at one side of the grave, flanked by Sarah and Maggie. Brenda's standing alone across from them, and Claire's at the head. Or the foot. I don't know. There's no marker. Stupid Nate. Panting, Rico asks if Nate wanted a poem read. Ruth asks where David is. Keith says David's too upset. "Sometimes we can't be everywhere we want to be," he tries. Unimpressed, Ruth grumps, "Yes, well, sometimes we can," and starts walking back to where the cars are parked.