It was in the days that nobody ever had heard about double glazing and if the neighbour sneezed, you would say: “Bless you”. And he would thank you from the other side of the wall.
We had an unpleasant reason for all being together in my grandparents house. It was the day that we had to bury my grandfather.
One of my aunts already had shown me grandfather in the coffin. I could say goodbye to him, she said to me. My parents thought it would be too shocking for me, I never saw a dead person before.
I was prepared for something terrible, but all I saw was a sort of big puppet. It was a bad remake of grandfather. I only felt very guilty for not being able to be in tears once in a while, like some aunts and big cousins were.
All of a sudden a very loud music started: the barrel-organ that came by every week. It always came at about the same time and I could see at the clock today was not different from any other.
One of the aunts started to cry almost louder than the organ and a few others joined the lament. The uncles reacted different: some were cursing out loud. This caused some hissing from other aunts, of course this was not very appropriate.
Father said aloud that crying and cursing was not going to change anything in the situation. With big steps he went to the front door. I followed him and got almost blasted over by the loud sound of the music. The barrel-organ was right in front of the door. Father stepped up to the man standing next to the organ. The man was shaking his metal mug, so clinging the coins together that were already in there.
Father shouted at him that he would give double if they would move to the next street, explained that we were waiting for the cars for a funeral. The man tapped his cap and excused for the embarrassment. He signalled the man at the wheel to stop turning it. The music died in a sort of wild mess of tones. My father thanked the men, took me by the hand and we went inside the house again.
Within a few minutes the music started again, less loud but you still could hear it very well.
The uncles started to curse again and one aunt resumed her loud sniffing. Would father send the men away again?
“Let it go”, father said: “Life goes on. You can’t expect the planet to stop turning”.
And I tried to figure out what melody they were playing.