The box containing the body is placed in the retort and incinerated. I had my nails done (French tips) then picked up my father from the funeral home, in a walnut box. Wrinkly walnut shells, hard and foreign. I showed him my first tattoo, a scorpion, spanning my ankle. He didn’t say anything. An eerie silence consumed my car. Jewelry is ordinarily removed. I wore his Coast Guard ring on a chain around my neck, feeling it protected me, like his WWII bayonet buried in the trunk of my Honda. Protected? Eerie silence. Dry bone fragments are pulverized by a machine. I met my friend Steve at the Rising Tide Brewery for a final toast to our fathers. He carried his dad into the familiar haunt in an oak box, motorcycle emblem on the front. He said, “The acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree. I strapped him on to the back of my Harley. Almost lost him on a rollover.” We drank into the night, past morning, through the day, into the onyx moon, unaware of time or place. The stories we told, some true, some not so, to console what had not been consoled, could fill a pony keg or a small child’s backpack. I bought a 6-pack to go and returned home without realizing I had left my father at the bar with a wine cooler resting on his box. He found his way back home eventually, water circle stain and all. Some individuals use a very small amount of the remains in tattoo ink.