Sunk in the grey dust were pale bits and shards – parts of a tooth? A rib? The ash was fine, like ash from a woodstove or barbeque grill catch. Not like kitty litter. This was Richard. He filled only two-thirds of the hard plastic urn. Rain hammered the roads and gusty winds whipped the thick drops against the funeral home windows. We put off the scattering. After the service, we ate at Denny’s Pantry where we sometimes brought Richard from the nursing home. Cheap breakfast-served-all-day kind of fare, torn vinyl seats, wide bathrooms, chubby waitresses. We are in no way affiliated with the Denny’s Restaurant chain! Richard waited in the car, in a red velvet box. Good thing. He’d be dismayed at the tip we left. He was a ten-percent man all the way. I’m not made of money. We drove back to Middlebury with Richard on the floor behind the driver’s seat. Next to the half-empty 12-pack of lime seltzer, Shea’s schoolbooks, my work bag, and Chris’ long knit scarf. I thought about his multi-clasp suspenders, his orange knit cap, his flannel shirt often dusted with crumbs. “You dress like a slob, Richard,” a customer once told him. With a self-satisfied look, he turned and answered, “I know.” The rain kept coming, our wheels humming on the wet asphalt, wipers whispering, each of us silently slipping beneath the hush.