[bury him in it]


Cynthia Enloe writes in Maneuvers that tasks such as laundry can be militarized when the intent is to relieve a soldier of annoying household chores. Uniforms are the “product of conscious thought, about the nature of the institution being represented, about the meanings of femininity and masculinity when associated with that institution’s services and authority” (p. 261). For years my father’s military uniform hung in a sturdy green bag in his bedroom closet. I can recall how rough the fabric felt between finger and thumb. He wanted to be buried in it, told us so. But when it came time to make preparations, the living will, etc., he decided  to donate his body to science. Six weeks after his death we received ashes in a small heart-shaped box. My mother folded the uniform and placed it in the hope chest.