Grandma

I put a French toast bagel in the toaster and give pieces of it to the dog. When we’re done eating it I get in the shower. It’s two thirty when I get out. Still no call from my dad. I put my red, cable-knit sweater on and sit in front of my notes. My energy is not as commanding as earlier. All this waiting had drained me into a doldrum. I make another espresso.

It’s now three.

‘Do you have any idea when you guys will be off the course?’ I ask my mom.

I want to call my grandma for her birthday, but don’t have her number. I ask my sister for it.

I am amazed at how poor the cell reception is in my apartment.

My sister provides the number. I have always been able to rely on her. It’s really too bad she’s not rich enough to be our guarantor. I have a feeling she’d do anything for me.

My grandma is excited to hear from me. I don’t think my name comes up on her caller Id. She tells me how Davy, her oldest and only son, asked her if it’s getting more difficult carrying her body around now that she’s , what, a hundred? I tell her we’ll be seeing her soon.

‘About a week.’

She doesn’t seem to know all the details regarding our situation. I figure my parents would have told her more. She tells me she was in New York last year. For a national bowling tournament. I ask if she saw any Broadway plays. I can feel my sister all up in the question. It is something she would ask, the enemy of her. I’m just trying to be real with my grandma. I know that I have to call her because it’s her birthday, but still I would prefer the conversation to be real. She tells me she wanted to see Wicked while she was there, but that it was a dark Knight, so she saw it in Utah, with my family, who has already seen it, having seen it on Broadway when they went to New York. She doesn’t know that we’re bringing our dog with us.

‘Well, I wouldn’t just leave him.’

She thinks we’re flying in.

I try to explain, but my dad is calling on the other line. I work at wrapping up the conversation. She can sense it, but neither of us are able to end the call. Her doorbell rings.

‘You better get that.’ I say.

She knows.

I tell her that I’ll see her soon.

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