- Witold Gombrowicz, Pamieutnik z okresu dojrzewania (Memoirs of Immaturity, 1933)
The old girl just lays on the patio wondering when to whimper. I guess we should put her down. I mean, she can’t be of much use to anyone anymore. Not the way she is. Come to think of it: she can’t even roll her ass off the patio, probably been lying there for days now. Well, that being the case, might as well dust off Grandpa’s shotgun. I figure he’d want me to use it, since I’ll be shooting his wife and all. Poor old lady. Lying there on the cold cement. If she’d said something I would have done this sooner. Prideful woman -- probably planned to get up any day; probably still
thinking that. I’ll make it quick. Say goodbye then get her when she ain’t looking.
…I want tacos. ‘ll get some afterwards...
Goodnight Rose. We’ll try to miss you. Obviously you’re not much on our minds. I mean, we did leave you on the patio for three solid days. And it rained yesterday. Hard. I think the hail dented my car. Poor General Malaise. I’ll try buffing the dings out tomorrow, first thing.
I know how this sounds, but I do wish there was like a service I could call instead of having to handle this myself. Like you can take a pet to a place where they’ll put it to sleep for you. Hell, even animal control is around for rowdy critters.
This would be so easy for them. Like taking care of a stray, sick ol’bear. Fuck, a shovel is all you’d need.
But Gramps’ll haunt the shower again if we don’t take care of our own. It’s a sad reality: some blood isn’t worth saving. That is to say: not every pint needs to get bagged and put in the fridge… suppose that makes sense, though I should really stop watching vampire movies when I’m stoned -- aspects tend to creep into my thoughts without request; and truth be told, though it often isn't, I guess I just don't want to have to do this. Anyhow, Grandma’s my responsibility. I could ask my brother to do it, but that would be imposing on him. Once a man’s been blown up cooking your turkey, you can’t ask him for much. (No euphemisms, by the by. He was making Thanksgiving… but I digress.) And Sis, well, I owe her, so I‘ll take care of this one.
Besides, I made a promise the night Grandpa wandered into the woods. He said to me, “I’m dying. Doctor said I’ve got twenty more years, but it’s a countdown, no matter how you look at it. I know you’re only eleven, but fuck you boy.” I
promised him, as he disappeared into the night, I would do whatever it took to make him proud. A promise I soon
forgot -- the “lifelong”ambitions of youngsters are often short lived. How many preteen dreams come to fruition? Honestly, not many. And the ones that do are often the result of some kind of mental debilitation… like OCD or something. Kids can have all kinds of problem which turn out to be for their benefit. But I digress.
Grandma. Old bitch. I remember my cousin’s wedding, back in October. The old lady had the nerve to say a conga line was a form of Fascism (and she did make a solid point later in the evening, but Tammy-Lynn‘s wedding was not the occasion to make that valid argument). Then there was Christmas ‘08: the night we stopped the Creationist god and started evolution. Still not sure if that was the right move, but Grandma kept trying to take all the credit. Fuck that.
We were all there, and each did their share. In fact, if it comes down to it, Grandma did the least. There! I said it. And that’s what it all comes down to: she has no tact and no humility.
… which is probably why everyone’s been ignoring her the last couple of days. For one thing, we had just got Grandpa to stop haunting the shower (We tried to get him back a few years ago, but he‘d drunk himself to death in Minnesota. Didn‘t know it at the time, so the voodoo spell we picked up on the Southside of Chicago didn‘t work
exactly as it might have on a living person. Though I can‘t say for certain. Voodoo is a fascinating thing, but not
really my point of expertise. In any event, Grandpa‘s ghost haunted the shower in our house for a bit, and when we did figure out how to get rid of him (he had a habit of mocking people‘s genitals with cruel wit and honesty) he threatened to return if we mistreated anyone else in the family. His concern makes sense: people change a lot when they die. So, from time to time, his ghost reappears, mocking our junk, and then we have to do this whole elaborate ceremony with a rooster and blind snakes; and I‘d really rather not get into the whole thing right now.) when Grandma right away starts in on my
Uncle Craig. “Craig,” she says, “You’re getting fat. Ergo, I’ve hired a man to hunt you. You have three minutes before he comes screaming through that window. I suggest you run cuz your fat ass ain‘t takin‘ him one on one. He‘s a marine. Really sexy too.” So Craig takes off, and two days later Gramps has repossessed the shower.
My Sis saw Grandma laid out on the patio about three days ago. She just walked past. Sis is big on cold shoulders. My
brother rolled by in his wheelchair, asked her if she wanted a beer. He said she just went, “Nuhhh,” so he left her alone.
Wouldn’t be the first time G-ma hit the pipe too hard, so he left there. Myself? I saw her there, but having to rustle up a blind snake (the snake has to be born blind -- you can‘t blind it yourself.) kept me outta the house for a few days. By the time I got back, which is about here and now, I assumed, for the first five hours, coincidence; I’d left and returned to find Grandma in roughly the same situation: stoned out of her gourd and sleeping it off on the patio. We tell her not to slug grain alcohol after bong hits, but she’s been reading Gogol lately, and you know Russian literature. However, turns out we were all pretty wrong across the board.
Grandma wasn’t passed out in some existential crisis born of weed, white lightning, and phantasmagoric cynicism. She was flat on her ass due to a burst blood vessel -- one of the pipes in her brain just went pop alluva sudden. These things
happen. And yeah, I’m still pissed about Grandpa, since it was her fault, and Grandma and I have had our differences (she stopped me from sniping Madonna. Said, “She‘s already dead inside; why risk going to jail for nothing?” I still think it would have been worth it, but I don‘t want to digress too much more.), but we’re family. In the end, that’s more
than some people have.
So I’ll do the right thing: get Grandpa’s shotgun outta the basement and put Grandma down. I owe her that much for raising me…