A Glimpse of Gramps

October 24, 2010
By , North Tonawanda, NY
Omniscient View:

“So, uh, Silvie, what do you call these newfangled, umm—“

“—Silly bands.”

“Silly bands, that’s the word.”

Gramps studied the duck, which was upside down. “Silly bands.” He slapped his thigh. “Who’da thunk it.” Studying it even more intently, he turned it over and stretched the contraption over his thumb and forefinger.

Stretched was a mild word. Poor little Quacker flew full throttle to poor Max, their chocolate lab whose large eyes communicated great distress. He retreated to a corner of the room, his “den”, and began to mend his wounds with a gentle tongue.

Gramps looked like he felt bad, but some of his edges tended to be a little rough, and he said nothing. “Say, uh, Silvie,” he pushed the rubbery pile towards her. “Let’s say I leave these with you.”

Both stood and pushed their chairs into the little round table. Gramps yawned and gave his suspenders a good stretch, which snapped back with a good THWACK that caused his belly to jiggle.
Silvie smiled.
How good these times were.
How happy.
How short.
She changed her stride to match Gramps’s aging one as they ambled to the kitchen.
How much longer?
First Person View:

The truth was that Gramp’s doctors were always trying to get him to develop a better lifestyle. Eat this. Don’t eat that. Exercise during the week (or “weak”) before physical therapy. PT. Or pain and torture, as he called it.

Too busy. That’s what he said. Too busy. Gramps hated PT. But even more than he hated it, he loved solitaire.

We had our times of togetherness. But there were those times when Gramps had to, “Just have to finish my game, Silvie honey. Go read that Day Break book about Eddie and Betsy what’s-her-name.”

I understood what he was trying to say, and part of me wanted to crack a grin. In spite of this notion, I opted to save his pride. I permitted myself a mirthful moment in my mind. Then I’d plant a kiss on his white-haired but mostly bald head—but he wouldn’t pay much attention. He was relishing in the spadefuls of Heaven that had temporarily become his world. He was thinking about aces and clubs. Then I’d hear the sound of a window popping up on his screen. Followed by a grunt.

I’d follow the interaction secretly, using my book to hide the fact that I was spying on him.

“Confound it,” he’d say under his breath. Pure consternated. That’s what he looked like. Or ridiculously triumphant. So proud of himself. Nothing was as gratifying as seeing two-dimensional kings and queens hit the bottom of the screen, followed by a deluge of their numerous subjects. He’d har-har until his whistley breath had died out. Then he’d put his thumbs under the straps of his ‘spenders and slide down into the averagely comfy chair, which by then had the consistency of clouds. Then his face took the I-shouldn’t-be-caught-laughing-like-this expression. His visage became extremely sage, except for the ever so slightly upturned corners of his mouth. Nobody would have believed him to be an ornery old kook, but I know better.

Now, I’d never say this. Not to him. But he was a cute little old man. I loved him. Very much.

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

LexiB said...
Oct. 27, 2010 at 6:53 pm
I love it! It was a really good piece and put "old people" in a new light. Will you check out and rate my work?
AaronLawrence said...
Oct. 27, 2010 at 2:24 pm
Very realistic, expecially loved the part about him playing solitary.  Needed more purpose however, and cute being used to describe someones grandfather?  (didn't seem right)  Nice flow. 
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