Illicit Visit

January 25, 2011
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With chipped paint, rusted to the point of ash, and held together by duct tape, barely stood my elementary playground. Wood chips were scattered in heaps like leaves revealing barren, sandy dirt. Then there was the bench, where we sat in time outs for tripping our “friends” or tagging people too hard (totally not on purpose). Blue sky ripe enough for a purchase from the ice cream truck hung over my head, I should say our heads. My grandpa stood among the jungle of play equipment. He was in his usual, slippery navy sweatpants and a thick grey sweatshirt. Round gold rimmed glasses sat perfectly over his nose. I hadn’t seen him in a while so my skip over to him was filled with happiness.

Once I approached him he was drowned in a hug, burying my brown curls in his chest. I even kissed him on the cheek, grinning the whole time. Looking at his blue eyes bright like the sky, a light snapped on. I realized why I was so excited to see him. Grandpa died over a year ago. Grandpa had his arm around me, calluses touching my shoulder.

Suddenly kindergarteners were at play all around us. Giggling and whining, and there was my dad. Positive he saw grandpa and I, I called him over. “No, it’s time for supper!” He answered. I kissed grandpa again, and over and over alternating every other cheek. He had sprouted tiny grey whiskers that sanded my lips. No floor, no top, just white background, with a brown corduroy recliner floating. Then my kitchen, and grandpa stood there by my glass table with the rest of my family crowded around the island counter. I was the only one who noticed him. Everything had been so tangible, so real, and when I woke up, I was in my bed.





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