Careful–or not. You don’t be careful, you’re going to wind up dead. Every time Grandma spoke to me like that, I tried to show her that I still cared about my life and that I was not reckless. But she was right, I would end up dead…in fact, I did end up dead; that’s how I’m telling this story now, from a grave which is sort of like memory, sort of like anticipation. No matter what I did, she was right: careful was not careful enough, the bug got me or the fall crumpled me or the bullet pierced or the car swerved off the road, into some poor tree. Written in the stars, written on the wall, and Grandma knew it. She tried to protect me from the inevitable, so far did her grandmotherliness extend, to the impossible, to the daunting beyond daunting. I told her on our last day together–that’s when I first noticed how gray my grandmother’s hair had become, asked myself whether I was slow to notice or whether age had finally caught up with her, or whether she merely stopped dyeing her hair, stopped caring to dye–our last day when I wasn’t haunting her from the chorus of the shades, which I would be soon, I told her Grandma, look. I loved speaking to my grandmother frankly as she did me, so I said, picking up my voice with an unwarranted confidence Look, Grandma–you’re right. I finally told her You’re right, and I would change my ways if I could, I would stop from coming what must come, what has to come, if I could. But I can’t, see? Grandma smiled, as though I finally understood her warning, which had seemed so simple and straightforward before. I’m going to live and I’m going to make mistakes and I’m going to die…end of story. Then I will do it again, and what shall I do with the opportunity to start all over? The same–live, make mistakes, then die, over and over again. Thanks, Grandma, for caring for me still–condemned as I am! Grandma’s smile at me turned into beaming, like we finally understood one another, like I finally knew…. And I do, admiring her from this ghostly distance now….
Published by Richard Q
A human being-question chasing after both God and nothingness. The internet is a disaster, but our starlessness might teach us something. I welcome our constant experimenting with ourselves with open arms, for ultimately they are attempts of life at living and growing in life. My dwelling is in Key West, while the dwellings of my loves are Indiana, New Mexico, Texas, Massachusetts and Arizona. These spaces are nothing. Love abides and love embraces. View all posts by Richard Q
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