February 8, 2009

Short vignettes

My grandpa always worried about whether and how I would remember him when he was gone. I can remember being little, and he would tell me how much his grandpa meant to him and how many good memories they had together. He would say quietly, "I hope you remember me this way." Oh, if he only knew.

Actually, he did know, because I told him.

* * * *

I remember that fateful day when coach took me aside. I knew what was coming. "You don't have to tell me," I said. "I'm off the team, aren't I?"

"Well," said the coach, "you were never really on the team. You made that uniform you're wearing out of rags and towels, and your helmet is a toy space helmet. You show up at practice and then either steal the ball and make us chase you to get it back, or you try to tackle people at inappropriate times."

(written by my friend Seth, and I love it beyond belief)

* * * *

When my great-grandmother "Mimi" was dying in the fall of 1997, I went home to visit her one last time. I sat on the edge of her hospital bed and stroked her hand. Despite her weakened condition, her eyes still shone a brilliant, feisty blue.

"Mimi," I began, "are you scared?"

"No," she said simply. "I'm tired."

* * * *

"Sometimes you lie in a strange room, in a strange person's home, and you feel yourself bending out of shape. Melting, touching something hot, something that warps you in drastic and probably irreversible ways you won't get to take stock of until it's too late....I could feel serious changes happening to me the longer I stayed....I felt knots untie themselves, knots I didn't know were there. I could already tell there were things happening inside me that were irreversible."

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