Day 8: I just realized I am so much like my grandfather.

This is the only picture I have of "Pa".  It's his creepy old hand and boot.  Hardly recognized him without the piles of nudie magazines in the background.

My grandfather was a junk collector.  He liked nudie magazines and living alone.  He swore more than anyone I have ever known in my life.  He was mean and crude and a bit of a perv.  He liked lawn mowers and he slept on a rolled up piece of foam on our living room floor because my grandmother kicked him out of the bed so I could sleep there with her.

Despite all that, he loved me very much. I knew this because he would bring me home all these totally awesome toys that people would throw out with their trash each week and he fed me chocolate.  For him to do such nice things for somebody that pretty much meant he loved them.  At least I like to think so anyway.

Nobody in our family ever really liked him much.  He was called cheap and stingy, his house was a complete mess (complete with lawn mower motors in the bath tub) and he was a pervert and a bit embarrassing when you took him out in public.  Plus he was pretty mean to my grandma.  Everybody loved grandma, as did I, but I figure she did a pretty good job of  holding her own and getting the old man back for his rudeness.

She was such a strong woman, partially because he was a jerk, but more so because she was pretty much the most awesomest grandmother.  Ever.

I never really saw my grandfather for who he was.  I tried so hard not to hate him, but hearing the stories, and not seeing him very often didn't help.  I never actually hated him, I just found it hard to love him, if that means anything now.

The last time I saw him he was not himself.  He was in a nursing home, in a wheelchair as he had fallen and broken his hip, he was confused and angry and he kept saying I was my mother and that I owed him lots of money.  That was the last time I saw him.

I somehow found out he died weeks after he had actually passed away. Which really angered me.  I was angry at my family, but mostly angry at myself for not making the effort to be there for him.  Instead he died alone.  With grumpy nurses and a creepy roommate that rocked in his wheelchair the entire time we were there.  There was a lady in that nursing home that strangled my cousin.  Strangled her with no warning!  I should have done something, he shouldn't have been there alone with creepy people like that.

We used to bring him home for Christmas sometimes and he would complain the entire time he was with us.  He would whistle out the window at pretty women (this is an 80 year old man I'm talking about here) and he chain-smoked cigars.  Really stinky ones.

I often think about him and how he died alone.  How one of my cousins has his ashes, which makes me a little sad because this cousin didn't love him as much as I did - but I'm not about to start a fight over ashes, I have enough trouble with feeling haunted.  I think of how good he was at pushing the family away, and how everybody tore apart his house after he died looking for his mattress filled with money, only to come up with soot-covered trinkets that were worthless to all, except him.

I miss his house. I used to live there, but with my grandma around it never had pathways lined with nudie magazines and various motor parts.  The carpets were not packed with soot and there were no holes where raccoons fell through the roof and onto the kitchen table.  The furniture was the same, my bedroom with the creepy velvet Disney paintings was still there, covered in soot and everything had that funky odor, but it was still there and it was all his, an organized mess if you will.

Lately I've noticed that I'm turning into my grandfather little by little:

1) I drool over younger men
Even if they are a little girly looking (it's the eyes..I swear!)

2) I sleep on a rolled up piece of foam. 
A few years ago, my mom brought home  this rolled up piece of "memory foam" (probably from a hobo) and she tried it on her bed.  She said she hated it so I asked if I could have it.  Oh man, if you've never slept on foam you don't even know what you are missing.  It seriously contours to every little dimple of your body.  It's like sleeping on a big, giant Care Bear cloud. I tried to take it off once and I slept for a few nights without it but every morning I woke up in so much pain.  My body was so stiff and sore without my memory foam.  Now it is aged (and has been peed on a few times - not by me, I swear!) so I should probably get a new one, but I have never seen foam like this before, it's seriously the thickest piece of foam I have ever seen!

3) I have paths of nudie magazines throughout my house
Just kidding.  But I do have paths of clothes throughout my room so that counts for something right?

4) I have developed a love for lawn mowers
Mostly because I never knew how to use one before.  Now I feel like I'm a pro.

5) I'm mean. 
But I'm working on being nice.


6) I'm alone. 
Probably because I'm mean and weird.

So you see, by the time I'm 80 I will probably be alone in a nursing home while my greedy children search through my home for fortunes I never actually had.  I must put an end to this now....but I'm still going to sleep on that rolled up old foam because without it my life will be over!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hello..this is my blog. I bought this fancy theme and I don't know what to write here just yet. Maybe one day remind me I have to write something inspiring here?

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