For several years after they passed away, my grandparents’ aluminum mobile home sat vacant and pretty soon it was fenced inside with my little sister’s cranky, man-eating horses and periodically I’d crack myself up pretty good trying to reenact scenes from Mister Ed but after some time had passed I’d get tired of cajoling the entitled, big brats and we’d all go back to minding our own business (but watching our backsides) and then something would happen like this exposure that’s nothing but woodsmoke and reflections but which would give me that distinctly warm and fuzzy cross processed feeling though I’ve never been a card-carrying member of that club.
Tomorrow I have to go back for a third attempt at a stubborn crown which will not squish down where it’s supposed to go no matter how hard the dentist sits on my head and tugs (and pushes) which reminds me of when I used to stumble upon my grandmother’s dentures soaking for the night on the formica vanity in this little sea-foam colored, oval plastic number. Nigh impossible was it to resist the closer examination of that disembodied, grotesquely pink mouth which I found only slightly less horrifying (but not as uproariously funny) than Grandma’s comically gummy smile first thing in the morning after a sleepover, she always let me have her room. She’d make me her special pancakes on the gas griddle and I’d read the funnies or sports pages and then maybe I’d Windex the windows for her and don’t forget that would be the era during which time the special formula was something like a hundred and ten percent ammonia, which I couldn’t get enough of inside each deep breath, which sure may go a long way toward explaining a thing or two, I am turning into such a dadblame idiot these days. Or maybe we’d sit across from each other in the living room and gab. She and I used to watch television soap operas together, after school. I’ll never forget one of the last Christmases we spent at home, after Grandpa had died and Grandma moved in with my parents and the house was happy but claustrophobic as hell so in the middle of a wicked snowstorm every single one of us ended up with such a raging case of diahrrea that no one will ever forget the Winter of 1999 and on the flight home to Seattle right at the unfortunate twenty four hour Got it Bad, Real Bad apex I became exquisitely in touch with nerve endings I didn’t know existed.
The boys find it uproariously funny when I tell them stories about what a big ol’ tattle-tail (tattle-tail tattle-tail, hangin’ by the bull’s tail, when the bull begins to pee, you’ll get a cup of tea!) their great-grandma, was. She had eyes in the back of her head and we constantly got caught sneaking around up on the hill in the soaringly-high barn hayloft tracking down feral kittens or hiding out in the abandoned, falling-down farmhouse which was deadly as all get-out but offered unforgettable adventures. When she started shouting for Grandpa someplace who-knows-where out in the barnyard doing something extremely concentration-sensitive with oily machines, you knew it was time to get outta dodge but it was customary to circle around and stop by at the trailer to sit with her. Lord, I miss her real bad.