“Soooo uhhh….” he laughed a bit, as he always does when he feels uncomfortable.
“Soooooo.” I mimicked, “Soooooo I started my new job today.”
“Oooooh.” He replied, the end of his response going up an octave in unison with his eyebrows. “What…uh…what is it that you are….that is happening?”
“Well, I’m teaching!” I summed up to keep it simple.
“Are your stocks up?” He asked.
“Well….” I pondered the question, looking for a translation. When I couldn’t think of one, I decided to interpret it as though he were just being poetic. “Well I suppose I would say yes. I’m much more stable than I was before and my future is looking positive. I’d invest in me.”
He laughed as I broke into a smile.
“Were they good kids?” He asked standing and bumping his head on the chandelier. As the tumor grows and the dementia progresses Grandpa has started losing certain functions like speech, spatial reasoning, and his shoes. He’s been stumbling around like a drunkard, bumping into the door frames and tripping over his untied shoelaces. Heather also caught him eating Noxema, though I can’t say I blame him. It really looks like whipped dream heaven in a cute little single-serving blue jar.
“Sure…the kids are pretty good.” I was making my first attempt at breading a porkchop. I knew it involved rubbing the meat in butter and could only assume the next step was lathering on the bread crumbs.
“Are you making it?” He asked sincerely. “The…the stuff.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out his wallet.
Laughing I told him that yes, I was making money.
“It’s a big kid job.” He determined.
“Yep!” I was pleased, “My first big kid job.”
“Well, at least you got the chance to take a chance.” He concluded.
“HaHa! I’ll say!” I patted him on the back. “Now what do you think?” I dangled my sadly breaded pork chop in the air for his approval.
“Ohhhhh WOW!” He drooled, eyes soaking in the vision of my soggy bread job. He is always so flattering. You’d think I was Bobby Flay.
He watched as I shoved the pork chop into the oven to bake. “Whatchoo getchoo whatchoo whatchoo eh?” He said, peering over my shoulder.
“HaHa. Pardon?” I turned to look at him.
“Where’s the pairway?” He asked leaning back on the counter.
“Ummm…” I paused, “Yea…I don’t know what you mean.”
“In Springfield? That’s where the school is.”
“No.” He gave me an exasperated sigh and careened violently off into the darkness like a drunken sailor, only to reappear again in a few minutes with the remote control. “The PAIRWAY.” He put it on the counter.
Laughing I glanced at the clock. Time for the News.
Back in the family room, as I snuggled into the side chair and watched Grandpa awkwardly arrange himself behind his TV tray, he ordered me to “raise the controls”.
“You want to volume up?” I asked.
“What?” He asked me, as though I were the one speaking in my own version of pig latin.
“The VOLUME!” I said distinctly, “Do you want it LOUDER!”
“Oh this is what you mean!” He stood and went to the TV, adjusting the volume manually with ease. He gave me a curt nod, pleased with his display of manliness in my time of need, then lopped back down behind his TV tray.
“Sure. Good. Thank you so much!” I nodded my approval.
“Bob Saget.” He replied, throwing his hat onto the coffee table and tucking the pairway into his shirt pocket.