Let’s pretend that we are all characters in this larger than life fictitiously real novel (as if none of us has ever fantasied about that – I mean you’re here reading this random blog on the internet aren’t you? Thinking in the back of your mind that it’s some other piece of short fiction in another person’s very surreal-real made believe life. ) That’s besides the point though. No sense in driving you off any who.
So, assuming we are all characters in this bad humored play, there’s no denying that it appears there’s always an attached sense of novelty with this sort of idea. As if everything else we thus pour forth henceforth isn’t of the same humanely fault as it would have been judged for otherwise. It all ties together with a great deal of human ego I assure you. No other animal in the kingdom would bore their life away thinking their life would ultimately be summarized in say, 15 to 30 chapters and that’ll just be that.
I’ll provide an example, no worries, at the very expense of my coming off as a complete insensitive asshole. But then again, that’s besides the point. My mind’s eye as an audience is certainly going nowhere. How did you think we ended up here?
I’ve often read in those casually slippery real life novels about being in a situation near a person of death and how a true protagonist might react to it. That is to say – nobly. The most prominent presence I felt while visiting my grandmother in her senior home was just that – the feeling of death. A cloak of sweet sick yellow light that just as quickly waned from the glories of summer into the cold sweat above my lip. I turned my eye up to look at where my mom had settled herself in an odd fetal position on a pull out chair and thought how much this was like a mother’s womb of sorts. We were all half suffocated and tied down with lethargy, like the mother ship is calling us home. Of course, I averted my eye away before realizing in an odd clairvoyance that this was all there was to life. It was a ridiculous 28 degrees outside on a Saturday and here I was having my dress stick to my ass in a old people’s home. I felt, for lack of better words, just like a boiling pot of hate.
The accompaniment to this sort of lazy, die-away afternoon was my grandmother’s most incessant wordless mumbles. A constant oscillation of a desultory sort; where you only catch drifts and bits of it but it’s enough to let you know that you don’t want to know what she’s talking about. It’s a fantastic way to voice the prelude to death if someone had asked for it. I hadn’t asked for it.
In the drawn out time my grandmother had gone downstairs to fetch – now I forget what – my mother managed to have me promote the unfeeling tacitness of my general personality to a straight laced captain; I was so fed up. Why do people have to do that? I kept thinking to myself, Why try to lay over this sort of stand-still icky feeling with an obtuse enthusiasm about your goddamn store bought sushi. I just kept sipping at my other store bought Asian lemonade drink. I’m pretty sure I actually commented aloud about this vocal feature of her’s, to which she only pouted and said I ought to accept her for who she is – and that’s just who she is. And this is who I am. She might have gone on for another extensive 5 minutes, but I said, Okay, alright. So why are you still talking about it? That shut her up.
From the corner of my vision I saw her watch me. Or that might have just been another slick trick of the human mind – when have we not caught ourselves once imagining a trained eye on us to find nobody had really taken notice. It’s cruel to say, but the more pronounced my mother’s efforts became, the more I wanted to stick to my obstinate silence which I knew drove her to further pursuits of empty happiness. I just kept my scowl and she kept her semblance of a pout.
We were a mother and daughter sulking pathetically on a visit for grandma.
The strange thing is that I had never quite felt this way at my grandmother’s senior home. That statement may very well be laid over with the basic human adaptability to soften any past offences, but I will stick to it. I had never felt so sick to be in that room and felt so strongly in that I was surely wasting my life away. I still do presently feel a fondness for my grandmother. Perhaps this is just natural human ego trying to deface death. She’s plenty healthy though, so let’s not get onto any ominous ideas of jinxes and what not.
In the end it only turned out to be an hour and a half’s visit. It still rung in my head when my grandmother barely raised her voice to complain that we were leaving so soon and the reaction of bitter annoyance was immediate. We left, really, because I asked whether it was time for us to get ice cream. I am, I suppose, at the age of a young adult and I’ve really just outdone myself in this matter.
This is just one of those strange things where, as a writer, or whatever your virtue and vice might be, you have to cloak it in the chaos of a story you might have come across at one time or another. Place yourself in the very real yet theoretical shoes of lovable bastards from Nick Hornby’s poetic venture’s of the world’s finest blokes, to hateful and angry, abused young adults-still children penned by Wally Lamb that ultimately are not hateful themselves at all. Or of the simple day to day life of a certain colorless Japanese man given the name Tsukuru Tazaki whose very basic summary as a story wouldn’t account to much but you still happen to find yourself thinking back onto it and feeling gratified that it appeared so much sensitivity within the immediate rushing throngs of people in Tokyo.
It’s all just too much to take in and claim it to be your’s at times when you find yourself frowning and pouting about what to do for the rest of the day when your mother was only asking to be kind. I don’t know..I just don’t. Do whatever you want – why do you even ask? We do inconsolable things like scolding our mothers for dumping her rest-of-her-life on us by throwing us into the deep end about investments and shitty financial advisers that should have known better – all the while thinking dreamily in our heads about whether the slightly attractive young adviser we met today had been interested at all. At least the slightest graze of human moral reminds us that weren’t we supposed to be harboring and brewing over a senseless crush on a coworker because of an odd occasion of nice-sity?
I don’t know.. I just don’t.
Sometimes it’s quite exhausting even pretending like you’re some fantastical character in a slightly hopeful and marginally above average novel. It’s more along the lines of slouching on your grandmother’s twin bed, knowing your mother must be thinking how she doesn’t know this child of her’s at all while not really thinking anything real nor concrete in your head – for a rarity – the only constant is the dreams of driving coast side and catching the sunshine spilling out of the trees in between your fingers. Just driving on and on, in a road that stretches, bends, ebbs, and pulls away into another corner. The yellow and white marking as your guideline.