|Closer To The Sun (standard:romance, 8046 words)|
|Author: 525||Added: Sep 22 2000||Views/Reads: 2508/1315||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A young man experiances and learns about love and death.|
Closer to the Sun 1 When I was fifteen, my grandmother was diagnosed with lung cancer. She had fallen in the shower and, amazingly enough, had not broken her hip, but while she was at the hospital having it checked, they had insisted on a full physical because it had been a long time since she had had one. That's when they found the cancer. It was in a pretty advanced stage and she was only expected to live about another six months. My family lived in Seattle, and my Dad worked at Boeing like sixteen hours a day, so my mom packed up my seven-year-old sister and me, and we went to Lakeside, California, to live with and take care of my grandmother in her final stages. Needless to say, I hated the idea. I had friends in Seattle, and a whole summer vacation with them would be taken from me. I had never spent much time with my grandmother so we weren't that close, and I didn't really see why I needed to be there, but my mom said I would have to help watch my sister, Anne, while she was looking after Grandma. Plus, Dad was never around, and she thought fifteen was still too young to be hanging out by myself all of the time. So we flew down to California and moved into my grandma's house. My first impression was that she didn't look very sick, but nobody talked about it openly (at least not with me), and the only real information I got was from overhearing her and my mom whispering about it at the kitchen table. I guess she had some pain that medication pretty much took care of, but she felt really tired all the time. 2 Two things stand out in my memory about this time and about the issue of my grandmotherís dying. First, in all of the secret meeting, kitchen conversations I eavesdropped on, I never heard any emotions. No crying, no declarations of love or regret, it seemed totally passionless. They would just talk like two people on the clock doing their part of a boring job, "Mornin,í Bob. Morning, Sam. How's the missus? Fine and yours? Fine..... Fine. Well I'll get to dying now. Great, I'll get to watchin ya. Have a nice day." The second thing that stands out in my head is that I hated that house. Maybe it was just the association with my grandma dying, but I swear, to me, that house was the tangible incarnation of the concept of death. What few lights there were, were rarely on and the sun shining on the back of the window shades seemed to cast evil shadows in corners and other places you might question. The shades themselves were the color of lifeless desert dirt. I imagine they got that way from years of the sunís hitting them, at one time they were probably off-white or maybe even white, but they had done their job - the job of keeping life out of the house - very well. There were bowls of hard candy that must have seen several presidents come and go, and if you tried to take one piece it was just the tip of the iceberg. They would all stick to each other and you would just end up with an inedible five pound piece of pure sugar. Weird faded wallpaper, weird furniture, weird floor coverings, but I guess all these things are probably run of the mill weird grandmother stuff. The thing that really got me was she had these big paintings hanging all over, portraits of people I didn't recognize. I don't know if they were famous, or family, or people she knew, or if she just liked them, but I know I hated them. They were scary. They had an overall darkness. None of the people in them looked happy or comfortable and they all had something (something you couldn't quite put your finger on) wrong with their eyes. I thought they were evil and I could convince myself the eyes would follow my movements. Maybe fifteen is a bit too old to be scared by paintings, but they were evil; the eyes did follow my movements. Needless to say, I wasn't interested in spending any more time in the house than I had to. So I tried to figure out what else there was to do. That was how I met Jessie and Katy. 3 The first time I met Jessie (well I guess I still didnít actually meet him), he scared the shit out of me. He came running around the corner of my grandma's house. He had put some kind of black face paint Click here to read the rest of this story (704 more lines)
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