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Familial Frustration (standard:non fiction, 1686 words)
Author: GirlAdded: Feb 27 2001Views/Reads: 3476/2183Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
slightly exaggerated account of a trip i once took
 



My grandmother and I sat across the table from one another. It was a
distance no more than three feet but the difference in generation, 
personality, and values created a gap miles in length. 

“How are you, sweetie?” She had a look of genuine concern in her eyes.
She honestly cared to know. 

“Fine,” was my reply. I would not lift my eyes from the notebook in
front of me. 

“What are you doing?” 

“Writing.” 

“May I read it when you are done?” She, too, considered herself to be a
writer. I was unable to identify with her style any longer. She was 
best suited as an author of children’s literature, her preferred 
medium. Occasionally she attempted adult fiction but her formulaic plot 
lines and fluffy language made for a simplistic and uninteresting 
story. Reading such things felt like an insult to my intelligence. I 
resented her for trying and I resented her attempt at forging a bond 
through our common interest. 

“No,” I said shortly, finally looking up from my paper. I saw the lines
created by her smile fade from her cheeks as a look of discouragement 
appeared on her face. Her light blue eyes dropped to the glass table. I 
could see them droop in the reflection. I watched her poor fingers, 
bent and contorted from arthritis, as she began to nervously chip away 
at the wax that had dripping and solidified to the table during the 
Hanukkah celebration the night before. I felt bad. “I’m sorry,” I 
added, “I tend not to let family read my writing. But maybe I’ll read 
it to you later.” 

She smiled a bit. I could tell she was relieved. “Okay.” And she left.
Her absence eased my tension a great deal. Being one that sees little 
of my extended family and has a limited relationship with my nuclear 
family, this family reunion overwhelmed me. The constant presence of an 
uncle or grandparent was stifling. 

My twelve-year-old cousin exploded into the room in his usual dramatic
manner. A look of elation lit up his face when he noticed me sitting 
there. In what could only be described as a burst of vocal energy, he 
announced, “JULIA!” 

“MATTHEW!” I yelled with comparable enthusiasm. “Ah, how I’ve missed
you.” 

He hopped into my lap. He was still quite small, about four feet and
eight inches and ninety pounds. He had small facial features- a round, 
squished nose and a thin lipped, narrow mouth- but an enormous head. 
His eyes were large and blue, like my grandmother, but offset by his 
wire framed, oval glasses. In the heighth of fashion for the young 
skater, he was adorned in a plain t-shirt and corduroy shorts, both of 
which were much too large for him. “How do you like Hawaii the second 
time around?” 

“Still beautiful and still boring.” Unfortunately that was an honest
response. I felt shallow in my inability to appreciate the gorgeous 
setting for what it was and in the absence of constant activity. 
Truthfully it may have been possible in the company of friends rather 
than these strangers I call relatives. 

Shortly after Matthew followed Daniel, his older brother. Daniel was a
month younger than myself and the two of us were close. 

“Let’s walk,” I said upon his arrival. Lack of a formal greeting was
standard between the two of us. 

Escape was soothing for both of us; I because of my irrational
impatience with everyone and he because of his antisocial tendencies. I 
am not certain as to how I gained his trust but I am among the few with 
whom he will communicate on any level beyond polite conversation. Part 
of it was our similar intellectual pretension that brought us together. 
Part of it was our bond over the medications being forced upon us by 
psychiatrists. But he also looked up to me. Socially, I retained the 


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