|Familial Frustration (standard:non fiction, 1686 words)|
|Author: Girl||Added: Feb 27 2001||Views/Reads: 3476/2183||Story 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 Click here to read the rest of this story (98 more lines)
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