Granny Time – 3e

Granny Time (500Words, Week 3, Day 5, 1/5/18)

Her knee bounced with a life of its own while Alice willed her grandmother to move faster. Her internal monologue was a recurrent chant of “Go, Granny, Go…Fast is better than slow…” as she stared at the back of her grandmother’s head. The chanting wasn’t having an impact on the speed of anything in the room, no matter how much intensity Alice used.

Every move her grandmother made was done in painful slow motion. It looked as if she were moving through a vat of invisible molasses. All her movements were normal in and of themselves, they just each took what seemed like forever to go from start to finish. All Alice needed her grandmother to do right now was wash her hands and come join her at the table. The food had arrived 20 minutes ago, and the sink was all of 10 steps from the table.  Alice checked her watch for the sixth time, wondering how long the food would hold its warmth, wondering if her grandmother would care if – just this once – Alice started eating without her, wondering if she’d be as slow when she was as old as her grandmother.

Her grandmother was 103 years old. Alice was 20.

“Granny, are you close to ready to eat? I’m worried that our food is getting cold.” Alice infused as much smile into her voice as she could. She didn’t want to upset or offend her Granny. She did want to eat as soon as possible.

“I’m closer to done than I was when I started.” Granny answered with a chuckle, clearly pleased with her clever joke. “Closer to death, too, so let’s not hurry things along.”

“Granny!” Alice wasn’t used to her grandmother’s dark humor, and knew that she was technically correct.

“Hush, child. We will eat soon enough and the food will be what it will be.” Granny had continued moving, slow as it was, through their interchange and now turned away from the sink. “Do you have somewhere better to be than sitting here with me? Something more compelling than lunch with your old Granny?”

Alice felt the shame that was intended. “No, Granny. I’m here with you all weekend. I’m just hungry. And I like hot food to be hot.”

“You have all this technology in your house and you’re worried about how long it takes me to wash my hands before we eat? Child, if it’s that much of a hardship for you to wait then go right ahead and get at that food. I’ll sit when I sit and will eat alone if I have to.” Granny had made it half-way to the table during her little speech.

“No, Granny. I want to eat with you. I will wait. I’m sorry to have rushed you.” Alice put her hands in her lap and forced her knee to stop bouncing.

“Sorry is for saps, child. Try again.”

“Right. Thank you for your patience with my impatience, Granny.”

Granny chuckled to herself. “That’s right, child. That’s better. And it sounds good, too. ‘Thank you for your patience with my impatience’ – maybe you should put that on a shirt and wear it next time I come over.”

“Touché, Granny.”


* All 500Words are fiction.  Any resemblance to people or events is strictly coincidental. *


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