Thursday, July 2, 2009


we’d been talking about
about how it could destroy
your memory
make you just sit
in the same room
or the same bar
saying the same things
over and over
introducing yourself
again and again
my grandpa was drinking
Ketal One on the rocks
god bless him
maybe the nicest man in the world
tied with my father
but my grandpa
his memory was going
not from drinking
just from living
just being alive slowly gnaws at your life
just being alive kills you
he took a hit from his glass
and turned to me
“Jack,” he said
everyone became silent
even the kids
they stopped playing with their food
stopped asking for more cake
“I have a very serious question for you.”
I blinked and smiled and thought,
“oh, shit. Here we go. Another
lecture maybe,
about how I should avoid
losing my memory
to drinking.”
I looked at my parents
at my sister and brother in law
they all stared back
I remembered a similar time
when my grandmother was alive
she’d sip manhattans in her apartment
and during dinner
she’d ask about my drinking
tell me that I was drinking too much
that it would ruin my life
wreck my body and my mind
she’d tell me
to basically cut the shit
god bless her, too
she meant well
but I didn’t take to the advice
so I looked back at my grandpa
my dear, old grandpa
he took another hit of vodka
and said, “now, answer me truly,
do you have a chick?”
there was a moment of silence
before I burst out laughing and said,
“oh geez. You had me worried
for a minute there. Listen,
I’ll send you some pictures, grandpa.”

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