The Locker (6)

April 14, 2020

download-5.jpg

One hundred years ago, where you’re standing was more a frontier than a county. The Golden Gate Bridge hadn’t been built yet. Folks still got around on horses. Once a swamp, Chicago had already been drained and laid over with clay bricks that one could still find if he knew where to look. You recall your grandfather telling you about the horse drawn ice truck he worked on, every morning before dawn the sound of hooves clapping over those clay bricks, delivering sawn blocks of Lake Michigan to restaurants and saloons.

Grandpa Jack almost made it to 100. As far as you know he’d been happy through most of it. He liked watching sports on TV (the Bears and the White Sox but never the Cubs), and, in his last years, riding the senior bus to the casinos where he played the slots and bet on the ponies.

As a child, you saw your grandparents periodically, when they were your age now. But you didn’t really know them. Their lives were like dusty books you had no interest in reading. Maybe you’d picked up on your father’s ambivalence to them or, more likely, you were simply too preoccupied with yourself. By the time you became a teen-ager, the last thing you wanted to do was drive out and see them. This would not change, even after siring your own children. Schlepping the kids 40 miles only to watch them squirm seemed like torture. Begrudgingly, you did it, but it was like checking a box. Hit the early bird buffet and have your family back in the city before nightfall. ______’s attitude was better but even she came to view it as an obligation. Your daughters never had a chance. The chain of indifference perpetuated. You marvel how anyone could truly adore his or her elders. Stuns you whenever you hear someone say his or her best friend was grandpa or grandma. Such a different experience than yours, sometimes you think those people were lying.

To be continued…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: