falling off (the wagon): part 2



our car was broken.  but breaking down so close to grandma was ironically convenient. with the help of some screwdrivers and a culinary knife bought from cash&carry, we were able to limp the van to her apartment complex.  driving there, every light seemed to turn red before us as the thermostat rose higher and higher.  finally, the gauge had peaked about as far as it could go, with the telltale smell of smoke before self-combustion.  finally, we made it.  we rolled up on the sequoia house, an assisted living apartment complex, right next to the hospital where grandpa gordie died. a large sequoia tree marked the entrance,  looking strangely impotent surrounded by asphalt and the white columns of the convalescent center.

at last we found grandma mickie, an oasis of love and comfort amidst the turmoil of a broken down engine.  she insisted we eat, so we followed her down the burgundy carpeted halls, she chugging determinedly forward with her walker, to a cafeteria filled with all of the old folks.  we sat at a circular table for a feast of shit on a shingle, just a triangle of squishy wheat bread with a little turkey and gravy, that plus a dixie cup of broccoli salad and a big cup of jello salad.  it was all cold, and barely palatable, but i didn't complain.  because i was going to eat what everybody else ate.  a crazy old lady asked for seconds of jello, and i gave her ours.  i was terrified, but strangely at ease.  so this is where the old people go, i thought to myself, overwhelmed, not sure what to think about the glaring reality of it all.

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