Grandpa Jeff

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic

For K.H.

So I'm going to visit my grandpa, who's been in jail for thirty years now for killing some dude, right? Now, don't ask me who he killed or why he killed him, 'cause I don't know. People always ask me and I tell them, "I don't know".

Now, I don't know why he called me to visit him. I hardly know the guy. The last time I saw him I was four years old. The last thing I remember him doing was throwing me into a pool to teach me how to swim. I remember that I was gasping for air, and I could hear my momma freaking out, going all like "MY BABY! MY BABY!" Everything worked out, though. I actually learned to swim. Except that when I got out of the water, my grandpa had disappeared. Now, I didn't know it at the time, but it turns out that my grandpa had been addicted to heroin ever since my daddy was born.

So I'm going to visit this sleazy-ass good-for-nothing heroin addict stranger that's never been there for anyone but wants to see me.

Now here's where it gets weird.

I'm at the visitor's room, and these two cops are bringing him in. Does anyone else remember when cops used to be people? Some of you might be too young to know this, but when I was growing up, cops used to be real-life human beings, instead of those RoboCop cyborg things they've got now.

Right, so they're bringing my granda in, and he looks like crap, right? He looks like someone took a skeleton and covered it in chocolate syrup or something. When I say he was all skin and bones, I'm not exaggerating. He was all skin and bones. So they sit him down, and he's all serious and sad-looking, right? Which is weird, because I always remembered him as being either really funny or really angry. I remember one time I was over at his house and he was cracking jokes like "What's long and black? The line at the unemployment office" or, you know, stuff like "How many Jews can you fit in a Volkswagen? 2 in the front, 3 in the back, and 5 in the ashtray". So anyways, I'm sitting there listening to him tell jokes, drinking my juice, when all of a sudden, I drop my juice. Now, the reason I dropped it was 'cause I was laughing so hard. My grandpa sees the mess I made on his carpet, and he starts freaking out, being all like "YOU BLACK MIDGET BITCH! GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY APARTMENT BEFORE I WHOOP YOUR ASS TO KINGDOM COME, BOY!" And I go home crying and stuff, you know.

So I'm sitting there with my grandpa, and I can't think of anything to say except "hi" or "how's it going?". And he just kinda stares at me all gloomy and stuff, and neither of us say anything for a while, until finally he says,

"I've had a religious experience, Walter."

And I'm just kinda sitting there being all like "okay".

"I've decided to become a priest. A papas, if you will. I've had a meeting, an encounter, with a spirit, a being from another plane of existence.

I just sat there and didn't say anything, I mean, how do you respond to something that crazy?

"I've been in solitary confinement, Walter."

Which made sense to me at the time. I figured that that was why he was so insane.

"I was violent once. Not anymore. I've decided to join my brothers Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X in service of a higher power. This spirit, he told me that his kind was called a theo-tita. He taught me his language, the language they speak in Heaven. He told me the secrets of the Universe."

By now I figured that he was so crazy that he would try to hurt me if I made him mad. So I decided to play along and I asked him "What was he like?"

"Oh, he was massive. He nearly took up the entire cell. He looked like a big red crab, only there was a mask on his face. He said his real name was unpronouncable unless you were in Heaver, but that on planet Earth, he went by the name of Cancer."

And then we just sat there staring at each other again, and I was about to leave when he says,

"Walter, he had a message for you. He left me messages for everyone. He told me-"

And this is where it gets really weird. My grandpa started talking in like Chinese or some weird-ass language like that. Which is weird, because my grandpa didn't know how to read. It sounded kinda like-

"-tengonisapasume'. Sanatos, sanatossergatay. Deprepenapornostayshitapertoo. Scissoroseonenayenjee."

And he starts coughing like he's dying, you know, there's blood and mucus and spit everywhere.

"I know this is confusing, but it is not my job to interpret the will of the Almighty. I am merely a messenger. But if I can give you any advice, Walter, please, go home, be with your kids."

And that's when I started freaking out in my head okay? Because I knew that no one told him that I had kids. No one in my family ever visited him, except for his son, my dad, who died before I had kids.

But it gets weirder.

The next day, I see some thing on the news. They said that one of the prisoners at the jail had just vanished, okay, like he was just gone, no trace, no sign of escape, nothing. So I keep watching, and it turns out the guy was my grandpa.


Why you laughing? That wasn't a joke. That was real. I swear I ain't crazy.

Submitted: April 09, 2012

© Copyright 2022 Durden Pitt. All rights reserved.

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