The Grandmother and The Clock

There’s this clock in my basement. As the hand moves and the seconds tick by, it sounds very reminiscent of the clock that hung on the wall of my grandparents apartment when i was a boy. I never knew my grandfather, even though he died when i was 17. He was… sick and old by the time I grew up. He barely spoke. Barely moved. When he was 82, he had a stroke, paralyzing him on one side of his body. He passed away a few months after. My grandmother is still alive. I won’t say her age because I am superstitious about those kinds of things. She is approaching her late 80s. Anyway back to the apartment and the clock. When I was little, I’d stay with them sometimes when my parents left on vacation. I’d eat these sandwiches my grandma made which basically consisted of challa bread (its jewish), with sour cream on it and sugar sprinkled on top. It was delicious. I’d stay up watching the honeymooners and the wizard of oz on tbs. I once watched Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. I think I was 8. It was the scariest thing ever. It made me cry at the end when Jack died and they zoom in on that photo of him, amongst a large crowd, and the photo dated 1921. He was smiling in the photo. People tend to do that. Pictures can be worth a million words because they are a snapshot. This snapshot is usually of good times. Pictures are evil. Because they remind us of those good times that were, and how they will probably never repeat themselves. Anyway after falling asleep on the couch, my grandmother would place a chair by the couch. She was afraid I’d turn in my sleep and fall. I never did. But maybe because I knew the chair was there. Sometimes I’d have problem sleeping. A problem I had throughout my teens. Sometimes I couldnt fall asleep or wake up in the middle of the night. I’d wake my grandmother and she’d give me a glass of water to drink and would sit by me on the chair, until I fell asleep again. She did this many times when I visited. I remember sometimes hearing nothing but the clock during my sleepless nights. This clock was like a friend . It was always there, always ticking and tocking along. And the clock thats in my basement now reminds me of it. It sounds identical to it. Sometimes I  go down to the basement, and just stand there in the darkness and I listen to the clock tick and I am reminded of my childhood, and my grandparents, and all the great moments that were, and never will be again.

  1. March 5th, 2011

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