“The woman across the street died.” She meant the women across the hall from her room. Why she’s been consistently confusing “street” with “hall” is not entirely clear to me. “She was young.”
“What do you mean she was young?”
“Well, she was a young grandmother. Her daughter was young and her grandchildren were babies.”
She handed me a handwritten list of news headlines that she said she copied down from the TV. Most of them were about death. My grandmother is obsessed with death.
“I copied this out so that you could read the news.”
Wow, that’s really crazy, I thought.
“My handwriting is terrible now. It’s because my hands shake. It’s just dreadful, isn’t it?”
“Yes, it is. I’m ashamed to be called your grandson.”
She laughed at my joke. I was pleased that she got it.
“I think it’s your parents’ fault that you don’t read the news.”
“Sure, if you say so.”
When it was time to go, she insisted I take her handwritten headlines with me so that I could read them. I obliged, and as soon as I was out of sight, I threw the paper in the garbage. It’s a shame she felt compelled to do so much pointless busy work, but there’s no reason for her to know that.
On my way home, I ran into my scriptwriting teacher from a few years back. I’ve always referred to him as “The Beast.” The Beast asked what I’m up to these days, and I told him I’m back in university, taking English. Apparently his daughter is doing the exact same thing, and when I asked her name, I realized that she’s in my class, and that I’d already talked to her. Small world. When I had spoken to her, I found out she worked at Stinky Wrinkles, a place that used to employ me, and the place where Ema currently works. It is a small, small world. His daughter’s hot, too, but I think she’s taken. I think she has a baby on the way, too, but that’s only something I think I overheard. Anyway, I was happy to see his face again.