grandMother nods her head slowly, eyes closed, fingertips together, allowing the words she was just read to digest in her mind.
“So that was Roadtrip, then?”
“Yep,” I confirm. I close my laptop. “That was Roadtrip. What did you think?”
“Honestly, dear?” as she picks up the partial glass of alcohol that was next to me and sips at it, “I think it was kind of boring.”
“Yeah. You said that you’re going to include the part where you read it to me though, right? Our visit is going to be in the book?”
“Yeah, our visit today is going to be in the book. That’s actually the reason I’m republishing it, to be honest. You’re giving my work a whole new life.”
“Well that’s wonderful,” she says, then takes herself another sip of the maroon alcohol she poured for me. “And I’m going to be a character?”
“Yep,” I beam. It’s wildly cool that grandMother is so interested in my work like this, I’ve never had somebody care this much before.
“Good, good. I’ll probably make your little book so much more interesting than it already was. So uh, are you going to drink or not?”
‘God damnit,’ I think to myself. “Umm…” I say, stalling. “I don’t know, I mean, I have to drive a half hour home, and I’m going to work on slapping the new Roadtrip together all night so I can submit it for publishing tomorrow…”
“So uh,” G-Mah says, placing the eighth-full glass on top of my laptop, “are you going to drink or not?”
I look at the glass. It’s very little. Smaller than the jar of spiked tequila Uncle Skylar was drinking the night I tried to step on a sharp piece of shale and the shale disagreed. The liquid inside is thick like the blood that spewed from the laceration in my right foot, leaves a coating on whatever part of the glass it touches – I know this because I’m holding it in my hand, swishing the potion around, painting the inside of the vessel so I can watch it clean itself before I paint it again. Am I going to drink?
“Nah,” I say, placing the glass on the table. “Just give it to Uncle Bill, he’ll drink it.”
“Uncle Will, you mean? Right, hun??” G-Mah asks, genuinely sounding concerned. “He isn’t coming here for a few days, only visits his mother once every two weeks. He’s a scoundrel, hun, never listen to him. Always the victim, I swear to God.”
“What?” I ask, bewildered. “He got here a couple minutes after I started reading, what are you talking about?”
G-Mah says nothing.
“He’s, he’s in the bathroom right now. I mean, he went in there a while ago, but he probably just fell in the toilet or something.”
“Hun… honey, your Uncle Will didn’t come here today. It’s just been me and you. And Mango, but she’s a cat.”
“What?” I fall into my head for a moment. That’s impossible. I saw him walk up the road. He was reading a newspaper, he was… oh shit, he was half naked the whole time, wasn’t he? Ohhhh boy.
“Um…” I say, trying to find the words. “Was, uh… was Mango… floating? ”
Grandma looks at me like I just said the dumbest shit I possibly could have said. “Yes, obviously. You were staying here the night she ate all those magnets off the fridge, you know she can float. She kept hiding your crutches on the roof, remember?”
“Oh yeah, because consuming magnets in this Universe makes you float. I’d not have gotten my crutches back otherwise.” *wink*
“Yeah… did you forget that or something?”
“N–… I mean, I just felt like saying it aloud like that.” *wink*
“Why do you keep winking?” grandMother asks me, nervous.
*wink* “I don’t know.” My eyelid is twitching uncontrollably, it won’t stop. *wink* “I can’t stop it,” *wink* *wink* “though.” *wink* *wink* *wink*
I slap myself in the face, hard. Not quite hard enough to leave a swollen handprint across my cheek and eye, but plenty hard enough to scare G-Mah into a temporary state of incontinence. Despite the collateral damage, the slap seems to cure my muscle spasms.
God damn it. Moving on now, “So uh… Uncle Bill really wasn’t here today?”
“Will. And no… he was not,” grandMother confirms, looking at my glass. “But you are, so… are you going to drink?”
Am I going to drink?
“C’mon, hun, you were seeing things again. Don’t you think you should drink? Maybe it’ll help you. All the other medications clearly don’t.”
“But I don’t take any other medications, Gram,” I say, weighing the alcohol against my morality. “Besides, alcohol a gateway drug or something, isn’t it? Same as wee–”
“Okay, listen here. Gateway drugs? That’s all bullshit, dear, and here’s why: I’ve done more drugs than you even know about, honey I have put shit up my nose that you don’t even know exists, and you know what I tried first? Dihydrogen monoxide.”
I grimace. Sounds nasty. “What the hell is that?”
“It’s water, dear,” G-Mah says. I bet she’s remembering the time I told her I got a forty-two on my final exam in high school chemistry. “I drank water before I drank alcohol, smoked marijuana, dropped acid, rolled ecstasy–”
“OKAY!” Her stare is that of slaughter. “Sorry. Okay. I get it. Maybe I will take a sip, I don’t know, I… I have to get going, I–”
“Honey. Drink the fucking alcohol.”
I drink a little, tiny sip of the alcohol.
It’s terrible, disgusting, the worst thing I’ve ever tasted, the berry flavor is almost nice but the rest… what the fuck is this shit?! It hurts, it makes my tongue want to shrivel up, it… my throat’s all warm now, that’s… kind of nice. And… I feel… like… I don’t know. Words, man. I don’t even care right now.
“This is alcohol?” I ask grandMother. She looks prouder than I’ve ever seen her.
“That’s alcohol, son. You’re welcome.”
“Thank you, Gee-Mah,” I say, overcome with a lack of sobriety. I don’t even know what to say, I– oh wait, yes I do. “If this is alcohol, what’s the rest of the stuff like? Like, what’s pot like?”
“Ohhh no!” G-Mah warns, clipping my waxy wings. “Oh no, you don’t gotta be worrying about all that quite yet. You have a long way to go before you start experimenting, young man. Learn the alcohol first and move on from there.”
“All right all right, fine,” I say. Inside my head, my brain begins to spin rapidly over the possibilities of altering… no, of enhancing my consciousness with drugs.
grandMother pours a little more liquor into her bottle and she and I finish our drinks together as the sun sets. Eventually, when my head stops spinning and I feel capable of walking again, I pack up all my things and prepare to leave. Mango runs in (I guess she finished the catnip) and hovers off the floor to give me a proper hug. Then I hug Gram, and then we all walk out to my car. Well, G-Mah wheels, but you know what I mean.
As I’m about to man the driver’s seat, G-Mah grabs the tattered collar of my shirt and whips me back out as though I forgot to give her a hug goodbye or something crazy like that.
“Hey hun, before you go, remember that other thing you wrote about me?”
“The other thing I wrote?” I ask, entirely uncertain of what she speaks.
“Yeah, it was about Mister Trump. You read it to me a couple days before Uncle Skylar glued your foot back together.”
“Oh yeah! Yeah, A Street Sign And A Bumper Sticker, right?”
“Sure, why not? Well, the reason I was asking is, since your new book is going to be about me anyway, can you put that little thing in? I think it’s safe to say I was your inspiration for writing it. Technically I wrote it for you, if you really think about it, and since you need to pay me back for all my hard work now… well, I think Mister Trump deserves his day in your book.”
My grandMother, the one and only G-Mah, looks up at me with more hope in her eyes than she’s held there all day, not quite pouting nor quite pleading. There is little to nothing I can do.
“Sure Gram,” I say as the walls all cave in, “I gotchu. I added an appendix to the running book, might as well add one to this one too.”
This has been the afterwards of the book Roadtrip: The ¡Gramango! Edition. Here is everything you need to know about it:
The ¡Gramango! Edition
- A satirical travel novella about an author reading the actual travel novella to his grandmother
- Book stats:
– 202 pages
– 37,117 words
– Spiral: The Highest One Writing | Arc: II
– Series: W-63 | Entry: 2
– Revision Date: June 10, 2021
- Click here to read the book for free
- Buy from Amazon:
– eBook: $2.50
– Paperback: $5.46
- Buy from The Hillside Commons:
– Signed Paperback: $14.00
I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.
The Hillside Commons has a Facebook page, too. Here’s that.
If you’re there, hypothetical reader, thank you for being there. From this day on, we move forever forward~