Today’s 10 minute tuesday features Grandmother Cummings. She is Troy’s- Libby’s boyfriend- grandmother. She drives a Mercedes that runs on vegetable oil. She drinks water that has been filtered through a reverse osmosis process. She’s Troy’s guardian while his father is away in Iraq. She works late nights in a diner to take care of the family needs. Troy has been known to rub her feet to relieve the pressure of varicose veins that she gets from standing all day. I’m pretty sure she smokes pot on the weekends. She only goes to church on the holidays but sends Troy every Sunday. I’m pretty sure she does yoga at the YMCA for exercise.
“How’s my future, Gran-daughter in law?” she asked turning to me. I took a long sip of the water, wishing it was caramel and would glue my mouth closed just for a bit. Troy returned to his duty behind the mower, leaving me to field the tough questions by myself.
“I’m doing well, ma’am,” I said.
“That’s not what I hear,” she lifted her eye brown and peered at me as if to reprimand me for telling a lie. I wasn’t lying.
“I’m not dead,” I said with a shrug. The click-click-click of the mower became faint as Troy moved further away from the driveway.
“While that is good, I meant your sight. Word on the street has it that you’re having some sort of difficulty seeing?”
Word on the street. I almost chuckled at the sound of it but it was too frustrating to laugh about. By street she meant Daddy and my church. By word, she meant rumors. I guess there are worst rumors she could have heard. Like the one about last Spring.
“Its getting worse I guess, but you know, nothing that a little prayer can’t fix,” I said, mimicking Daddy’s enthusiasm. I forgot who I was speaking to because she gave me another skeptical look that said, ‘really, you believe that?’ You never can tell with some people on which side of the faith debate they fall.
“What about your future? You’re only young once. You’ve got to take full advantage of it before you two settle down,” she looked more emphatic then ever, as if her belief in Troy’s and my future wasn’t just stuff of wishful thinking. I crossed my hands behind my back and squeezed out the excitement and the anxiety of that idea. “what if all of that doesn’t work?”
My anxiety intensified. I hadn’t ever thought of the idea of the praying not working out. I shrugged my shoulders, and she looked both disappointed at my faithful attitude.
“You know what you need, young lady?”
“An attitude adjustment?” I said, repeating what I’d often heard T.V. parents say to their shrugging “i don’t know” attitude teenagers.
“You need a plan,” she stated, nodding her head with emphasis. “a good plan.”
Image: ‘Senior couple on cycle ride‘