The Best Time

By Linda Crowe

December 22, 2014

The Best Time

Nighttime is the best time. I peek in and watch him sleep in his dim room. Sometimes he talks in his dreams. "Mansion Hills, yeah, yeah. Mansion Hills. Good old 2807," and I know he’s wandering through his house and his neighborhood, a nice enough neighborhood, but with a name far above its station.

I walk over to the side of his bed and put my hand on his arm. Dark purple splotches— bruises whose genesis he’ll not remember— lie beneath skin thin and dry as Bible paper. He wakes without a start, with his gap-toothed smile. "Where you been all my life?"

I climb up on his bed and sit with my back against the wall, my legs perpendicular over his legs, like I’m still his kid and he’s still my dad.

We hold hands. "How’s the pottery? How’s Kevin? How’s Tim the dog?" His sleepy eyes hold the shadow of a challenge. He’s remembered these things. He got them right, and we both know it.

He squeezes my hand. "I’d marry you in a second," he says, and we both chuckle. He knows he’s too old for me, and maybe something else.

It’s late, he’s rested. We’re comfortable in his dim room.

 

Photo "Holding Hands with Grandpa" provided by Greg Younger, via Flickr creative commons license.

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