Thursday, April 24, 2014
the green wallpaper
The green walls in his house made his emerald eyes glow beside crow’s feet, an outward sign of his moments spent in laughter. At 7 I was almost as tall as him.
“It’s because I’m Irish,” he’d say, giving me a little pat on the head. Ah, the luck of the Irish.
The moan of the coffee machine kept me glued to the counter, watching the chemistry bubble and steam. He’d always fix me a bowl of cream-of-wheat, and pretend he didn’t see me pour an entire handful of sugar from the crystal shaker into my mouth. The perfect grandfather.
Walking down the hallway toward the video room was always an exciting adventure, like searching for a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. The blue carpeted room was lined with home movies and recorded rentals, the titles often spelled wrong in his half-upper, half-lower case scrawl.
“Pick anything you want, honey,” he would coo, the crinkled lines returning to the corners of his eyes.
It didn’t matter how many times I went into that room, but I always ended up choosing his copy of The Labyrinth, fully aware that the first half of the movie weaved between black and white and color video.
I would settle onto the couch, with Beanie at my feet, a bowl of grapes by my side and an unfinished puzzle sprawled on the oak coffee table, waiting for its completion to reveal a scene of the eastern coastline.
And at the end of the day I would read a Goosebumps novel out loud, snuggled beneath a blanket, hoping he wouldn’t fall asleep again and miss the best part.