My parents aren't home yet.
They left to accompany my stubborn brat of a grandmother, rushed to the hospital with Grandpop. He had a low temperature, yes a low temperature, not a high temperature, not a fever, low. Earlier, I walked into the kitchen and mom asked, "what does a low temperature mean?", without context. I asked her what she meant, she said, "low body temperature", as in, the medical sense. All I could think of the symptom was hypothermia or drug overdose.
However, Grandpop is quite dry, and quite sober as well. He does have blood pressure issues, so the low temperature could be very well indicative of death coursing on his heels. I knew he'd been in a bad state these past few days, as grandparents so often are. But why aren't my parents home yet?
Perhaps he is dead. I wouldn't feel sad about that, I'm also so unmoved by death. He just won't be around this Christmas, that's all, I guess. It doesn't matter how much he's given me; he's the only reason I have any bit of intelligence in me. He's the reason I'm writing this, both the inspiration and execution.
He was among the inventors of synthetic rubber, and holds a PhD in philosophy, which I didn't learn about until I saw the diploma in my grandparent's basement this year. They had lots of old books, including one ancient guide book for boys. That guidebook suggests brandy as a remedy for all illnesses and claims that lightening is some sort of "electric liquid". I left the book, in the house my dad grew up in.
Grandpa is my dad's dad, he's the source of my surname, "Shelley". People always call me Shelley, like it's my first name; the number who don't know my first name because of it is astounding. Whenever someone calls my name, will I think of Grandpop, poor, cold Grandpop? Will the be calling out to him, so high on the family tree? In he in a stale, stained hospital bed or one of those big filing cabinets for cadavers?
My parents aren't home yet, I don't know why they aren't home yet; I'm getting nervous and am without means to distract myself. What if he's dead? I'll spend all next week without means of communicating to my mourning parents, my dad will be horribly depressed once again and probably break down, my mom won't try to think about anything and I won't be able to converse with her. They'll make me shave my beard for the funeral, probably because facial hair is considered unsightly by my mom. I won't get my wisdom teeth out on Thursday, as is planned, I won't spend the end of spring break drugged up on painkillers and watching shit movies with throbbing pains of nausea in my stomach. I'll go to school and maybe, if word gets out, nobody will know how interact with me. That's fine; recently I've been fine. I don't know how to interact with me.
I made coffee. I don't want to drink it, I'm not hungry, I'm not thirsty. I want to listen to sappy sad music. And king of sap, Mr. Oberst, agrees:
I need to get lost in something.