Before I showed up around Christmastime, no one had lived in this house for almost 700 days. I have mentioned this a lot but that is so strange to me. It’s a god darn time capsule the size of a condominium. I mean despite the fact that my grandmother lives half a mile away, she is probably never going to see any of this stuff again. I’ve found Austrian passports from the 1920s, pictures just as old . . . lord, she has her mother’s old walking stick, which has little metal pins on it from all the countries she traveled to. She has postcards from Austria from the ’60s and ’70s. She’s kept every birthday card anyone has ever sent her. What do you do with this stuff?
She told me I can keep the coffee table and two side tables she had hand-carved in Peru many decades ago. I gotta figure out how to ship them eventually but oh lord I will take care of those forever. I have also set aside many of my grandfather’s old books, which he put little red checkmarks in the margins next to passages he liked. He had very neat handwriting. In the first few pages he always wrote “BURKS / [whatever year he bought the book].” I don’t know, that’s cool.
Anyway I wake up every day expecting to find her in the kitchen. It’s really sad. This is probably going to be the last time I ever see the place like it always was. My mother is moving in next month and she’s going to change it all around. Man.