Crazy Grandma is one of those people who are really hard to like. Do I love her? Of course. Is she crazy? Why yes.
She wasn’t easy to live with, maybe that’s why my mom got pregnant and ran off as soon as she could, leaving me, two pregnancies later, with her. My grandpa wasn’t so bad, in fact he was a tall, funny, handsome enjoyable man to be around. My grandma, however, lacked these admirable human characteristics which make people want to love you. Loving a manic depressant is easy, living with one isn’t.
There wasn’t ever a day that went by in which I hadn’t caused some sort of outburst or look of disapproval. Getting into trouble, whether my fault or not, occurred regularly.
Getting in trouble with her was like a law document, hard to understand the reasoning and always filed away in some little niche to be brought up again at a later time against me. It was hard to understand what I would and would not get punished for, wearing sunglasses…yes, only drug dealers did that. Saying “Aww, man”…yes, only uneducated people spoke that way. Eating too much cake? No, she made it so it was okay. Walking around the lake for hours? Nope, I was out of her hair. I did find out one day I wasn’t allowed to watch MTV, and that wasn’t pretty.
This one time in particular, I don’t remember what I got in trouble (it was a daily occurrence, hard to keep up with) for but I do remember what happened. She barged into my room, demanded I stand up and face her. She rattled off a bunch of infractions all at once. Her face was red and her eyebrows were standing up on end like an angry cat. She was throwing out so much hatred I couldn’t keep up.
Undergoing such intense evil and anger, I watched her eyes take on a shark-like appearance ready to annihilate me. I realized she was circling me with a series of unanswerable questions which would all equally end in punishment.
“Do you think I’m that stupid? Did you think you would get away with it? I’m psychic, remember?”
Bumping me for a taste to see if she truly wanted to follow through, her approach was at first soft and smooth but left a stinging feeling behind.
“Your brother Dennis wouldn’t do this. You’re as worthless as that man in Holly Hill. I swear I don’t know why your grandpa sticks up for you. Even the dogs don’t like you.”
Looking into her eyes, the pupils big and dark, empty and void of feelings I saw that only a killing machine remained.
“You’re cold-hearted. You have no feelings. You never cry. What’s wrong with you?” She waited for me to respond.
As she made her final taste-bump it all hit me, “Now I know why my mom turned out the way she did.”
Once the words left my mouth I knew it was like leaving a trail of blood behind in the water.
First the slap, then yelling so hard she spit on my face, like shreds of fish from the jaws of the Great White. Her head swiftly shook from side to side in her anger. Her arms flew up at her sides and her hair moistened with sweat. I had said the one thing which I would later gain street cred with my family for, the one thing no one ever dared to say but were all thinking it. When she could no longer come up with insults she slammed the door leaving me standing in her wake. I smiled at the closed door.
At twelve I had tested the water, I was injured, maybe lost an arm or a leg, but I had hit the nose and hadn’t been eaten alive. I swam to the shore, slowly but victorious.