Sunday, December 15, 2013

Notes from my Knapsack 12-19-13

Notes from my Knapsack 12-19-13

Jeff Gill


A story on the way home - conclusion




It was one thing to lose a sister, and another to find a grandfather, but in this case the two were wrapped up in each other.


Nelson had made his way from his Florida home to his sister's last resting place in the Nevada desert to this Ohio village, following an unexpected claim of a hometown in this place he'd never heard of before, this Granville.


The threads he'd tugged at pulled him along, as if he'd been drifting until the slight momentum, this gentle gravitation, had given him direction to this place that….


Looking around again, he realized that the trailer home, while fairly tumbledown outside, was quite neat and well arranged within. It reminded him of something, someone, but even in Florida Nelson had not been in many such places until it occurred to him all at once: The Rockford Files. It looked like Jim's place in Malibu, incongruously parked up on blocks here in a corner between an expressway and an outlying lane that appeared to be getting busier by the moment, far away from the Pacific or any other ocean for that matter.


They looked at each other again, the elderly man with the oxygen tube along under his nose and a new fleece blanket across his knees sitting deep in a very weary looking recliner.


Grandfather Nelson said "You don't seem to impressed by my lodgings."


The younger Nelson replied "It's not that, I've just not been in one of these before, I don't think. Or if I were, it was a construction trailer arranged as an office."


"It's all here, everything I need, really. Some nice folks bring me a hot meal every weekday noon and make sure I'm still breathing; a nurse does the same twice a week and brings my new tank of oxygen. There's a van can come get me if I work it out ahead, from over in Newark; they took me last year over to there and I worked it all out with a nice young woman who set me up for my burial and such, pre-arrangement they call it."


"They do, do they? Didn't set a date, I hope."


"No, but we did talk about Mackinac Island and that movie the Superman fellow and Dr. Quinn starred in. Nice lady, the funeral woman I mean. At any rate, I'm all set. Why I'm still here not using it, only the good Lord knows."


"Well, maybe you and I needed to meet first and talk."


"That same thought had just occurred to me."


Nelson, the younger, slightly more baffled one, sat and thought. This was a great deal to take in, but he also realized he didn't really have anywhere else he had to be for a few days. "So, what should we talk about?"


"Your father, my son, is a complicated subject. Let's save him for later. How about I tell you about this odd little village I've been living in the last twenty years?"


"You know, I'd like that. It's starting to grow on me."


The older man smiled widely. "Granville will do that to you. Maybe I will, too."


"Oh, I think you already have."


Jeff Gill is a writer, storyteller, and pastor in central Ohio; tell him what you think happens next at or @Knapsack on Twitter.

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