Ironic for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that I have long told my cherubs (quite firmly) that “out” would never be an acceptable destination – as in me asking, “Where are you going?”, and any one of the three and a half of them replying, “Out”.
But the other day I was ‘out’ in that way of knowing you have to do one thing, and then that thing is going to turn into a nother thing (I always thought ‘nother’ would be an exceptional word on its own) Anyway, one thing was definitely going to turn into a nother and a nother and then for sure I would end up at HomeGoods because duh.
So I got home from all that and took off my fleece and tossed it next to me and climbed onto my counter stool in front of my computer just in time for the Nearly Perfect Husband to announce he was chauffeuring Self Proclaimed Perfect Boy Gabe to yet another activity. So in a flash I was all alone with Marshal Dillon Dingle wondering if we were going out to play.
I was centering myself through a myriad of calming and meditative techniques.
But I kept hearing a sound.
wzhhhhhhhhhhhh – t.
wzhhhhhhhhhhh – t.
wzhhhhhhhhhh – t.
wzhhh – t.
wzhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh – t.
wzhhhhhhh – t.
And in my brain, I thought… is that a saw?
And then in my brain a whole bunch of sounds and images and impressions created a wild vortex of activity and then all of a sudden….
Is Grampa downstairs using the SAW?!
And right away, I answered me with a “OHHOLYCRAPYEP!”
So I went to see Granny in the apartment.
And very calmly I opened the door and Fred trotted in (the ShepHerds never just trot in. They have to be invited. Like vampires.).
So I asked Granny if Grampa was down in the basement using the saw.
And, completely calmly, she said that yes, he was.
And she said it in such a matter of fact, ‘duh’ manner that I questioned myself, because perhaps this had become completely normal at some point recently and I’d missed it.
And then I realized that NO IT IS NOT COMPLETELY NORMAL BECAUSE FIRST OF ALL HE SAID HE COULDN’T GO DOWN THOSE STAIRS ANY MORE AND EVEN IF HE DID MANAGE TO GET ALL THE WAY DOWN THE MAN USES A WALKER AND HIS HEAD IS TILTED SIDEWAYS AND HE IS NOT STEADY ON HIS FEET AT ALL AND OH MY GOD I CAN HEAR HIM USING HIS TABLE SAW WHICH IS NOT EVEN REMOTELY NEW OR SAFETY-ISH… THAT MAN IS GOING TO SAW HIMSELF IN HALF ANY MOMEN….wait…
And then I calmly asked Granny what Grampa was sawing.
Because what the fluck does he have to saw?
And Granny, again completely matter-of-factly said, “A chair.”
And I said “Oh.” (Because what else is there to say to that?)
And I thought for a minute.
“He is sawing a chair?”
“Ya.” (and she is looking at me like I have three heads).
“Like… a chair?”
“Like… sawing a chair up?”
And now I was pushing it because maybe she would get frustrated with me.
“Wait.” I say. “Is he sawing the chair that he was fixing?” (because I remembered he’d been working on a chair, as a project, for the past few months off and on).
“Ya.” (her eyebrows raised that time because I was looking like a dummy, I think.)
“So… he was working on it, but now he is sawing it up?
“Into, like, little itty bitty pieces?
And she was leaning down and petting Fred and telling him he was a good boy.
And then it was really quiet and there were no more saw sounds and I thought I heard blood.
“So…” I said, not wanting to be intrusive, because they are adults and we try to respect the rhythm of their lives and relationship (which is not a smooth rhythm, but a rhythm none-the-less… like jazz I guess) “He’s okay down there all by himself?”
“Pffft. He’s fine.” She said. “I’ll go get him when he needs me.” And she walked over to her sofa and sat down and opened a book!
“So,” I looked around for, like, walkie talkies or those Star Trek communicator thingies “He just calls you when he’s ready to come up?” (no sign of Star Trek communicator thingies).
“Yep.” Again, totally matter of fact.
“Um. Okay.” I said “Can Fred stay in here with you?”
“Oh ya,” She said “He’ll just go lie in the sun.”
And I left with the ShepHerds in tow.
And a little while later, Granny came around the corner and headed down to the basement. And a few minutes after that, I heard shuffling and har-umping and thumping and banging and up came Grampa with Granny. She put his walker at the door and he moved to it and thumped and banged and screeched and slid all the way back into their apartment. Granny was behind him, carrying a garbage bag.
And I couldn’t believe it.
He had been working on that chair for, like, months. Trying to get a leg to stop being wobbly.
And when he couldn’t?
He got pissed and sawed the entire chair – the entire chair – up into itty bitty pieces and disposed of it in a hefty bag.
The old man went all Dexter on a chair.
Sadly though, when you are weeks away from 86, having totaled your motor cycle in your thirties, and can’t move super well. Your kill room is lacking in its ability to conceal evidence.
Evidence of the evidence:
Oh ya. And then there was…
So there you have it.
Had I not come home at that moment, and sat in that exact spot, and listened not-necessarily-so-closely, I never would have known…
My Dad-in-law is a murderer.
Of a perfectly good, if wobbly, chair.
And it’s not so bad, really.
I think this one was a crime of passion.
I mean, it’s not like he’s a serial killer or anything…
Thanks for readin’.
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p.s., Anyone need a phone?