I admire my grandmother. She went to Smith college and majored in Latin and she has a very refined way of speaking and she can converse about anything.
She spends most of her time at one end of a couch in her condominium in Ridgefield, Connecticut, which is where I grew up.
She moved there, along with my grandfather, when I was about ten or so. I remember the night they moved. I sat on the carpeted stairs and ate take-out fried chicken out of a bag.
I remember enjoying my life, loving it deeply when I was a child. Whatever that was, it was a beautiful emotion, and very different from the color of the emotions one experiences in adulthood.
The night they moved, the condominium was full of boxes and the odor of boxes and maybe the lights didn't work because we were doing things in the dark, or the halflight.
I don't remember where my grandfather was. Everyone else was coming up and down the stairs--from the entry way to the first floor, from the first floor to the second.
My grandfather died when I was fifteen and it was a blow to our family. We seem to have been diminishing since them.
I moved to California and that disconnected us further. I am happy here, but not without regret.
The condominium is once again full of boxes. My uncle, who lives with my grandmother, collects books and sells them on the internet. He's been doing it for at least five years and the house is now crammed with boxes full of books.
Everyone receives books from him for Christmas. They seem boring at first, but if you look at them for a while, and think about why he chose them, you notice how beautiful they are.
I would like to move back to the east coast and look at the barren trees and all the other sparse brutalities of winter through a large window.
People say they have dreams, by which I think they mean difficult-to-fulfill desires, and I have long thought myself to be free of them, but I'm not. My dream is to consume time in a particular kind of room in connecticut in winter, a quiet place with bookshelves, and books, a carpet, and a tall window. I would be alone much of the time, but my wife and my family would drop in often.