it is fascinating how we fall apart. granpa is the chair he sits in, and always has been; all four and two legs prop (or two support four), the stuffing leaks out from the unbuckled belt at his middle, does not hold up the over-weathered/under-cleaned trousers. they flap limply, hiding his shape: they are his sagging fallen face, mouth fallen open, he has false-teeth forgotten why he needs it and grunts into a gordon’s gin, or a sherry, coating his long cobweb stubble with unseen tears.
it is mildew, mouse droppings behind his ears, smothering him
with frying smell from last year or next year or the year before. he does not know when he last washed. yesterday is the same as today, they have the same laws, the same drinks, the same words: i am afraid.
he never says them, or thinks, or instincts, but they hang in his crippling body odour (why he can’t walk) and fill the room – he coughs to use the house as his lungs, his are calcified and water tight because he never takes a bath to soften them up.
the chair makes him how he is. it mutters in baby sounds and scratches his thoughts like asbestos: carcinogenic, he cannot separate them from his conscience so they grow
and flow faster than he could walk so his hips shattered as he tried to talk them down, talk them out of it – his head, that is. sober, they drag him out, and he can’t bare to look in; with each quivering tip of a crusted, dusted tumbler he is a lifetime closer to before she went.