Saturday, October 16, 2010

Florida, Starbucks, and phone conversations from the beyond

I'm sitting in a Starbucks in Florida, enjoying a tasty Pumpkin Spice Frappucino. That's right. This is vacation.

Also, I kind of got myself stuck here because I'm several blocks away from Ellyn's restaurant (she's working tonight so I've been wandering), but it got dark and I'm not sure I want to walk back there by myself in the dark. It's a good thing I like it here, because I might actually live here now.

If I did live at Starbucks, though? I'd have so much blog material. Seriously. The guy who came in with a new sweater on and asked the barista (assuming it was somebody he knew) no less than three times "Do you think I pull this off?" so that she would compliment him. "No really, am I pulling this off?" Ha!

Another guy and barista who were rating the best guitar players of all time and a third guy who kept jumping in with clearly no knowledge of music whatsoever. It was hilarious. They're all "you know, Prince isn't such a bad musician" and the third guy's like "he changed his name to a symbol!"

The girl in the shorts and the red tights. Red! Tights!

And of course, who could forget the guy who introduced himself to me and said "I know this sounds totally cliche... but do you come here often?"


But still, vacation.

Especially because I just watched this happen:

Fantastical, no?

Earlier, I enjoyed a meal with Ellyn and her 18 children, who are ridiculously cute, by the way. I'm definitely putting Evany in my pocket and taking her home with me. There's just no way around that. I must have her.

After we got home from lunch, my Grandpa Kent called me. I answered the phone and started chatting with him, and when I asked what he was doing, his answer surprised me.

"Oh, I'm just sitting here and talking to your grandma," he replied.

"You're... talking to Grandma?" I asked, confused.

"Yep," he said, "Just sitting here talking to your grandma."

I figured he must be sitting around, maybe drinking, and talking to the urn that holds Grandma's ashes. The conversation moved to something else so I let the matter drop. To each his own, I guess, and I'm certainly not going to tell my grandfather how to cope with the loss of his wife.

"Well," he said a few minutes later "I'm going to let you talk to your grandma now."

"Let me... talk... to Grandma?" I stuttered back.

My mind started trying to organize a tactful way to tell him that I can't actually talk to her, that she's in heaven. Before I had a chance, I heard the phone rustle and there was silence on the other end of the phone.

"Grandpa? Hello?" I asked.

More silence. Had he put the phone up to the urn? Did he want me to talk to it? Exactly how much had he been drinking tonight? I listened intently as the phone moved some more, unsure of what to do next, when I heard a small voice on the other end of the line.

"Hello?" an elderly woman's voice said. Startled, I replied cautiously.

"Um, hello..." I said, trying to figure out who I was talking to. It did sound a little like Grandma Barbara, and I was stumped. I was pretty sure she died, and that you couldn't talk to people after that happened. Almost positive, actually. "Wait, who is this?"

"I miss you!" the small voice said.

"I, uh, miss you too!" I replied, hoping to identify the voice soon. "What are you doing?"


"Hello?" I said, as I heard a little more rustling of the phone.

"Oh, you know, I'm just staring at the ceiling these days," the voice said, and then began to giggle. Upon hearing the laugh, a little lightbulb turned on above my head and I got it.

I was talking to my Great Grandma. Grandma Barbara's mom. Who is still very much alive. Which means my Grandpa Kent isn't crazy after all.

Not so great at the communication, maybe, but not crazy at least.
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