Here is a list of grandma’s obsessions, the things she repeats over and over throughout the day:

“Did you feed the birds? You could scatter some breadcrumbs for the birds.”

“Is the gate locked?”

“You need to come back home and live here. You can buy an apartment if you don’t want to live with your dad.”

“Where is she? What is she doing?” (By that she means her sister, my old lizard, who needs to be accounted for at all times).

“What time is your train tomorrow?”

“When I die, don’t come, you’re too far away, it’s too much of a journey.”

“Go pick a bucket of apricots so we can make jam.” (I refuse! Making jam is a most useless endeavor that gets my lizard very tired. The pantry’s already full of jam nobody wants to eat, and it took a lot of love and care to get the lizard’s legs back to normal).

“Scatter some bread for the birds. You are useless! If I’d been like you, dogs would have eaten me!” (I’m not sure what particularly about my bread scattering skills offends).

“Is the gate locked?”

“What time is your train tomorrow?”

“Where is she?”

“Take my advice, don’t stay in that faraway place. It’s no good. Come back home. Surely you’ll find a job.”

“Go pick some apricots.”

I refuse!

Well, at least the lizard’s skin is looking much much better and the swelling in her legs is gone. We spent some quality time together this afternoon, gossiping and laughing, but I wasn’t able to extract a promise that she’ll look after herself from now on. I’m sad to leave, but in a way I’m glad I won’t be here to lose my mind when they slave for days over the jam nobody wants to eat.

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