Chapter Seven ~ Gramma Surprises Joe
Forty-five minutes later, Joe’s grandmother was sitting in Joe’s living room. Joe called from the kitchen area, “Gramma, you want bottled water?”
“No, I don’t want no bottled water, what else you got.”
“How about a can of soda. I have Diet Coke.”
“No, I don’t want no soda. What else you got?”
“Would you like a glass of wine? I have merlot.”
“No, I don’t want no wine. What else you got?”
“I have beer?”
“That’s good, bring me a bottle,” said Teresa.
Joe opened two bottles of beer, walked into the living room from the kitchen area and handed a bottle to his grandmother. He placed a napkin on the coffee table in front of her. She took hold of the bottle and held it up to the light and read the label.
“What’s this? It don’t have the same color as my Budweiser. I never heard of no Red Wing Brewing Company. What kind of beer do they make? This looks like the cheap stuff. You get on sale some place?”
Joe thought, you don’t want to know what I paid for the beer, it might cause an aneurysm. Joe smiled and said, “It’s a local brewery, Gramma. It’s really good. Try it.”
Teresa took a sip of the beer. She let it sit in her mouth for a moment. Then she said, It’s too dark to taste good. Definitely not as good as Budweiser. You know the beer with the big horses. I ever tell you, Joe, there are more horse’s asses than horses?”
Joe didn’t quite no how to respond. He said, “No, you never told me that one.”
“It’s true, Joe. A horse is a horse and it’s got an ass. A horse is not going to kick you out of your home and take away your money. Then you got people who there is no better description than to call them a horse’s ass. You understand this truth? Now, let me tell you about Estelle …”
Before Joe’s grandmother continued, he cut her short. He said, “Gramma, while I was getting our beers, I emailed a lawyer friend of mine. He owes me a big favor. He’s going to come over this afternoon and fix it so you won’t have to go back to the nursing home.”
Joe’s gramma said, “This is like Christmas in September. Estelle can’t sell my house until I sign the power of attorney. Now, I’m not going to sign anything. I been angry at St. Anthony for not answering my prayers, but I think he sent you to me, so I going to take him out of the laundry basket and put him back on the shelf.”
Terese raised her bottle toward Joe and said, “Salute, When I see this lawyer, I’m going make a new will. Estelle is going down the toilet. All she gonna get is five dollars for a meal at MacDonalds. I gonna put you in it.”
Joe said, “Thanks, Gramma, but maybe you and Estelle can work things out. I’m set. I don’t need anything.”
“Now, this proves I’m going leave everything to you. I gonna outlive Estelle anyway. She likes to make everybody think she’s a saint or something. She goes to church. She walks in church like she’s the Pope. Everybody knows she’s not the Pope but her. I could tell you stories about her but I ain’t gonna do it. Her husband he got no balls. He lets her run all over him like she’s a truck. He goes, ‘Yes, Estelle. No, Estelle. Whatever you say, Estelle.’ What kind of man is that who acts like he is a door mat? She don’t got my genes. She got Patrice’s genes, all the bad ones.”
Teresa sipped her beer and talked and talked and talked about Estelle. Joe gently moved her away each time, but it was a losing cause. Forty-five minutes and another beer later,
Teresa lost steam. She looked at Joe and said, “Okay, what you got on your mind?”
Joe leaned forward from his chair across from the sofa and said, “Gramma, I’m going to talk to you about something that may be difficult for you to talk about.”
Teresa said, “I’m in my eighties. You think I don’t know what’s going on in the world? You think you gonna tell me something that is gonna shock me?”
Joe sat up. He looked at his grandmother and decided to lay it all out for her. He said, “The other day I was going through the things in mom and dad’s house. I’m clearing everything out because I want to sell it.”
Teresa raised her hand. She said, “Don’t tell me no more. I know what you gonna say. I gonna save you some time.”
“How do you know what I’m going to say? I didn’t say anything, yet, Gramma? I don’t mean any disrespect, but let me finish,” said Joe.
Teresa wagged a finger at Joe. She said, “You listen, Joe. You went snooping where you not supposed to be snooping. And, because you go snooping where you not supposed to go snooping you find something you wasn’t intended to find. When you find it, you got your ass all tied up tighter than a leaky pipe with duct tape. How am I doing so far?”
“Keep going,” said Joe.
“You find out your mama, my Annette got herself knocked up when she was in college. And, you find out you was the one who slide down the chute and become my grandson. Do I hit the hammer on the nail?”
“Yes, but …”
“Don’t you give me no yes, but. You wanna know about your real father. You got this obsession. Am I right?”
“You listen to me. This man who knocked Annette up was a no good bum then, and if he is still alive, which I hope not, he’s even worse now. You can count on it,” Teresa made a gesture of washing her hands.
Joe said, “I going looking for him. Tell me what you know.”
“You want to know the story? I’m gonna give you the story and you better listen cause I’m only gonna say it once unless you want me to repeat it. You understand?”
Joe didn’t understand, but he nodded in agreement.