by Crorey Lawton
In the odd twilight between lucid thought and dementia, Frank picked at the threads of his thought-tapestry while Sam listened. Not wanting to break the threads of his grandfather's thoughts, Sam nodded but did not interrupt, only occasionally supplying short phrases to help the stories flow. His grandfather's face was salted with the crumbs of whiskers that had grown from two days of inattention, and his head bobbed as he related the stories of his time in the Great War. Switching stories without so much as a pause, he began detailing his current eating habits, and the irregularity caused by not eating enough fiber, a story that turned inexplicably into a rant against liberal politicians. Although Frank was clearly talking through memories and not living them, he had lost the connectors that held his thoughts together. His mind moved instead from one topic to anther, dusting off memories like curios on a shelf, replacing them in perfect array in the vain hope that they could be found there the next time Sam visited.
Crorey Lawton, author of Roommates, builds levees and digs mounds. You can read a journal of his project in Guatemala here.