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He didn’t know my name when I walked through the door and greeted the old man who’s always been my Grandpa. Tick, tick, tick. Empty chatter.

The broken television.
The buttons on the remote control.
Don’t ever touch the green one.
He does, repeatedly, forgetting to read the directions my dad writes and rewrites.

The telephone, with an old recorded message,
From before Grandma passed away.
Bowling today.  He remembers how to bowl
But can’t remember that his bowling ball is in a bag in the closet.
Doesn’t know what we mean when we say bowling ball.

He stands behind me and I know he’s looking at a fridge magnet. A chart with our first names, the grandchildren, and our birthdays beside. His hands fall heavy on my shoulders, and after this half hour has passed he finally says, It’s Linda, right? Yes, Grandpa, you’ve still got it! I say it in jest. I don’t mean it in jest. I’m selfish and harbor hurt feelings.

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