Naked | Page 15 of 179

Author: David Sedaris | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 209859 Views | Add a Review

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ith excitement.

“Beautiful balloon!” they all said, gripping the handrails and climbing the staircase to their fiery destiny. “Wouldn’t you like to ride?”

“Sorry, folks,” I’d say, pressing my nose against the surface of my ticket booth. “But I’ve got other duties.”

get your ya-ya’s out!

It was for many years my family’s habit to drive from North Carolina to western New York State to visit the relatives we had left behind. After spending ten days with my mother’s family in Binghamton, we would drive the half hour to Cortland and spend an afternoon with my father’s mother, the woman we adressed as Ya Ya.

Ya Ya owned a newsstand/candy store, a long narrow room fitted with magazine racks and the high, wall-mounted chairs the townspeople occupied while receiving their shoe-shines. She lived above the store in the apartment my father had grown up in.

“A shithole,” my mother said, and even at the age of seven, I thought, Yes, she’s right. This is a shithole.

My mother’s parents also lived in an apartment, but theirs had been arranged with an eye toward comfort, complete with a bathroom door and two television sets. I spent my time at Ya Ya’s wondering what this place might have been before someone got the cruel idea to rent it out as an apartment.

The dark, stifling hallway had been miscast in the role of a kitchen, and the bathroom looked suspiciously like a closet. Clothespinned bedspreads separated the bedroom from the living room, where the dining table was tightly wedged between the sofa and refrigerator. Surely, there were other places to live, perhaps a tent or maybe an abandoned muffler shop, someplace, anyplace, cheerier than this.

I recall one visit when she carried on about her recently deceased pet, a common goldfish she kept in a murky jar up on the apartment’s only window ledge. Ya Ya had returned from work and, finding the jar empty, decided that the fish had consciously thrown itself out the window.

“He no happy no more and think to have a suicide,” she said.

“Commit,” my mother said. “He committed suicide.” She threw her cigarette butt out the window and stared down into the littered alley below.

“You don’t have a suicide, it has you.”

“Okay,” Ya Ya said. “But why he have the suicide? Is pretty, the fish. Why he want to take he life away?”

“You’re asking why? ” My mother lowered her sunglasses. “Open your eyes and take a lucky guess.” She emptied the jar into the sink. “This place is a dump.”

“What Sharon means,” my father said, “is that a fish is incapable of thinking in those terms. They have tiny little kaphalis and don’t get depressed.”

When speaking to his mother, my father used his loudest voice, drifting in and out of pidgin Greek. “The psari didn’t know any better. It wasn’t your fault, Matera, it was a lathos. ”

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Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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