Read my latest post on The Nervous Breakdown:
The stories start right after Sunday lunch.
We are all crammed around our tiny kitchen table – me, my brother, my parents, my fraternal grandmother, and my maternal grandfather. The table only fits four, so my Dad is sitting on the office chair brought out from the living room and I am sitting on a small, red leather stool that’s usually in the hallway. I am wedged between my brother, my grandfather, and the dishwasher.
Our Sunday lunches – golden chicken soup, Wiener schnitzel with potatoes and cucumber salad, brownies – start late and end quickly. Toward the end of the meal the others know what is coming and they start to scramble towards the living room right after the last bite of dessert.
It is probably my position at first – too far from the door with no obvious escape route – that makes me the perfect audience for my grandfather’s stories. Later I feel too polite and too invested to get up and leave with the others.
So I load the dishwasher and sit back on my little red stool and prepare myself for a long afternoon.