Luxe Beat Magazine MAY 2015 - Page 121

Book Excerpt Book excerpt of “Imaginary Things” by Andrea Lochen It would’ve been easier to think of our stay with my grandparents as a fresh start if their home in Salsburg hadn’t been the place I’d been shipped to whenever I needed to recover from my other failures in life. My mom had first sent me to stay with them the summers I was seven and eight, after serious “behavior problems,” as she called them. Then after some spectacular mischief my sophomore year of high school I was exiled to Salsburg again for the entire duration of the school year. Most recently, when I was eighteen, they took me in for part of my pregnancy. So the symbolic significance of the fact that I was going there now, after I’d lost my job as a receptionist at Lakeview Dermatology, was not lost on me. Or them, I was sure. But they had always been good about taking me in, dusting me off, and attempting to set me back to rights again. Winston and Duffy Jennings were not stern, preachy types nor were they permissive, indulgent push-overs. Since my mom had made them grandparents before they were even forty, much too young to be dubbed Granny and Pops, Duffy had insisted I call them by their first names instead. She owned a small beauty salon and over the years had learned to talk auctioneer-fast, pausing rarely to catch her breath, lest someone interrupt her. She called it like she saw it; sometimes she called me a dumb-ass and sometimes she called me a snickerdoodle, and whichever it was, usually rightfully s