Shantih Journal 3.1 - Page 107

was crazy. He started walking again, as fast as he could, his cane slowing him as it sank into moist ground, and he was sure he heard other, nimbler steps behind his, something wild in pursuit. ​ here they sat, in matching recliner chairs—Beatriz and Stanley. On the sofa T adjacent to them, little Gilbert slouched (not so little anymore, increasingly chubby), playing a hand-held video game from which beeps and buzzes emanated. His parents were watching a home improvement channel. Andrew wasn’t there. “ ​ He’s sulking upstairs, he won’t want to see you,” said Stanley, without removing his gaze from the TV. “What did you say to him?” ​ il was seated on the sofa near Gilbert’s bare feet. “Nothing. I read to him from a G book.” “What book?” “Henry David Thoreau.” “What, the Walden guy? We should all go live in the woods?” ​ il shifted away from Gilbert, whose foot was hitting his grandfather’s aching leg G in the boy’s electronic excitement. “Something is bothering him.” Beatriz now looked at her father. “Bothering him? If I spent so much time alone looking at bugs and things, I’d be a gloomy gus too. And he doesn’t have to be worried about you. You have a home here anytime you want it.” “I don’t want it,” he said. He immediately regretted the words but also felt satisfied. “No,” Beatriz said. “I realize that.” ​ e knew that Beatriz didn’t really want him to move in here—Stanley maybe, but H not Beatriz. ​ e had no wisecrack answer this time. His daughter was looking at him now in H a way that made him recall looks she’d given him as a teenager: wounded, angry, with a hint of disgust. He doubted she would remember, since she regarded the 107