:: Article

my grandfather reads online literature to alleviate feelings of boredom, loneliness, detachment, and pointlessness

By Matthew Savoca.

my grandfather reads online literature with his gateway2000 and a dialup internet connection.

this is true.

sometimes i call him to say hi and the line is busy.

i leave a message and he calls me back sometime between thirty minutes and one hour later.

the last time this happened was yesterday.

when i answered the phone, he said, “i am depressed.”

i said, “what do you feel?”

he said, “i experience feelings of boredom, loneliness, detachment, and pointlessness on a regular basis.”

i said, “what do you feel right now?”

he said, “i feel bored, lonely, detached, and that life is pointless.”

he took all the sheets off of his living room furniture. he sighed into the phone.

he said the only thing that makes him feel better is eating mashed potatoes and reading online literature.

then he hung up.

i called boston market and ordered him a tub of mashed potatoes with extra gravy.

the girl asked me if i wanted regular mashed potatoes or sweet mashed potatoes.

i said, “both.”

she asked me if i wanted them in separate containers or mixed together.

i said, “hold on.”

i called my grandfather with my cell phone but the line was busy. i did not leave a message.

i got back on the phone with the boston market girl.

i said, “mix them together.”

then i told her where to deliver it and paid for it over the phone with my credit card.

i said, “don’t forget the extra mashed potato gravy.”

i hung up and called my grandfather back. the line was busy.

i left a message and hung up the phone.

my grandfather called me back an hour later.

i answered the phone. i said, “your phone was busy two times i called.”

he said, “i was online reading online literature.”

i asked him if he got the mashed potatoes.

he said, “i read online literature to alleviate feelings of boredom, loneliness, detachment, and pointlessness.”

i asked him if there was enough gravy.

he said yes.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
matthew savoca has been published recently in lamination colony, alice blue, and robot melon. he has stuff forthcoming in no posit and paperwall. his grandfather is eighty one years old.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008.