On Late Night Conversations

At midnight, my grandmother wanted to talk.

She’d fallen asleep earlier in the evening, sometime around nine, and now it was midnight and she was done with her nap. She opened the door at the bottom of the steps, and began to ask questions.

“Are you cool enough?” she asked.

No. “Yes,” I said.

“Are you sure you’re okay? Do you have the windows open?”

“I’m fine.”

“What time is it? It’s so quiet.”

“It’s midnight.”

“Are you cool enough?”

“I’ll be fine.”

“Where’s Allyn?”

I said nothing for a moment. Then, “That’s who you’re talking to.”

“What? Oh. I thought I was talking to someone else. I didn’t realize you were upstairs.”

Where else would I be? I wanted to say. “It’s midnight. I’m in bed.”

“Oh,” she said. She bid me a good night and closed the door.

About four-thirty I woke up. I was hungry, the way that sometimes happens in the middle of the night.

I went downstairs, trying to be quiet. I didn’t want to wake my grandmother up; she sleeps on the couch in the living room. She was snoring. Which is something she says she never does.

I got an ice cream sandwich out of the freezer. I’d gone to Food Lion yesterday afternoon. I’d planned on buying some sherbet, pineapple to be exact, but then I saw Banana Split ice cream sandwiches, with banana, strawberry, and vanilla ice cream between the chocolate wafers. At four-thirty in the morning, it was precisely what I wanted.

A quiet world. An ice cream sandwich.

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