“Components Involved In Maintaining A Life” by Joseph Goosey

Joseph Goosey

When Lizzy stabbed my grandfather I was not fazed enough to leave her. In fact, I somehow did the math to work out so that my willingness to dismiss her actions would force us closer together. Of course, this was not the case, but what else could one do?

Perhaps if he had died I would have felt differently about the situation, but it just so happened that the blade missed out on all the necessary components involved in maintaining a life. Besides, she hadn’t really set out to kill him. However, her intentions never became exactly clear.

On several occasions I had inquired about her intent, but to no avail.

“Remember,” I’d say to her, “When you stabbed Grandpa Don in the Kitchen?”

“Uh huh.” She always sounded as though she could not believe my audacity in bringing the incident up again.

“Well, what were you really trying to do there?”

“I dunno,” She’d always respond, “It just sorta…Happened.” And in a sense, her description was entirely accurate.

It was the night before Thanksgiving or Christmas or one of those silly dates that result in GATHERING. We, meaning myself, Lizzy, my mother, my Venezuelan neighbor, and of course, my grandfather were aimlessly hovering about the kitchen stalling until a socially acceptable time to eat arrived. There was an inherent tension due to the fact that my mother was loony and Lizzy was loony but in a polar fashion to my mother.

For the second time in the day I had knocked over a cup of ice water onto the wooden cabinets. Apparently, ice water destroys and warps wooden cabinets, or so I was informed by my mother.

“GODAMNIT,” She screamed, “I’ve told you once already today and a hundred times in the past…water DESTROYS AND WARPS wooden cabinets!”

I began to wipe up the water. My mother grabbed a rag. I was under the impression that she was going to help. Instead, she shoved the rag into Lizzy’s chest and simply paddled on about exercise.

“DO something.” She told Lizzy.

It did not appear as though Lizzy had time to consider the rag, the water, the cabinets, or the knife that was on the table to her left. She allowed the rag to fall to the floor. The next item to hit the floor would be a drop of my grandfather’s blood. He was standing to Lizzy’s immediate right, opposite the knife. She had stuck my grandfather and he did not see this coming.

My mother said something that no one heard.

After some deliberation it was decided that Lizzy and I would drive him to the hospital. We told my mother and my neighbor to please enjoy their holiday meal and proceeded to haul my grandfather into the backseat of my Toyota. During the ride Lizzy apologized incessantly and somehow I felt this to be unnecessary. Strangely, my grandfather did not make a sound. Yet he had not passed out from shock, nor had he bled out. I suppose he was only a man of very few words.

The doctors patched him up as doctors will do and confirmed that he remained kicking and however fortunate or unfortunate, he would be for quite some time. No charges were filed because my grandfather has no recollection of the occurrence. In fact, even since Lizzy has left in search of finer things/people, when I see my grandfather he often mentions her in an admiring fashion.

“Where did that one go?” He asks. “You know, that one with the black curls?”

I tell him the truth, which is that I do not know.

“Oh,” He says, “Well she had a fine spirit to her.”

I nod in agreement and glance at where his scar should be. I change the subject to one that I know more about.


Joseph Goosey subsides off of printer paper and the champagne of beers. His work is littered here and there. Barring disaster, he will have a chapbook out in the fall via Poptritus Press.

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