Early Retirement

Volume I : Chapter VI

Before we left home, my grandmother offered up her home in Palm Springs to us if we needed to stop in and stay awhile down south. My grand father passed away in 2007 and I hadn't been back to this place since he left us. I couldn't imagine it there without him, dressed in his golf shirt and white visor. I was nervous about coming into their vacant home made even more empty knowing my Baba would never set foot there again. It had been a long stretch without a shower and the heat was unbearable in the trailer, we couldn't turn down a place to stay no matter how anxious it made me. On the road you can forget about your friends and family from time to time, you preoccupy your mind with mile markers, billboards and plans. The sadness you keep gets pushed down and out of your mind, you eat sunflower seeds.


The house had been empty for sometime, cobwebs clung on the furniture and even though a lot of my family had been here since his passing, souvenirs of my grandfather sat in place as if time stopped here with his heart. His hats, his jackets hung dusty in the closet. His white visor. I swear I smelled him. His chair sat empty with a layer of dust. This gated community was dead silent and vacant, it wasn't just their home that was this way, I imagined. Being still one of the hottest months, the snowbirds weren't set to arrive for some time and we had the run of the place. I got over my initial shock and called my grandmother. She insisted we pull the sheets off the furniture and make ourselves at home. In clouds of dust we woke the house. I wore his hat, his robe. I picked grapefruit in the yard. We tried to steal the golf cart but he must have hid the keys. He would have been so satisfied to know that I couldn't find them. He must have picked a good hiding spot because I sure tried. He loved this place.

Words by: Kyla Trethewey


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