together but apart -in presenting gifts
As soon as we got back, my Grandma set about tackling a new project she’d set for herself. I think we were tip-toeing around each other at the time, silence sticking, so I never asked what she was doing, but I recognised it as it took shape.
She first washed these mixed cotton and polyester yarn balls, soaking them in laundry liquid. The string emerged from the water, like the fresh cooked instant noodles, that my parents never let us eat, sprung up in tight curls. She dried them looped around silver arms of clothes hangers.Then she brought out those knitting needles and conducted a two armed symphony, pinkies to the air. This went on for weeks. In the afterschool evenings the sun would darken on the back of her neck, as she worked away on the sofa.
Once completed my Grandma presented me and my brother with deep blue jumpers. The neck hole closed around me, catching at my glasses, the nose-pad running two red rails along the length of my nose. I just accepted it, uncomfortably, unconsulted. I smoothed my electro-charged hair, dispelling static.