I spurned a number of invitations to romantic drinks and dinners yesterday evening to spend a bit of time with my grandparents. Crash Grandadicoot is still holed up in James' Hopsickle, I think he may be going for some kind of record. I took a stroll up there after I'd finished up in work yesterday evening, full of apprehension and snot. I was in no mood for the hospital, for its stomach churning smell of sickness and cabbage, for the small talk or the non-talk with whomever else might be visiting. But I needed to go, I still hadn't been to see him and I was feeling guilty about it and worried - worried that he might have forgotten me.
He used to call me #1 Grandchild, you see. He still might, on a good day. I'm the eldest of his gazillion grandkids but with a nudge and a wink he told me that it was more to this pecking order than age. It was a joke at the expense of the other kids; but fuck them, I like to think that he was partly serious and that despite my tragic lack of coordination and/or interest in sport I really am his favourite. He forgets things so easily now though that I was worried he might have forgotten me in my three week absence, and that would break my heart. This weighed down my walk, I was cold and hungry too, tired and cantalach. My mam called to see where I was at, we had our wires crossed and I was now going to miss dinner in my nana's - I got angry with her, short, ended the call in a fit of pique.
I walked on, smoking furiously and seething quietly for no good reason, trying to concentrate on the music coming through my headphones and fighting back the irrational tears. And then I noticed the Hybrid Love Seat. It's a fence, essentially, a boundary sculpture between the flat complex and the Luas stop at the hospital entrance. And it's lovely. It's thoughtful, engaging and beautiful street furniture. I stopped walking, stopped sulking, took a few minutes to read the plaque about the work, took a few minutes more to admire the bronze castings and then took stock of all that was bothering me and resolved to go for a hot chocolate before venturing up to see Crash Grandadicoot.
He was in good form, full of piss and vinegar. He sang Happy Birthday to me ("What's that song they sing again? What does it go like?") and demanded that I put my new boots up on the bed to show him. He told my nana that she looked well in her yellow sweatshirt - almost good enough to *mwah!* (making kissy noises through his gums). I came away from the visit delighted that I'd stopped by and delighted that I'd taken the time to stop by the kids' love seat on my way in, to gather my thoughts and get my shit together. I'll not leave it 3 weeks before I call in to see him again.
You can read all the bumf about the Hybrid Love Seat on the artist's site.