I thought it would be more fitting for the day to be grey or rainy or even to do this at night. Under the shroud of darkness or dreariness. Obviously I could wait. It doesn’t actually matter when I do it. The result will be the same. I feel so old fashioned, antiquated. Who sends post anymore? And what kind of establishment still prefers snail mail over electronic? When Donald tells them, the ungrateful bastards, they’ll flip. Absolutely and totally flip. It’s not my fault, though I’m glad I don’t have to be the one to tell them. Grammy lost her mind, everyone knows it. We’ve all bent over backwards for that woman for the last 16 years, and we’re getting nothing from her? Not even one percent of her multi-million dollar estate? It’s tantamount to robbery. Sheila is going to take it the worst. She actually loves Grammy. The rest of us, well we were just trying to earn our payday. That I had to be the one sidled with this burden, signing the new will, telling my siblings and cousins—via our worthless lawyer—it’s punishment. I know it is. Grammy was always disappointed in me. I should have been born a boy and when I wasn’t, as the last grandchild she would have, the last of 11 girls, there would be no one to carry on the family name. She’s so sexist. And that’s not even her least desirable quality. Her least desirable quality is that she’s spiteful.
Oh, well. Better to get it over with. Signed, sealed, and soon to be delivered. Say goodbye family. Goodbye to all the debts you thought you were going to pay off, mortgages you thought you could afford, private school tuition for the kids. The old bat is leaving her fortune to the ASPCA. This, from a woman who never let my mom or uncles have a dog, who turned her nose up to people who let pets in the home. The bitch. She really did think of everything. Waiting until she’s on her death bed to tell us, so we can’t even withhold attention or time.
I tried everything to get her to change her mind. She didn’t care. None of it meant anything to her. Then what did? I asked. I was genuinely befuddled. I expected her to say power or control. She didn’t. What she said was even more peculiar. She loves us, she swears she does. But it’s not her job to pay for our mistakes. Our fuck ups. Had we been better people, more responsible, less married to the expectation of a million dollar inheritance, she may have left us something. But we hadn’t. She’d watched us drink, smoke, screw, and invest all of our birthday card money away. She got tired of it, she said.
Why hadn’t she mentioned it? What hadn’t we received a warning? She said she’d taught us better. We should have known. Ungrateful brats she called us.
I put the envelope in the mail box at the end of my block. I turned back around to look at my apartment building. It loomed high in the New York skyline. From where I was standing I could see Theresa dicing something in our kitchen. What I imagined was Theresa anyway. Because how much can you really see from so far away?