Growing up, Granny had a friend that lived down the road; his name was Ray, but Granny always lovingly referred to him as Old Ray.
I think this nickname came about because I always suspected that Granny and Ray were boyfriend and girlfriend and when I would confront Granny on the subject, she would always scoff and say “Me & Old Ray?! Nooo….” Looking back, I’m fairly sure they were doing it. *shudder*
There are many things that I remember about Ray. If I was riding my bike, or walking down the sidewalk, or playing in the yard and Ray drove by, he’d do the same thing every time. He’d throw his arms up in the air and drive past without touching the steering wheel.
I always got a kick out of it, which is probably why he kept doing it. In fact, I thought he was magical. I didn’t really know how cars worked.
Every time I saw him and asked how he was, he’d say that he was good, because it was his birthday. The first day, I happily wished him a happy birthday. The second day, I told him that his birthday was the day before. By the third day, I became skeptical. Even at such a young age, I was convinced he was trying to put one past me.
When I confronted him on the issue, he informed me that every day was his birthday. I didn’t believe him, I told him that birthday’s only happen once a year, so his birthday can’t be every day. Then he would ask me when my birthday was.
I couldn’t answer his question. I didn’t really know how birthdays worked.
This conversation occurred again and again and again, until one day I finally asked Granny when my birthday was. The next time we had the conversation, I felt triumphant – I knew the answer. When I told him, he simply said “Too bad your birthday is only on May 10th… mine is every day”.
He taught be about circular logic and how sometimes you can never win an argument.
But more than anything, the thing I remember about Ray the most, and the thing I think about every time I hear his name or think of him, is this story that Granny told me as a little girl.
One day, Old Ray was over visiting; at one point, he excused himself to go to the bathroom. Granny got up and walked past the bathroom and discovered that he left the door slightly ajar. Since Granny was a nosy busybody, she couldn’t let an opportunity such as this pass.
She creeped up to the bathroom door and peeked inside. She would always laugh when she told this story because she saw things that she would never forget. Not that way, you sick fucks. In order to make an impression on a small child, first you must explain how things normally work and then tell them how this story is different than normal, and thus, how this story is funny.
She explained to me that when boys go piddle, they just shake the pee off their junk and go on their merry way. Not Ray. When he finished peeing, Granny was expecting the standard shake off and for him to turn around and wash his hands. Not Ray.
After he finished going pee, he tore off one square of toilet paper, gently folded it in half and then wiped any residual urine off his wiener. Granny said she’d never seen anything like it before, and I’m willing to bet she peeked in on anyone dumb enough to leave a door open in her presence.
That is what I think about when I think of Ray. And that’s what I think about when I see one square of toilet paper lying around somewhere.