"Gavrilo Princip," Gramps shouted, blurting out a mouthful of chicken noodle soup.
"What ?" my mother asked, perplexed. Her brow knit into a big "X marks the spot" between her eyes. Please put me out of my misery right now, was how my brother and I understood that X. She worried her way through every minute of the day.
My grandfather was lost in some reverie over the details of this name and didn't respond as the noodle soup dripped from his chin. He wasn't senile, just eccentic, our mother insisted.
"Okay, well I was trying to remember who assassinted the Archduke Franz Ferdinand for the Sunday crosswords. You know these things sometimes take a while to retrieve in the old grey storage space, but when they come back... those memories... oh Christ they come back with a vengence." He smiled.
"Maybe you should just take it easy," my mom said. By the look on gramps face however we could see right away that she had said the wrong thing.
"Every moment is a challenge at this age. How in the hell am I supposed to take it easy. A lot of people assume that because you're up there" - he sawed his hand through the air above his head - "You're blessed with some kind of all seeing view. Some kind of resting place. Forget it. I'm still clawing every inch of the way up that goddamn mountain we call life always aware of the fact that if I make one wrong move - bam. Dead as a doornail. Every moment is a challenge and every memory is a battle and without that challenge I'm just an old geezer in adult diapers. Every breathe could be my last. You don't think there's suspence in that ? Age is not for the faint hearted. It's for the fighters."
He breathed heavily like an obscene phone caller between jobs.
"Gavrilo Princip," he repeated, turning the word over in his mind like a prize.