GRANDMA WANTS A PICTURE | Gene Hines She walked through the door and stood in the middle of my apartment, looking for something. “The other rooms?” she said. She was dressed in a long skirt, tattered and caked with dirt and stains; a white-laced blouse equally dirty and stained. Where she walked she left clots of black blood, and the smell of grass and earth mixed with flowers, behind her. Her fingers were bent and writhed like snakes. There was some part of me that knew who she was while the rest of me fought knowing it. She went into the bedroom and stared at a picture on a bureau. She took the picture, it was my high school graduation photo—long hair and the vacant look of the Gen Xer. “Sonny,” she said, and pressed the picture to her bosom. Now I knew. Sonny was my childhood nickname. She was my grandmother, my mother’s mother. She died the year before I was born, but the family photo albums are full of her pictures and she looked, despite the dirt and dried blood, like them. I thought I should speak to her, but my voice misfired into a squeak. She left the bedroom, clutching the picture and stopped again at the door of my apartment-- “We are waiting for you,” she said, and hugged my picture tighter to her breast. She reached out a wriggling-fingered hand and closed the door behind her.