Saturday, September 06, 2008

News From the Front

I have nothing particularly funny to say, which is sad, since actually, my family are probably the funniest people in America and we often say things that are fucking hilarious, but, alas, nobody is writing them down. Thus, the commentary on how if McCain wins we should all leave the country and open a small cafe in some more liberal yet cheap as hell country has been sadly forgotten, as has the suggestion that we all buy an Airstream and become a brilliant air guitar and cover songs of terrible music of the 70s superstar band. Meanwhile, we're sort of soldiering on. My brother N reports that yesterday when he came in around 4 pm, the QOB came out of her room wearing her total favorite pair of sunglasses, the ones with no rims and a rainbow of colors across the lenses. "Good Morning!" she intoned and then turned around and went back into her room.

Yeah. Good morning! I went to the liquor store this morning to get boxes. Turns out that Saturday morning is an awesome time to get boxes from the liquor store and I filled my car. On my fifth and final trip out with the boxes (it's awkward as hell to carry liquor store boxes and a giant purse, I must say) I noticed a young couple with a little girl. I had noticed them earlier, actually, but then I sort of thought, well, probably they're having a party and buying the liquor now. It is, after all, Saturday morning. So I'm putting the boxes in my car and I hear a loud FUCK YOU from behind me. I turn around and realize that it was the charming mother of this lovely young family, shouting at the liquor store clerks.
"But Mommy," starts the little girl as the whole family goes to get into their car,
"Yeah, he was an ASSHOLE, wasn't he, honey?" said Mama. "He wouldn't let you use their potty, what a fucking asshole!" And they sped away.
Let me note that there is a Kentucky Fried Chicken (I'm contractually barred by virtue of extreme age from using the more common acronym for this popular fast food place, sorry) across the street and, having been a mother for 25 years now I have to say that when presented with a small child who needs to pee and the choices on the corner of Patton Avenue and Louisiana, namely, the liquor store, the Kentucky Fried, the Bi-Lo, the K-Mart and a whole bunch of other places too numerous to name, the liquor store would, somehow, not be my first choice for quick and easy kid peeing opportunities. Also, they were browsing for a while first and they didn't buy anything. It never occurred to me to take my kids browsing at the liquor store but perhaps I was missing something. "Look, honey! Stolichnaya has a new flavor! Wahoo! Daddy gonna be happy tonight!"

Yeah. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I'm trying to pack up houses. This would be easier if one of those houses wasn't my mothers, which means that when I open cabinets and closets I find boxes and in those boxes I find things like never before seen pictures of my parents right after they were married and clipped interviews with my father from WWD in which he says that he thinks of himself as a thinner Ed McMahon (yes, the resemblance was always striking, except that Dad, to my knowledge, never showed up at anyone's door with a giant check, more's the pity) and truly elegant snapshots of my Great Aunt Claire flanked by what might be either a particularly ornate chandelier or possibly a very late model robot and handmade Christmas cards from long ago family friends who moved to Mexico and, least and last, I guess, if you discount the giant pile of precut photo mats from the mid 80s, a xeroxed interview with an unknown third cousin about his time in the Air Force in WWII. So. You see that this is not a quick process and I've left out the poster of marrying circus midgets that my brother N found in a box labeled with his name in the far corner of the garage closet. It's an awesome, if terrifying, poster.

And all of it has this terrible tendency to make me cry.


Edward said...

Your Mom died on the same day that my Dad died in 1995. This time of late summer with the particular sun angle and plants sensing the big production days are over, and certain insects that chirp and sing this time of year. It always makes me think of that difficult time. Your experience feels so familiar too, and reminds me of those days of stunned but needing to do things anxiety and numbness. I was executor, so I in particular had to go through a lot of drawers and boxes and stuff and found that old detritus of long ago times. Times before I was around, when Dad was my age. The old Navy records of WWII in Europe, so distant from now, but somehow directly connected to me? How odd it felt.

I hesitate to read your blog at times now because it is difficult. I do anyway because it somehow feels like I'm supporting you by going through some of it with you. I know you've got lots of close friends to mull things over with and I doubt I could add much, but do get in touch if you want to talk.

Sujaco said...

I applaud your courage in posting during this difficult time. Talking about not having anything particularly funny to say, we really just want to read what's going on with you... whether it's that you're happy, sad, or whatever. We're right there with you, friend. Be well.