Munkeykat's Journal

Sunday, December 19, 2004

2:44AM - Some's not about Jeff (but not much).

Jeff finally called today to let me know that he'd made it back to Flint. He said that he'd been thinking about me every waking minute, and that when he did sleep, he had dreams about me. I told him that I'd looked at plane tickets to see about coming to visit him since spring break is so far away, and he asked if I was going to move to Flint permanently. I said, "No way, it's too fucking cold there," but I was very pleased he'd asked. If I didn't know he'd move down here as soon as he's done with his associates degree, I'd seriously consider it. He said that I could come visit but that it'd have to be after Xmas because he's got a lot to do before then. I'll talk to him about it Monday. Jeff's going to get a landline (phone) Monday and maybe internet too, so according to him, we'll soon be talking every day. I told him that if he ever got around to getting a cell phone, he should consider getting Cingular because then we could talk for free, which he was very interested in. He took a picture of Gage in the t-shirt I sent and will mail me a copy. It's the Katsup shirt Murph got for the neice of a lame-o she dated briefly. Jeff said that when he gave it to Gage, Gage asked him what it was. Jeff told him, "It's katsup; you like katsup" to which Gage replied "Nuh-uh!" Man, kids are weird.


Benita and Hope and I hung out tonight. Benita looks great. She's so pretty and fit. They went to eat Mexican and then went to the tattoo parlor where Hope got her tongue pierced. The guy told Hope that if she paid him in cash, he'd give her five bucks off. On her way to get pierced, she said that he ought to give her another five off because she's a teacher. He did. They came and got me before getting dessert at Sonic. We went back to my place to eat our ice cream and chat. I think we're going to Tupelo tomorrow and Columbus on Monday. I wonder if I'll be able to handle their frenetic personalities for so long in a car.

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Saturday, December 18, 2004

12:30AM - (cont.)

We talked until nearly dawn. I did make it home before sunrise but not before my dad woke up...I guess I came in about 4am. Jeff told me all about his life in Flint. He hates it there, but he loves his son and seems to be a very good dad. His son turned four in August, but the only picture Jeff had was nearly four years old. He said that he forgot to bring most of the stuff he wanted to bring down since the trip was last-minute, for his mom's birthday. Jeff has the funniest stories of life in Flint, from crack head antics (Once upon a time, there was a crack head who slapped his big dick against a tree over and over.) to those of his friends (Once upon a time, Jeff and a pal went around with a video camera and paid crack heads five dollars to do things like get naked for the camera, which wasn't always on.) Not to say that Jeff's not a humanitarian at all. He commented at one point that it was very sad that so many kids were growing up in a place riddled with crime and drugs.

We also talked about the time he spent in jail and what he learned about himself there. He admited that he used to be very cocky and that he realizes now how much trouble his cockiness got him into. For instance, throwing rolls of toilet paper at some prison guards got him six months in solitary where he only had the Bible to read, over and over, cover to cover. "I could quote you shit from the Bible" he said. In high school, Jeff was athiest, but now he's agnostic and as far as I can tell, very spiritual. Not religious, not Christian, but thinking and appreciative.

He told me about his relationship with his son's mother. From what Jeff told me about her, she seems manipulative and crazy, and he only associates with her when he has to and always only about their son. He said that he won't let her through his door; even if it's freezing out, he'll shut it and make her wait outside. Jeff doesn't like that she sits their son down in front of the tv all day, but that's why he's at Jeff's place a lot...Jeff lives in a neighborhood where lots of kids live, so his son gets to go outside and play with them. Jeff gives his son educational things, not the ubiquitous Power Rangers mom gives.

The next morning, the phone woke me up at 9:30. I knew Jeff was fishing, and it being freezing cold out, I wanted no part in standing in it. He loves fishing, and he asked me to give him an hour to do that by himself. I can't remember if he told me why he wanted to fish by himself for a while, but I think he just likes being in nature on his own to think and relax. He enjoys the outdoors that much, I suppose. Not that he doesn't want me to fish with him; he just wanted some time on his own before I came out with him. So I loafed around the house a while before calling him. We agreed that I'd shower and then just go out there. I got there about noon, and we left to pick up Anna, the little sister of a high school friend currently living in AZ. She was the hub of information for other friends in town or coming into town. The three of us hung out for a while. We went to the (get this) Meridian House of Pancakes where Jeff paid for my food. Then, we went to my parents' house where my sister and her boyfriend were waiting. Everyone, even my dad, gave Jeff a hug. I was very happy that dad shook Jeff's hand and then gave him a big hug. Very happy. We all ate mom's fantastic roast beef, mashed potatoes, black eyed peas, green beans, and biscuits. Mom took pictures off all of us on the couch before insiting that Jeff and I sit on the piano together to re-create a picture she took of us in high school. I got them developed at Walgreens today, and they look great, especially the piano picture.

After dinner, Jeff went outside to smoke. He started smoking, rolling his own, cigarettes in prison because that's all he had to do all day. He stayed outside for a long time before Anna and I joined him and dad in dad's heated shop. The four of us sat out there for a while before going back to the place his parents were staying. He got in trouble because we were supposed to cook dinner for everyone, but they cooked it themselves before we returned. We sat around for a while but didn't stay long because I'd forgotten to take my nighttime dose of insulin. So Jeff and I took Anna back home before going to my parents' house for my insulin. While there, I called Sherry so that she could talk to Jeff. She told me later that she'd told him that she missed him and loved him, that he teased her, "You do?" and she responded "Not like that; that's Sarah." (Sherry's been convinced since high school that Jeff and I'll get married.) All night, Jeff and I flirted like we used to in high school. On the way to the house from dad's shop, Jeff shoved me as I walked, and I shoved him back...harder. We spent the rest of the night harrassing and kicking each other. It's neither as annoying nor nauseating as it sounds. I've missed our banter and teasing for years.

After leaving my parents' house for the second time, Jeff and I went to the bookstore coffee shop. We talked over coffee (him) and tea (me). I don't know everything we talked about; I think we were mostly just happy to be out with each other. Our conversation flirted with talk of sex, something we've still never done together. (More on that later, of course.) We went back to his parents and hung out with Jeff's mom and her friend Deb. We all took pictures. Jeff's mom has a Polaroid, so I know some of those turned out nicely too. When Jeff and I stood in front of the Xmas tree for our pictures together, he threw his arm around my shoulder, and I put my hand on his back just like once upon a time. The gesture made me feel like something was happening, but I'm not very clear about what I thought. I guess it was just a physical manifestation of feelings and thoughts I'd been having all night. It made me glad to have him nearby again after so long a separation.

Jeff's mom finally talked me into taking him to the airport in Jackson the next morning to catch his 7am flight. Wednesday night was the first night Jeff and I'd ever spent together. We didn't go to bed until 1am. Jeff went to the trailer ahead of me, and as I was saying good night to Jeff's mom she told her friend Deb "That's Jeff's first love. Boy, he loved her, I'll tell ya. Jeffrey's first love." I bashfully mumbled "Mine too" and managed my way out the door as fast as I could.

When I got to the trailer, Jeff was still trying to figure out how to pull the couch out into a bed. We figured it together, and threw some blankets and pillows down. Jeff gave me a pair of his boxers, and we crawled into bed to watch some FoodTV. If I thought he looked good in a t-shirt, he looked exponentally more attractive in a wife beater. When he took off his jeans, he said "Don't look. I don't want you to see my legs." He's gotten a little pale because in Flint, he stays inside as much as possible and never wears shorts. The trailer was very cold, and eventually we curled up close together, though we were both shy and only touched feet at first. We were cuddled beneath the quilts when Jeff's mom came in and exclaimed "Well that's a sight for sore eyes!" before turning up the heat and going to bed.

As you may well guess, the cuddling escalated a few degrees and we kissed for the first time since we broke up in 1995. He tasted exactly the same, he felt the same, and he moved the same as ever. It was so nice, so perfect. No one has ever touched me like Jeff did, and much to the disappointment of me and probably a half dozen men I've dated since Jeff, I've always wanted them to. I've compared everybody I've ever dated to Jeff and been disappointed when they haven't lived up to my expectations. More recently, I've been freaked out that I would never be happy with any man, that I was going to feel forever constricted by whomever I was in a relationship with. As it turns out, I've felt constricted and disappointed simply because none of the men I've dated since Jeff *were* Jeff. Perfectly delightful (mostly) young men otherwise, but just not Jeff.

Despite the fact that we had to be up at 4:30, Jeff and I didn't go to sleep. We stayed up kissing and talking. The alarm went off, and Jeff hit snooze twice before saying to me at one point, "No matter what happens, I love you best." The snooze went off for the third time, so I reached to the floor and picked up the alarm clock. I turned it off and told him "Look who turned off the alarm...I love you too." We kissed some more, and I told him that if I'd ever done anything to hurt him, I was sorry. Before going home to see him, I read some of the letters he'd written me after we broke up and reminded myself of how immaturely I'd handled things. We'd never fought, but I'd never given him a chance to grow up. We both had to do that on our own...in hindsight, all for the best. He said that he thought he was the one who'd been hurtful. I told him that he'd never really hurt me, that he was great and I missed him. I told him I was afraid that I'd never get to see him again, especially after he didn't respond to the letter I'd written to his parole officer. He said that he'd lost it, that his son had probably found it and colored on it. I said that he couldn't blame an absent four-year old for his not contacting me for so long. We laughed and started getting out of bed.

Jeff made coffee while I lay in bed a few minutes happily watching him move around. Then I got up and got dressed. Jeff woke up his mom so they could go get the catfish and venison he was taking back to MI. He poured us each a cup of coffee before going out to start my car and get his food from the freezer. Before leaving town, we stopped for gas and coffee at the truck stop where Jeff worked while he lived at my parents' house before we broke up. He got coffee and paid for gas while I pumped and washed the windows. The drive to the airport was too short. We talked nearly the whole way. He kept his hand on my leg and his head on my shoulder for part of the drive. He asked if he was bothering me because he felt like he was being clingy; I assured him that he didn't feel clingly and that I liked his touching me. We got to the airport only to find out that he'd missed his flight. We arrived twenty minutes before takeoff and ten minutes after they stopped checking baggage. His mom thought the flight was at 7:20, so I told Jeff that maybe this was her way of getting him to stay longer. Either way, I didn't care because he would get back to MI eventually and only because he had to. The next flight to Detroit was at 9:20, so I got to see him for that much longer. We checked his bag for that flight and went to Waffle House for breakfast.

I'm still tired, but as more details come to me, I'll finish this epic romance one day, I swear.

Current mood: content
Current music: U2 Under a Blood Red Sky
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Thursday, December 16, 2004

9:00PM - 20/20

Being with Jeff again was the best I've felt and the happiest I've been in a very long time. Please forgive me for continuing to speak of the past few days in nauseating hyperboles, but I mean every sappy word of it...

I was still driving into Meridian when I decided to call Jeff to let him know how far away I was. No one answered the phone, but a few minutes later, Jeff called me from a different number. He'd just gotten into town, and I was the first person he'd called. After stopping by my parent's house to drop off some stuff (because I was nervous about seeing him, not because I really had to), I went to the camp where Jeff and his parents were staying with family friends. I had a trouble finding their long, dirt driveway because Jeff's directions lacked a little detail. So he stayed on the phone with me and walked, in the very cold, up the long drive to meet me at the road. I did manage to find the road and turn on it, so I met him half way up the drive.

He looked great, even bundled under a big coat, hat, and hood. He got in the car, and we drove to the house. As soon as we got out of the car, he gave me a hug. It was so good to see him, and he looked just as good as ever. Better, even, which I didn't think was possible. We went in and I got to see his parents. They hadn't changed, but apparently I "don't look like Olive Oil anymore." :) We caught up for a while before his mom (a trip and a half) told us we could go out to their RV and "watch a movie or whatever," she didnt' care what because we're "grown ups, consenting adults now. Do whatever." Jeff asked me if I liked Johnny Depp (absolutely) and if I'd seen whatever that Steven King (I think) movie was that he was in...I hadn't. We went to the trailer to watch it.

Of course, Jeff and I talked through the whole movie, so I still haven't seen it. Then, he put on Cold, Creek Manor and we talked though that too. He's still amazing, though moreso than ever. He gabbed the whole time, but I loved listening.

(I'm absolutely exhausted...and will explain why later...)

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Saturday, December 11, 2004

6:08PM - Holy Fucking Shit

I just got a call from Jeff. Out of the blue, he's called after not having heard from him since 2001 and having not seen him since 1996. He'd lost the information I'd sent his PO but just remembered my parents' phone number and called them. He's in OK with his parents right now but had spent a few days vacationing in MS with them and called my mom just now to get my number. He'll be back in Meridian Tuesday for a few days before flying back to Michigan, so now I'm motivated to get my grading done, grades turned in, and take my ass home to see Jeff (and Dave, who I haven't seen since he graduated in 95 but will be in town too). I'm so excited...

Jeff sounded much different. His voice is deeper and has a werid Michigan accent, but I suppose he is different. He's getting his shit straight. He's working on an associate's degree/liscense in AC & heating repair, which he plans on doing until he decides whether or not he wants to get a degree in mortuary science. I asked him why he chose that, and he said that he doesn't like working with people and he doesn't like anyone standing over him. He sure won't have those problems in a mortuary, I suppose. He says that Gage, his four-year-old son, is also doing well. Gage has a "big, bulb head" and talks back, just like Dad. :) I asked about Gage's mom, and he says that she's a "stuipid bitch" and that they haven't been together since she got pregnant. He'd tried to join the military too, but they wouldn't let him because of his drug record (had he murdered someone, he could join, but drugs are a big baddy) and his tatoos that come past his wrists and are on his neck. I know he's got piercings too, so I'm a little nervous about first seeing him. I'm sure we'll get along as well as we ever did, but he's going to look so different I'm sure I'll react to the difference. :) I'm still excited though and can't fucking wait to see him again.

Wow.

Current mood: ecstatic
Current music: Portishead, at request of Murph
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5:48PM - Eh? Whazzat? Speak up!

Day three of Killer Headaches. Day two of Killer Back Ache.

Why the fuck am I all of a sudden two hundred and eighty years old? Old, old, old.

Old.

Current mood: Wincing
Current music: Mazzy Star
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Friday, December 10, 2004

10:51PM - 99.98% Purely Guilt-Free

As if I've ingested bar after bar of the only soap that's pure enough to float, I feel bloatedly full of loosening guilt. I'm starting to deal with the fact that I may be a confused twenty-something (I'm usually so good at defying the odds...) who only knows that she has no idea.

But, thanks to the IM that Drew sent, I'm transmuting what was loads of guilt into loads of self-inquiry which, I'm sure, will up my production of ennui.

Now if the guy across the hall will finish moving out and stop pissing people off. Bill is generally pissed off anyway, so we never counted him, but when I told Murph today that Guy had moved her artsy pod installation to store some of his shit in the empty apartment, I thought she was going to spurt blood from her temples for at least thirty-two minutes. And I'm tired of him mucking up the lawn with his ill-parked SUV and his dog stinking up the landing. Bathe the damn thing, sheesh. I think Guy will be gone tomorrow, so maybe I'll be able to fix the network connection and get internet back in my room.

Current mood: Yarg.
Current music: Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark" stuck in my head.
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12:36AM - Friends Don't Let Friends Type Drunk, or, Greetings from Tibet

I pretty much broke up with a nice enough boy, and tonight, I'm not only wracked with guilt for hurting his feelings (I think), but I'm lonely too. I just don't know if I'll ever figure it out. I'm so afraid that either I'll end up alone, or I'll just keep doing what I do: dating perfectly lovely people and then dumping them.

I got G to drive me home because there was no way I was going to drive my car after four beers, and I suspected Murph was going to go home with her current flame. She did, but she's here, so I could have ridden with them and not been as fucked up as I feel, perhaps. I like being with G, but I think it might be because I know he's got a g'f and is therefore no threat to me. I know I'll never wind up in a relationship with him, so I feel free to hang out with him regardless of how cool I think he is.

Fucking nunnery, here I come.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2004

1:21AM - Lloyd Dobler

I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that.

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Friday, December 3, 2004

9:29PM - Muwhahah

I love her, but god help her...

http://www.awfulplasticsurgery.com/archives/004907.html

Oh, and I'm pissed because, tonight, Drew can't drink just beers at the bar that doesn't serve alcohol...He has to drink alcohol because he's "cold." WTFEver.

My new avitar:

Current mood: irritated
Current music: REO Speedwagon
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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

10:19PM - :P~

Some good news I neglected to post...

I told Drew that I was angry the other day when he sat up in bed and the first thing he did was grab his laptop, no good morning, no nothin' (especially since I've been feening for some morning sex, going on a week now, and have yet to get some). He said that he thought I was still asleep, so once again, a misunderstanding. Aside from our occasional misunderstandings and his frequent habit of forgetting to do things or simply changing his mind about doing things he says he's going to do (like my dirty dishes, so how upset can I be?), we've got a pretty satisfactory relationship. And of course, there's whatever my problems are...

We were at the Diner the other night having coffee. Drew was talking about how he'd like to get a telecommuting job, that such a job would be perfect for him because he doesn't like working with people or leaving the house much. I totally understand, especially in his case as he's such a laid-back guy that, despite his amazing ability to have a conversation with and befriend anyone, I'm sure being around people who either tell him what to do or gripe at him (potentially) stresses him out more than most. He's not so good with callous criticism or rough demands, I think...But anyway, he was talking about telecommuting and then asked if he could be a stay at home dad. Hah. That'd be perfect. I know that if we were to adopt (we agree on this matter) a kid sometime in the far distant future, I sure wouldn't want to sit at home with her. Not all day everyday. I don't give a shit what so many new mothers say...I get antsy and bored, even with adorable rug rats.

Current mood: okay
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8:42PM

I spent the entire day giving futile explanations. It seemed no matter how many different ways I explained anything, no matter how many different examples I gave, no one understood me.
ALL DAY LONG.

Current mood: tired
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Sunday, November 7, 2004

11:36AM

Drew's turning into a cw. He's nicer and more considerate...and much better in bed, but the first thing he did this morning after sitting up in the bed was reach over, grab his laptop, and start clicking away on it. I don't want to have this conversation again. Not with him, and not with him more than once. I thought I'd made it clear how much I despised being put behind a fucking computer in order of interesting things to do. Goddamn it.

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Friday, November 5, 2004

10:10AM - Why I Gripe at the P.O.

So here's the plan of action, yo...

Drew has helped me set up a web site (bulletin board) where people can sign up to read and post information. I'm going to use it as a forum for political action; meaning, I'll set up categories for different political topics, and members, according to their own interests and knowledge, can keep everyone updated about the topics.

For example, say I'm particularly interested in the reproductive rights of women. Should I hear a news story about a city government not enforcing protest/picketing rules outside of a local Planned Parenthood clinic, I would post a summary of the news story, a link or two to articles about the story, and likely a letter I'd written to that city's government urging them to enforce laws that exist to protect the rights of women seeking assistance with their pregnancies. [Please note, people, Planned Parenthood provides all sorts of counseling and reproductive health care, not just abortions!] I might also post a letter to Congress urging them to uphold the rights of women to control their own bodies. By posting news stories and letters to "authorities," I'm not only sharing information, but I'm also sharing the opportunity to (easily) communicate concern about the issues. People will have the option of editing letters written by others and then sending their personalized versions to the proper "authorities."

I think this plan will work to help organize the half of the country that votes and thinks along the lines of doing what is best for all people, regardless of personal "moral" or religious beliefs. This country, regardless of what my freshman comp students seem to have been taught in high school, was not founded on Christian ideals. This country was founded because of religious persecution...persecution perpetrated by Christians upon Christians. Our Constitution was written by men who were mostly deists, not conservative Christians.

The New York Times published a pretty good article yesterday that serves to remind the paper's readers of the fact that this country was founded according to the ideals of the Enlightenment, not the Dark Ages:

"The Day the Enlightenment Went Out" by Garry Wills, published Nov. 4, 2004.

Once the site is up and running a bit more, I'll post the link so that the world can start griping with me.

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Thursday, November 4, 2004

3:51PM - Tired of Griping

I'm not tired of my own griping, of course; it's what sustains me most days. I'm tired of everyone else griping about four more years of Dubyuh. I'm not a staunch Republican, nor am I a staunch Democrat. I went to bed late Tuesday night knowing full well I'd be irritated the next day regardless of how the election turned out. Of course, I suspected W would win, especially since "all scenarios where Kerry wins require his winning Ohio" didn't look promising as of midnight.

Granted, I work in an English department, and anyone would be hard put to find many conservatives in a university's EN dept, but I was in no mood early Wednesday morning to be greeted with an ironic "Hooray! Four more years of Bush! (I'm practicing.) Yaaaay Buuush!" What use is there in griping about a clear and (at least this time) fair win?

So here's my solution: Though I'm not pleased at all with the sketchy and rather un-American 2000 election and the subsequent four years of stuttering, simple-minded, either-or/black and white logic of American machismo, I'm going to hope that this re-election will make W more confident in himself (as if his running for US President were actually an exercise in self-esteem building all along) as a leader so that maybe he can ignore whatever lame advise he might have been relying on for the past four years. Also, I hope that he recognizes that in order to make half of America and most of the rest of the world happy, he's going to have to try something different than what he's been doing. No more balls to the wall, screw-you, buddy "diplomacy." No more imposing, or threatening to impose, un-Constitutional and/or anti-humanitarian will upon the American people.

The fact that my state passed the proposition to amend its constitution so that marriage is defined as being only between a man and a woman is ludicrous enough, but the fact that it passed with 85% in support of the amendment is much, much worse.

Hey everyone, while we're at it, let's re-illegalize miscegenation!

Current mood: tired
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Wednesday, November 3, 2004

11:00PM

Please, please, please, please, please listen to any teacher who tries to teach you how to make choices and base arguments on reason and logic, not emotion and "moral" beliefs. For crying out fucking loud.

Thank you, have a nice day.

Current mood: tired
Current music: U2's Boy
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11:00PM

Please, please, please, please, please listen to any teacher who tries to teach you how to make choices and create arguments based in reason and logic, not emotion and "moral" beliefs. For crying out fucking loud.

Thank you, have a nice day.

Current mood: tired
Current music: U2's Boy
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Thursday, October 28, 2004

4:31PM - Hurrr...Hurrr...



Short, terse, unfriendly,
Yet sometimes quite emotive;
I am the Haiku.
What Poetry Form Are You?

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10:07AM - F'n Hell

I just instant messaged a person I thought was my pal Bill...when this guy responded to my IM, he got my away message which is "I love an early f'n morning." Apparently, he misread it as "I love f'n in the morning" and asked me about it. Of course, I misread it as him asking me about loving the f'n morningtime and responded with "Yeah. I f'n love it."

He then responded with "Hell yeah, we need more girls like you." I don't know why he thought I am a girl, but now I'm creeped out that some guy named Jason, who's not so much as an acquaintance of mine, thinks I love morning sex. Yikes. I hope it's not one of my students. Whoever he is can figure out exactly who I am quite easily by looking at my Yahoo! profile.

Gee f'n wiz.

Current mood: 2 hrs. sleep...need I say more?
Current music: The droning hum of my own existence.
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Thursday, October 21, 2004

12:30PM - Homeschooling: Pro and Con.

Pro: A student who spends his time in my class studying for other classes and talking to other students at his table wants to drop even though it's past the drop date. Meaning, I get a call from A Woman with the power to drop his class for him. She wants to know if I failed to return a graded assignment before the last drop date because if I didn't, he can drop my class with a "W." I didn't think at the time to explain to her that he's got a high F in my class (a good sign, really) and has failed Comp 2 before and not without cause from what I can tell. He seems to be unwilling to put forth the effort to pass my class. Boo freakin' hoo.

Con: My 16 year old student who was homeschooled came to me today asking that I return points on his second paper because they turned it in without having received a graded first paper. The points he wanted returned were the five I took off because he didn't have a conclusion. I said I'd look at it and likely give him back some points, but upon thinking about it, I have absolutely no reason to do so. He's taken Comp 1, and my rubric clearly calls for a conclusion. Surely, he's got no excuse to be an idiot, and his momma probably sent him to my office to complain anyway.

:P

Current mood: :P~~
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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

9:40PM

Ah, fall break this Monday and Tuesday...what will I do with my time? Oh yeah, I'll likely still be catching up on grading. Maybe not. Maybe I'll get so fed up with the shit that I'll polish it off before the weekend. (Right.)

Here's the shit I've been dealing with all too much but not too well: Mom called this past Saturday or Sunday to tell me that Aunt Trish is an alcoholic. Aunt Trish never coped with the death of her only child, born well after she marked 30 yrs and still an infant in the grave. She, for whatever reason, has been obsessed with the success of my mother, her older sister, more and more the past few years. Not that my grandmother has helped much by, apparently, praising Mom's supreme level-headedness and brains since birth. [An aside for all the younger kids or those who act like them: Get the fuck over it and live your life in whatever way you see fit. So what if people compare you to your older sibling(s)? It may be because you are a fuck up and s/he/they is/are not, or it may be because people naturally make comparisons and are unintentionally inconsiderate.] Aunt Trish hasn't dealt with life since the baby's death: going out of town every Mother's Day, Xmas, et al as well as avoiding and resenting--for no apparent reason--her husband's family. She has, however, slowly become more and more addicted to various things.

For example, after getting a degree in radiation technology (quite a move from cosmetologist), she decides to go back to school to get her RN license...to become, get this, a grief counselor in pediatrics. Not to say that she's unqualified or unfit to do this job, but the woman has, for a long time, resented life in my mom's shadow (mom's been a nurse my entire life and worked nearly that long in the hospital where she's doing all of her clinicals). Furthermore, she's always loved cooking and always wanted to go to culinary arts school, so when I suggest she drop out of nursing school (esp. since she's flunked the last two tests she's taken, and not because she's an idiot by any means) to go to CA school with me, she says "Oh no, I can't do that. I'd never hear the end of it from your mother and grandmother."

In the case of Aunt Trish Has Lost Her Damn Mind But Doesn't Realize It Yet, I present Exhibit B: She goes to Hardee's with my grandfather last week and proceeds to lay into him: "You and your crazy wife need to either get marriage counseling or get a divorce because I'm tired of you two complaining about each other and me getting caught in between."

Exhibit C: Last Wednesday, Aunt Trish was taken to the ER because my uncle had trouble waking her up, and when he finally did, her speech was slurred incomprehensibly. In the ER, she insisted, while Uncle was around, that she'd not had anything to drink since one Long Island Iced Tea on Sunday, but when he wasn't around she told Mom that she'd had two more LIIT on Monday and one on Tuesday. But when Mom would ask what she'd had to drink that day, Aunt Trish insisted she'd had nothing and kept asking what was wrong with her. Her CT scan came back "normal." Her BAC was twice the legal limit.

Exhibit D: She's telling people that she went to the hospital for a "possible seizure."

Exhibit E: My cousin Chris, who's been living with Aunt Trish for the past couple of years, moved out recently to be closer to her boyfriend who lives counties away. Mom called her to find out what she knew about Aunt Trish's drinking habits. Chris said that AT's been spiking her large glasses of wine with vodka for *quite* a while now and that she moved out because she couldn't stand the messy house, the six indoor cats, or AT's drinking anymore.

I'm terrified of confronting her. I've got no idea about how to react to her lying to me about having seizures, and I'm sure she will. She raised me just as much as my parents did and certainly shaped my personality with her near-daily influence. I don't know that there's anyone in my family that I feel closer to than Aunt Trish. She's only 13 years older than me, so really, we grew up together. She took me to see E.T. and Bambi and Beetlejuice and Revenge of the Nerds. I remember being upset that I couldn't go to her high school graduation and had to have a different baby sitter that night. I've been a miserable bastard all week, passively-aggressively abusing everyone around me. But Drew was a real sweetie last night. I kept laying in the dark thinking about AT and started to get upset, so I mentioned to Drew how upset I am about her drinking. He put his arm around me and petted my head as he talked to me and asked me questions about the situation, how I felt, and what I thought. He also said that he'd look up the number for the school's counseling center so that I could go in there to ask them about dealing with an alcoholic in denial. He didn't though because I decided that it wasn't necessary yet. I wanted to think about things on my own some more.

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