||[Dec. 26th, 2001|05:38 pm]
The Veritable TechNinja
|||||Nitzer Ebb - Control I'm Here (ON VINYL!)||]|
Well that was a fucking trip... Another family guilt ritual survived. Still dazed and ignorant of what was going on outside my door, I got up at some point around noon on the 23rd, went down to the car to grab my suitcase and such, only to grab a few things from it to stuff in my backpack, repacking for my next mission. This one was sickeningly compulsory, I knew exactly what fate was in store. Not wanting to sit around in dread of it, I just dragged my bag of presents and bookbag back down to the car and took off.
Hit my parents' place after an arduous drive, I've never been fond of watching civilization wane outside my window, giving way like low tide to reveal the floatsam of suburbia. Yes, my parents live in the middle of fucking nowhere. On the trip down, my throat started acting up. Another strep infection, at least my fourth this year. I don't even know any more, all I know is that tea, cough drops, and painfully spicy food (in that order) make short work of it. The ritual was already in full swing by the time I got there, my parents fought bitterly most of the night. They pointed out that I forgot my Uncle Buz, my favorite relative, in my gift-buying excursion in NOLA. I scurried over to the tiny mall in their town to pick up a Gibson book. No luck. Did meet my old friend Jason there, out of college and back home. I felt horrible when he asked me how I was doing, I downplayed my job, my independence, because I knew he came home destitute, most likely dropped out of college, infuriating the parents he now has to live with. I picked up a SciFi short story compilation I knew he'd enjoy, took off.
When I got back, we ate, and my mom decided we needed to open presents from and to eachother to make more room in the car. I got a shirt, a hammer (yeah, I know...), and the phono stage I've wanted for some time now. It's working fine, but I need a new cartridge. That can be taken care of later. I slept in my old room, in my own bed, my feet still dangle over the edge until I remember to curl up in to the fetal position.
Next day, we took off for Cincinnati. Joy. More arguing, mostly my dad getting on my mom's case and her finally breaking down and fighting back. Fucker. Five hours later, we're at my one living direct relative's little retirement townhouse thing. Same grandmother who I mentioned some time ago, the one who's taken to heaping portions of empty, melodramatic sentiment. She still doesn't see me as a human being, I'm still 9 years old to her. So I accepted my fate, I'm going to live with her for the next three days. We ate her "prized" shrimp stew that no one really cherishes. We opened presents. Oh boy, she went grocery shopping for me. That, and a toaster oven. Great. Slept on a tiny, unstable rollaway bed.
Got up the next morning already knowing what was in store. Visits to more relatives with a horribly skewed perspective on my life. People who ask me how my classes at college are. People who live in the main building of this old folk's compound, ones too far gone to be let out in public any more, according to this unspoken law of the elderly. Off to Uncle Bud, who was a bitter curmudgeon 10 years ago, now bed-ridden, incapable of using the restroom by himself any more. Incapable of maintaining a coherent conversation. I cannot begin to describe how awkward it was. We left quickly for that very reason, back to the townhouse for more "civil conversation", 100% of which I was excluded from if I tried to introduce my perspective. I left one too many times on the brink of rage to have a smoke, ran out a bit early. No smokes on the very day I needed them most. I suppose that's why I read so much of the books I got. Finished the one I gave my mom, no interest in the one I got for my dad, halfway through one that I got from my folks.
We left today, and of course my grandmother had to burst in to spontaneous love mode, when just last night she was verbally shoving me out of conversations. Yeah, I _was_ special to you at one point, but I am not 9 years old any more, I don't idolize you, and I certainly don't feel any of this love you're proclaiming in my face loud and clear. AUGH. So we got the hell out of Dodge. Short trip later, back to the folks' place. Hopped on my dad's machine to make sure the worries I had about P. were unfounded, and to some extent they weren't. I high-tailed it out for home. So here I am, freshly dosed with that good old family distancing and disdain. Hey, at least I can smoke inside now.
Now, I need to find out just what the hell I'm going to do for the rest of my vacation. I need to talk to P. as soon as she (you? if so, CALL!) reads this, that's going to be more or less the deciding factor. Whatever time is left I fully intend on wasting. A sweet, glorious waste, video games in my underwear, nuking pizza rolls and waking up at 2 PM. Mmmm... But am I ready for the new year? Fuck no. I have no idea what I'm going to do. Anyone have any ideas?