Sunday, July 27, 2008

Family Interaction

Scene One
She lays on her bed, sheets wrapped in her lilac comforter. Her face is hidden though a few stands of dark brown hair peek out from the top. I hear her whimper softly, as I enter her room. She's refusing to go, she says in a muffled whisper. She refuses to do the things that they want of her. She refuses to see the people that she has tried so far to distance herself from. She doesn't care if she's doing it for someone else even if that someone else is her mother. It doesn't matter because she is too strong willed and defiant to be talked into anything that she doesn't want. She is steady, and strong but she's slowly cracking I can tell. I sit down on the bed beside her and pull the sheets back. She tells me that they lied to her, they said she'd never have to see them if that's what she wanted. They lied to her, and she can't forgive it. She can't see those people who said all of those things, ever again. She's too proud, she's too stubborn, and I know all of this. But I also know that she's just like her big brother, and she's about to break. Because we can only stay strong for a small amount of time. Eventually we're going to give in, and go out and face the things that we don't want to come within a hundred yards of. Not because we want to, not because anyone forces our hands, but because deep down we're good people. And as good people, we know it's the right thing to do. I tell her to just get up, and go get dressed so we can get it over with. She stalls for a few more minutes and eventually agrees. And as she's getting up to close the door behind me so that she can get dressed she looks me right in the eye and says "I hope you know, I'm going to be a total bitch for the rest of the day." But she didn't have to tell me, I already knew.

Scene Two
We walk into their small two story town house, a house that has seen it's fair share of shoddy repair work, and a total of sixty three ceramic statuettes in just the bottom floor alone. She moves to hug us, and we look to the floor for answers, as our hands move to our pockets. We've come because it's the right thing to do, but we're not bowing down. That's not how we do things. It never has been, we can't help ourselves. She looks awkwardly at us, and we stumble into the living room, and quickly take a seat on the sofa. He looks different than the last time we saw him four or five years ago. His face paler, his formerly large framed body, has turned frail looking. We are all seated, the TV is blaring in the foreground. Apparently Chevy Chase is trying to take his family on a vacation, and hilarity is ensuing. I can't take it all in. The ceramic angels, and the his pale face, and most of all Chevy Chase. I can't deal with it all at once, I could probably handle it all separately but not at the same time. It is too much, and yet it is so little. He is sick, and that's the only reason we came, and that makes me sad even though I know the reasoning behind it. She's sick too, but in a completely different way. A manipulative, and self serving kind of way. The kind of way that you never expect a grandmother to be. But that's the hand we were dealt. It's not without it's flaws, but they live their lives and we live ours. We go along our own separate ways every single day of our lives. And we only stop by when someone is dying. And he is dying, much like the fragile relationship between us died a few years ago. It suddenly strikes me between the awkward conversation, how little I care. I really don't care if he's sick. And it makes me a bad person, I know. But I really don't, it means so little to me that I am surprised. I am surprised that I could ever turn my back on someone, but I have, and I did. And, maybe I'm sick too.

Scene Three
We're a different kind of family now, the kind that we choose to be around. The kind that let me play with their two year old daughter, and their Pitt Bull puppy. And insist that I take home some movies to watch. The kind that tell me about the time they walked into our aunt's house and saw not only her snatch but also her vibrator. The kind of family who doesn't judge me for falling off my chair from laughing when they told me that last part. The kind of family that asks me for a cigarette and just sits outside with me while we smoke. The kind who talks about nothing, and everything at the same time. Between filing for bankruptcy and how all of us are guilty of watching Hannah Montana. And it's good to know that not all family members are basically just strangers that you happen to be related. Some family members are the kind of people that you'd probably want to be friends with anyway if they were just a bunch of randoms. And that's comforting. I think I'll go watch those movies now.

2 comments:

Firefly said...

Family members that are basically just strangers that you happen to be related to...yeah...I know the feeling.

Kelli said...

This is fascinating.