Monday, September 29, 2003

Ken's weekend...

I'm a little out of it this morning. I awoke at 5am from, you guessed it, a dream about Rosa. In it, she was driving us through a residential area and we were both looking for something. (I want to say a YMCA... but that segues in a direction I refuse to take this...) As she drove, she told me about how we could never be back together again.

Folks, I already know this! She's made herself clear enough in my waking world!

Anyway, so at 5am, I awoke. I looked at my alarm clock - and was rather impressed to see that I'd woke up at 5am exactly. Normally, 5am wouldn't kill me... except that I'd gone to sleep after 1am. I didn't go back to sleep, though (as much as I wanted to), but instead stared at the ceiling, thinking of Rosa.

I looked up at the ceiling until 7am, exhausted, knowing I had to go to work... God, I miss Rosa.

Anyway, so how was your weekend?

Mine ended up being a family weekend. My family is kind of spread out so it's very rare to talk to or see more than one of them at a time. Well, this one was different. And I figured this would be a good opportunity for me to introduce you to my family.

Keith. My oldest brother. Keith's has not been an easy life - and he wants things to be easy. He's a recovering addict. Sometimes I think he wears that a little too proudly. Keith is going to be 42 in October. He has two kids, so there's two things he has that I'll never have. He also has one failed marriage under his belt... but that's a family curse.

Keith and I went out to Garf's Friday night and I mostly sat back and listened to him talk. Keith has a way of monopolizing a conversation and I have a way of giving up. So, I just sat back with my beer and my smokes and listened. (The irony in this is that I'm sure my friends feel the same way about me. Well, they've been trumped!)

Audrey. My oldest, and only, sister. Audrey is about two years older than me, also with two kids and one failed marriage. (Sensing a trend?) She lives in Oregon with a man who takes city-folk out hunting for sport (yep, I hate him) and grows marijuana on her porch. Like most of my family, she thinks she knows everything, has all the answers, and is, for the most part, completely full of shit.

Audrey and I didn't talk this weekend. Actually, we haven't spoken in nearly a year. Oh, we've passed messages back and forth through my mom. See, we were going to start writing letters. Last year, I started with one I sent around Christmas... and that's about as far as it went. She won't use a phone and doesn't have a computer so, until she writes, I'll just assume all's well.

Dad. My dad. I talked to him Saturday morning and agreed to get together on Sunday. (What did I do on Saturday. Well, faced with a mountain of housework... I played Diablo II and watched a movie and relaxed.) We got together Sunday afternoon and had lunch together. My dad, like so many of my family - but the primary cause - thinks he knows everything, has all the answers (they're wrong, but...), and is, for the most part, well, you know. Only he knows how many children he has and that number is probably too low... the same with his count of failed marriages. But he's my dad and I love him so there you are.

Blanche. My dad's wife. If he blew this one, he'd have a few people beating him in the head. Blanche is surprisingly normal in a family full (to bursting) with abnormalities. She's always been there with a kind word or a hug - she's swell.

Visiting with them is always strange. I've always felt that Dad and Blanche's side of the family (as opposed to my Mom, Keith, Audrey, and I) were like reality once removed. There just a bit off from reality - and I sometimes have to remind myself of this. Don't get me wrong. I'm glad they are a bit off from reality. Reality stinks and drives people over the edge of the Grand Canyon.

But it is nice seeing them. All the family angst got used up with Keith, Audrey, and I (and my Mom, too, which may be where it comes from...) so Dad and Blanche are quite refreshing. It's like visiting happy people... if you can remember what that's like...

I came home from visiting with them and transplanted a plant Rosa had given me many years ago into a larger pot. It's nice to garden, even in this "once removed from reality sense" where I'm gardening with potted plants and not in my back yard where I used to grow vegetables. Keith had left a message, rather upset, so I left him a voice mail - but I never heard back. I don't worry about things like that, though. People call when they're ready.

Finishing my gardening, I started cooking dinner.

That's when Dwight called.

Dwight. My younger half-brother. It's hard to think of my half-brothers as "half" but they are by definition, after all. They're Dad and Blanche's kids. Dwight is the oldest of the two. He's an accountant but I think, like Dad, he'll hit late-middle-age and realize he hates it. He talks about wanting to be creative and I wonder, "How did you end up in accounting?" Dwight has no kids and one failed marriage. (He also thinks he knows everything, has all the answers, blah, blah, blah...)

After his marriage with Debbie ended, he met Jennifer.

He was never desperately in love with Deb. He married her for the same reason he went into accounting, because he felt he was supposed to. But, when he met Jen, he fell head over heels (a phrase I never understood because, most of the time, your head is normally situated over your heels).

Yesterday, he called to tell me Jen had broken up with him. He told me many of things that he felt and concerns he had. Well, so much of it sounded very familiar. I've been there. For nearly four years, I've been there. I didn't try to give him any of the volumes of advice I've been given, though. I told him, "Dwight, I don't know what to tell you. I don't know if things will get better. I don't know if this was meant to happen or if it's for the best. I do know that you can't think about any of that. That stuff will work itself out in the end. Right now, you just do what you gotta do to make it to the next day."

I'm no big help.

Richard. My youngest half-brother. For the longest time, I was the youngest - the Bobby Brady of the family. Then, after Richard, I became the Jan. That sucks.

Richard and I didn't talk but he was very much on my mind after talking to Dwight. (I got off the phone with him because my dinner was done.) Richard was the wildest of the bunch and, in a lot of ways, I look up to him. He never seemed to let his neurosis get the better of him - He did what he wanted to do. He had no failed marriages but, then, he's still very young. Actually, he just got married to a very nice girl named Teresa. He's very much in love and what better way to be? He and I don't talk nearly enough (note to self).

It was nearing 8pm and I still had plenty of housework to do.

So, I called my mom. (No, not to ask her to do it!)

Mom. My mom. My mom's a good and decent person... and a bit crazy. But, then, who in my family isn't? Three kids, one failed marriage. Presently, she's married to Joe... about whom all comments are withheld. Joe and I don't get along very well because Joe hasn't liked me much from the second he heard of me. Actually, Joe doesn't like anyone much and, if he ever met God, would be heard to say, "Don't think you're hot stuff, cause you're not." But I endure his existence so long as my mom loves him and he makes her happy. If that ever ends, all bets are off.

Okay, so this is only a very short introduction to my family. I will say that, to a person, they're all crazy - and basically nice folks... just like everyone's family.

After I got off the phone with my mom, I still had all my housework to do. I went outside for a cigarette. (Hey, I'd cleaned my patio - very nicely, thank you - and transplanted the plant. I was bushed!) I could feel myself staring down the barrel of my 38th birthday and November, when Rosa would give birth to her baby. I had said to Dwight that, though I was a step away from the edge back in July, now I was three or four steps away. Sure, I was doing better but I was still too close for my comfort level.

Something had to give.

I went inside at about a quarter to one in the morning... and went to sleep... and dreamed about Rosa...

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