In June of 2004 I was entering the summer that I was sixteen. My family had departed for our new home in Deep South State and, after a fortnight at my grandparents' house, I was undertaking a summer with my birth-mother, Anne, that would forever change our relationship.
June 1, 2004
Today was a bit painful. Grand Ma and I went to Beautiful Town today. While there I spoke at length with First Twin and Short Boy. First Twin and I talked about the future and what lied ahead, while Short Boy and I discussed the past and our memories. We talked about playing ding-dong ditch and the time that I pretended to be pregnant while Short Boy was the doctor delivering my baby.
In the end it was hard to say goodbye.
I am reminded of a quote from the book Poland: “This was supposed to be a place of light for a thousand years.” It was.
June 2, 2004
Aunt Crazy, Uncle Responsible, Cool Cousin, Grand Ma, Grand Pa, and I went out to dinner tonight. We ate at a 1950s-style restaurant called “The 1950s Diner.”
Dinner was nice. I had spaghetti, a milk shake, and fries, a combination that wound up leaving me so full I thought I’d explode! It seems that this is a growing trend during the past week. Grand Ma and Grand Pa routinely make such good food that I often find myself full.
Cool Cousin has been going through a lot of stress lately. Her business isn’t doing very well and she is in quite a financial pickle. Aunt Crazy and Grand Ma were talking when they didn’t think I could hear, and they believe Cool Cousin should file for bankruptcy. The strain has taken its toll on Cool Cousin’s health. I am so glad I am only sixteen and I don’t have to worry about all of this. I will pray for Cool Cousin tonight. I hope that everything will work out for her.
Tomorrow, Grand Ma and I are going to the movies to see The Day After Tomorrow. If I had known this yesterday, on June 1stI could have said that we were going to see The Day After Tomorrow the day after tomorrow.
June 6, 2004
I’ve been e-mailing Christian Girl [a friend from Beautiful Town High School] as much as possible. Hearing from her is such a joyous feeling. I already miss her so intensely. I have to put that out of mind, though, as I’ll be leaving this sanctuary on June 8th at about three o’clock in the afternoon and I’ll have other concerns.
I am worried about having a job.
I know that it’s just Wendy’s but I’ve never had a real job before and I don’t want to screw up. How embarrassing would it be to be fired from a fast food restaurant? I would never get my parents to shut up about it. Well, actually, I wouldn’t even tell them about it in the first place. Better to not even give them the ammo.
However, I still wouldn’t be too happy to lose my employment. Two days. I also worry about crime in the area. Anne's Town can be pretty rough from what I’ve heard, and I’d prefer not to die this summer. There’s a way to have positive thinking, imagining yourself being brutally murdered, meeting your maker as your blood mixes with the salt and grease on the floor of a burger joint.
I am frightened about all of this, although I haven’t told anyone yet. I plan to discuss my concerns with my mother Anne on Tuesday. She grew up in the ghettoes of Independence City, in downtown. I don’t want to share her fate. And, though I love her, I mean that in more ways than one.
June 7, 2004
We made the long drive to Maryland and went to the United States Naval Academy today. I’ll write more about it tomorrow but, for the record, it was amazing.
June 8, 2004
The Naval Academy was a huge facility. It was like a self-contained city! There was a breathtaking church that I can say, without reservation, is one of the greatest structures I’ve ever set foot in. It was topped by a gorgeous, impossibly high dome. My grandfather Weird Family went to the Naval Academy, as did his father (my great-grandfather) and as did almost every generation of his family since the school’s founding.
We looked up records on my grandfather and great-grandfather. I found out that Grand Pa’s cousin was the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Go figure, right? I left my grandparents’ house today and, after a hellish ride, arrived here at my birth-mother’s abode in Decaying State.
Mom’s car doesn’t have air conditioning so we had to ride with the windows down. In addition her indicators are broken, so we were never entirely sure how much gas we had plus, we got lost. We stopped at a McDonald’s and got into an argument but we were soon reconciled and back on the road. It was mercilessly hot, but as we neared Anne's Town and night approached it became nice.
I did my “Fabulous Life” impersonations for my mother, my mother’s husband, my uncle, and my uncle’s friend. They found the parodies to be extremely funny, but I’ll go into that tomorrow. We have a busy day ahead of us beginning in the morning.
June 14, 2004
Yesterday I made a stupid joke to Anne about a caviar smell coming from her legs. She freaked out and called my parents, who weren’t mad but were shocked. I apologized. In all honesty I never thought that my mother would be offended by the joke or I never would have made it.
She forgave me, but I was still embarrassed and highly angry; if Anne wants to be my mother for two months she has to handle me herself, not resort to calling in the real parents when she finds herself in over her head.
June 19, 2004
From what I’ve heard Blonde Cousin, Thomas, and my parents say, our house in Deep South State is like a mansion. I find myself eagerly anticipating my arrival there on August 1st, as I long to swim in our indoor pool, long to sit in our hot tub, long to have SOMETHING to do!!! I long for Marie, my true mother; for Pie, for Thomas, and, to an extent (although not a large one), my father. I do not miss Powell at all.
I used to love Powell not only as a brother but as one of my best friends, however he’s turned into a vulgar, violent pig who I want nothing to do with. My father, on the other hand, has become continuously more pleasant and controlled. I retain a deal of caution when dealing with him, though, because I’ve seen how quickly he can become vicious; such days as December 6, 2003 still haunt my mind.
The way I see it, if I don’t open up too much with Powell or my father then neither one of them can hurt me anyway; I won’t even give them the opportunity.
I wish that Marie was less of an impenetrable emotional fortress, as I have a great deal more love and respect for her than for either of my biological parents. I don’t think she knows how much I admire her or how much she means to me. I am so happy that she is my mother.
Anne's drama irks me.
June 27, 2004
I went to the Serbian Orthodox Church today, and it was amazing. The church was indescribably beautiful, lined in oak and gold, watched over by magnificent chandeliers and Orthodox crucifixes.
When I walked into the church there was no one there and so I went behind the iconostas (oh, I don’t know how to spell it), the wall that separates the pews from the altar. It is adorned with icons of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, St. Nicholas, and other religious figures.
No women are allowed behind the iconostas, which at first seriously affronted me but, as my mother tells me, is for a perfectly good reason. She said it has something to do with a woman’s menstrual cycle, although unless she were to bleed through her pants and onto the altar I don’t see how the place could be “contaminated.” My mother assured me that it has nothing to do with male supremacy and I was placated, but here’s my thinking: men ejaculate, right?
Anyway, there was no priest because their original one tried to murder a parishioner who was elected to the church presidency after failing to install Communists who would have helped pilfer some $250,000.00 left by a deceased worshipper to the church. They’re trying to find a new preacher and are convening this Saturday to be addressed by one of the candidates. For the record, the old priest is in fail on attempted murder charges.
June 28, 2004
Apparently my mother does not possess quite the fortitude I’d attributed to her. She has decided to “play it by ear” with regard to leaving Angry Man, her emotionally abusive husband, because she needs the rent money and he’s been acting unusually nice recently.
Also, she remembers that when she was struggling with heroin addiction he stood by her side and put her through rehab. She feels that she owes him something, and she’s right; to kick him out now would leave the man homeless and without money or a way to receive income. I think that what she should do is allow him to stay until July 14th so that he’ll have enough money to find another home. Then her debt to him will have been repaid and he’ll be moving out, nothing odd, no vengeance to be taken.
June 30, 2004
The rent here, a total of $600.00, is due to my Uncle Nose-Hair on July 1st, which is tomorrow. Legally, if it isn’t paid on that date, my mother has thirty days in which to come up with it. She and Angry Man are tightly strapped for cash this month and she asked Uncle Harry if the rent could be paid a few days late, upon which he said, “I don’t want to hear it.”
Given that my mother and Angry Man have paid the rent early in the past I find this statement to be incredibly imbecilic, especially if one understands that Anne forwarded the money ahead of time only because Uncle Nose-Hair and Mexican Aunt drove themselves to near bankruptcy with stupid and irresponsible purchases. Mexican Aunt won a $50,000.00 lawsuit against her employers and managed to spend all of it inside of two months on cheap furniture and clothing from the Fashion Bug (which she’s worked into her head is some kind of elitist boutique).
As a result of this idiocy, Uncle Nose-Hair and Mexican Aunt are now in serious financial trouble and have taken two mortgages on their house.
Knowing that my mother would never refuse, Uncle Nose-Hair insisted that he must have all $600.00 by tomorrow. So distraught was my mother that yesterday afternoon she sold her wedding ring for a measly three hundred dollars, only to come up over $200.00 short. I am absolutely furious with my aunt and uncle, whom I haven’t visited in days.
How dare they put this pressure on her when she’s working so hard? Their level of moral deficiency is unfathomable.