Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Week of Surprises

The last week has been one of unexpected developments, most of them good, one bad, and one just sort of bewildering.

The first of these surprises came when I returned from my grandmother's house on Thursday, June 28, with Powell following close behind.

"Now, listen," I told my 22-year-old brother, whose tendency for hard partying in other people's residences has caused issues in the past. "I don't mind you staying since Mom and Dad are on vacation, but it has to be just us."

"And Jewfro," my brother said.

"Yeah, that's fine," I replied. Thomas's seventeen-year-old best friend, a talented producer and, with me, devout Game of Thrones nerd, has become like a family member in the last year. "But that has to be it."

"No problem," he smirked. "We'll get down on some Game of Thrones. It'll be awesome."

Three hours later my front door opened to admit Ghetto Boy, fresh out of jail; Black Boy, fresh from a party at his own house; Jewfro, the only welcome guest; and, at last, my brother, who strode through the threshold wearing a massive sombrero.

"Powell, what the hell!?" I exclaimed.

"BB, just calm down," he said. He drew a bottle of flavored vodka from his backpack and grinned. "It's going to be okay."

"Holy shit."

Several shots in this all seemed much less objectionable to me, and I joined in with zest as the young men around our table engaged in an impromptu freestyle rap battle.

"My name is Powell Guy," I sang. "I wear a giant hat/Gonna join the Marines/Nah, nigga, fuck all that."

The backyard exploded in laughter and Black Boy actually shook.

"Nigga, BB just fried the shit out of you!" he cried.

When no one could think of anything sufficiently insulting for me, I jumped in on myself.

"My name is BB Kid/And I am lookin' twelve/And I'm a big old fag/So I'm gon' go to Hell."

All in all it was great fun, even if Powell saddled me with the cleanup, but I was not feeling nearly so exuberant the following evening when a demonic force of nature left me alone and without power in a 200-year-old house in the middle of nowhere.

I held my dogs close to me as the lightning raged and objects hit the house, then drove to a friend's home once conditions had calmed down. I would have done better to stay put. Trees blocked the roads, power lines were down, and the greater part of Mountain Town was enveloped in a darkness that some people in this region have yet to find relief from.

Morning's light revealed the damage.

You may have noticed that the outdoor patio set in the above picture is missing its umbrella. That's because the winds took it off. I found it, after a bit of exploring, in a cow field a quarter mile away. This thrashing was followed by a heatwave more savage than any I can remember, with temperatures here staying at 100 degrees or higher for a week and reaching 105 yesterday afternoon. We in the South are accustomed to searing summers but this is extreme even by our standards.

The weathermen predict relief this week, thank God.

Another and much more welcome surprise came on Friday, July 6, when my grandmother gave me control over one of my trust funds. This wasn't entirely unexpected, as she'd told me she was going to do it about two weeks beforehand, but the reality of it didn't really dawn on me until I was on my way to the bank Friday morning.

This is a bit of money, I thought to myself as I rolled through Mountain Town. What am I going to do with all this money?

I smiled.

I'll get a smoothie.

It is not so much that all of my woes are wiped away, but it is enough that I could pay all of my expenses for the next year without working and have a good amount left. I view it as a cushion, not a crutch, a boon that, if managed wisely, could make my transition from college student to young professional go much more easily.

It comes in the nick of time, too; my parents have been relentless in demanding rent and were unmoved by the fact that the $400 they wanted by the start of the month was more than I had in the bank.

Now I could pay them for years (not that that's the goal) and still be fine.

I did indulge a little bit.

On Friday afternoon I filled up my gas tank without the slightest care. Both yesterday and today I went out to lunch. Earlier I went so far as to buy myself two CDs from iTunes. But already, a mere two days after receiving these funds, the voice of worry has entered my head.

You can't go crazy, BB. You have to handle this well. Once it goes away it's not coming back. This has to last until you find a real job.

As if Christina Aguilera records and cheeseburgers were going to bankrupt me. But that's how I am. I stretched the last fund over four years, though, and that was while I was in college and with a smaller amount in hand, so hopefully I'll be alright.

Another nice surprise: it would seem that my voice is back. It's been running away from me since February or so and now, hopefully, has returned to stay. More on that later, though. I've babbled enough as it is.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you got hit by that storm. I didn't experience it, but my hometown did and there's still a lot of people without electricity. I was very thankful that my parents weren't affected too badly. Minor damage to a few windows (that they were in the process of replacing anyway and some damage to an old fence)...but others in the same town had it so much worse. Two kids actually died. Very very sad.

Yay for the money though! I can only imagine how much of a relief it is to actually not have to worry about where your next bit of money is coming from.

laura b. said...

I'm glad the impromptu gathering ended up being fun.
The storm and its aftermath sound pretty unpleasant, but gaining access to one of your trusts sounds awesome! Congrats :)

xinex said...

Oh boy! I hope you got your back patio all together now. That happens to us a lot. We have lost at least 4 umbreallas from the winds so when we leave town, I always put them down. Sounds like oyu had a lot of fun with your brother and his friends....Christine

Arizaphale said...

Hey BB! Talk about absence form the blogosphere! I am checking back in after an inexcusable absence. That video of the storm reminded me of my time on the Hay Plains of NSW. Flat Flat Flat. and when the sheet lightening struck it was like daylight, just like your video. The trust fund is another interesting opint of connection. We have received a legacy from Himself's uncle recently...and not a moment too soon. Funny what you race out and 'spend' it on though. And what you hold off on..knowing it needs to be done....we have been discussing what 'luxuries' we will both take from the amount. He has already ordered new sails.....I'm thinking of a necklift ;-D....Enjoy your smoothie and CDs! So glad you have this bit of relief.