40 mile per hour gusts and red wine do make for incompatible bedfellows. This weekend I let myself get hung up on an idea. Hangups tend to be my hang up and the real hooker is that what I had intended to write about concerned hangups. My life is recursive that way. Despite a topic specific paralysis which culminated in a five hour nap this evening, I managed to make my weekend look much closer to the ideal. My ideal, I do not mean to generalize.
Six weeks ago my dad’s mother’s husband passed away. For the past three months I have attempted to visit her every Saturday. She lives a leisurely half hour walk to the south (though we call it going UP First Street). One of the few weekend activities I am regularly committed to, aside from beer for breakfast lunch and dinner, I made my way up there yesterday afternoon. This was the third time that, upon arrival, the doors were all open and no one was home. Turning the kitchen lights on and opening a beer, I prepared to wait.
Erik was the first person to walk into the house. He is my father’s younger brother. Once, years ago, I was house sitting and my morbid curiosity led me to read a paper left indiscreetly where I could not help but notice it for three weeks straight. The contents of said letter lead me to believe my uncle has the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. He also lives in a tent by the wash, right near my current abode. Background, that’s all. I was informed that Nana had gone out for the evening to a party with her sister. When I mentioned that she was never there when I came to see her, Erik replied, “Well, that’s a good thing isn’t it?” Illness, hard drug use, and a transient life have aged this man prematurely. Somehow, though, he has maintained the look of a hard beaten mid forty-year old for the last fifteen years. While his peculiarity can often make him appear childish to those who do not know him, his heart is golden.
Pacifico. I prefer V.O. Brandy or Nana’s margaritas but it was refreshing after the walk. Wondering how long, or if, i should wait, I hear my father’s voice. From now on, I’m going to start every sentence with a dependent clause. His words echoed down the hallway as he argued with something. It was not the type of conversation one has with a pair of missing keys or a remote control that refuses to opperate; he was sincerely in disagreement with an inanimate object. There have been very few times in my life where I have witnessed full-blown schizophrenic episodes, but this was that. Most of our interactions of questionably realistic nature have been delivered by the state prison’s mail system. He once wrote a wonderfully crazy epistle on yellow legal paper about the vault. The cover letter was a surprisingly well drawn and naked Tinkerbell. At the age of seventeen I was deathly curious to know what the dark scribbles and darker words meant and how they related to the vault. Now that I am twenty-seven, I know too well both what the vault is and why he was unable to explain when I next saw him a year or two later. Hesitantly approaching the sound, weary of encroaching on his privacy, it was hard not to stand outside the door and listen to him go on. Entering the room, I found him emptying the contents of a bag into an “incense burner.” I asked what it was and he replied, “Whatever you want it to be.” For a drug addicted schizophrenic, my father is quite the philosopher.
So, I spent a few hours with the black sheep of the family, indulged in recreational drug use, and went home to learn how to play Texas Holdem. I lost, which is not surprising. What did surprise me is that our resident weed distributor, the one that currently sleeps on our couch, also lost. He managed quite the hustle before throwing it all away on the last hand. Observe, the winner showed up with two thirty packs of beer, they disappeared, and yet he drove home. His “oh shit I’m nervous” face seemed transparent to me, but this is likely because I was not invested in the outcome.
But when the trees bow down their heads, the wind is passing through.”
P.S. Curiously, methamphetamine did seem to abate my father’s psychosis.
P.P.S. Tawni’s father asked me Saturday morning if I slept on my balcony. Why have I not yet?