JOY part 23

I soon arrived at My Sister’s house.


So, you got fired?



What do you mean “why?” I made my boss
swallow dog feces. He didn’t take to it
really well.

(No, no, no. This is what I really said)

What do you mean “why?” I’m in advertising.
Getting fired is part of the game.

So, what are you going to do? How are
you going to eat?

I’m going to grow mushrooms in the
bathroom and live off of those.

(Yes, I DID say that part. I do that when I feel like I’m being interrogated)

Don’t be a smartass. She’s asking you a
very legitimate question.

Believe it or not, I actually got paid
a lot of money by these people before they
fired me. I managed to save some of it.

How much do you have saved?

Enough. Don’t worry about it.

Are you getting unemployment?


Well, if you need to borrow some money
just let me know. You’re also welcome to
stay with me for a while if you need to.

Thanks Mom. Really. But I’m fine. I have
enough to stick it out for quite a while.

OK, but if you ever need anything, just
let me know.

Amazing, isn’t it? How could such a sweet, sweet woman have spawned a foul, evil creature like myself? Not that she was perfect, by any means. But, overall, you gotta love Mom.

Anyway, let me backtrack a bit and describe My Sister’s place where this conversation was taking place. Think of any upper-middle class suburban house, anywhere. Filled with the same suburban stuff. And filled with the same suburban-type people (not including me, of course). Got it? Now, add the usual assortment of bizarre baby and toddler crap strewn about and you’ve got it totally nailed.

It still struck me as so strange that Lynn very consciously recreated, more or less, a duplicate of the lifestyle we had grown up in. The same type of house in the same type of suburban “complex.” Even the same suburban penchant for amazingly bland food. Which, I have to tell you, still tasted damn good after eating one too many cold cheeseburgers on the road.

So, back to this thing about Lynn living in a slightly updated version of the suburban hell I fled from. You know, the thing was she was really, really happy. I watched her with The Animals and saw her face. She was truly content. Not that life was perfect for her either, I’m sure. But overall, she just seemed to know this was right for her. I can only imagine what that feeling must be like. Being happy. Being content. Not having to always ask “is this all there is?” How do you do that? How do you get to that point? As far as she was concerned, anyone who spent too long dwelling on what was wrong in their life had too much time on their hands. Maybe she was right.

Sex. I knew that would get your attention. I had that list. And on that list was Ann. And Ann was one of the women that I always wanted to sleep with, but never had the chance. And Ann married Richie, who fell off a roof and died. And now, I was about to go meet with Ann. Right now, as a matter of fact.

Ann looked good. Really, really, really good. She had a very pretty face and was very, very fit with a lovely curvy body that had been kept nice and trim. She was old (my age, for Christ’s Sake!) but she sure looked appealing. So much for my theory about stars in high school decaying the rest of their lives thereafter.

Anyway, finding Ann was a bit of a pain in the ass, as it meant talking to some people I had gone to high school with that I really didn’t like very much (Shocker that, isn’t it? Me not liking people). I won’t bore you as much as they bored me, but basically, all of them were doing exactly as my sister had and in the process of painstakingly recreating the upper-middle class lives they had been brought up with. And yes, an absolutely shocking amount of them had families. I guess that’s just what people do out here. It’s not like they’re going to question it or anything. It’s just something you do. Just like the Fifties. Besides, it gives meaning to their pathetic, little bovine lives. Just say “mooooo.”


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