Speaking of evil…Meet the Animals. My nephews. Alright, not evil. But crying, shitting, whining, always-demanding-attention little creatures that were making my life hell. Can you tell I don’t like little kids much. I know, I know, I might as well tell you I kick puppies for fun for the reaction a statement like that usually gets. Actually, I like dogs a lot. Little, sniveling, screaming children, on the other hand, I could soooo do without. My Sister was changing a nasty looking diaper on the youngest Animal while the other was proudly shoving his finger as far up his nose as he could without rupturing his brain. After taking the time to show me the reward of his mining efforts, he ate it. If you think you’re grossed out just reading it, imagine being there. And, as if that weren’t enough, My Sister took incredible pleasure in my discomfort and disgust.
Why do people with kids suddenly become so brain-dead and self-centered? Is it the lack of sleep that makes them so sure that everyone in the world thinks that their little darlings are oh-so-cute no matter what they do? I mean, really, have you ever, ever, ever seen anyone so oblivious to the fact that they share the world with other people than a mother with her little kids? The Yuppie Stroller Moms with their absurd double-wide strollers completely blocking the sidewalk and making it impossible for anyone to get by. The fact that I can’t see that all that matters in the world is their precious spawn means there’s something wrong with me. If I had kids, surely I would understand. Or so they infer.
Yeah, well, understand this. I am losing my mind and need to get away from this zoo My Sister is running. Oh, isn’t that funny, she’s offered me the shit-stained diaper and asked me to hold it. Ha, Ha. It is to laugh.
I end up in a bar by the university. Two nineteen-year-old chicks sit at a table behind me. Neither is very attractive. Neither is even worth the effort of trying to make small talk. Fat. Pale. Stupid looking. See “Bovine.” They sit there drinking their Budweiser, or other piss water for people that really don’t like beer, and talk. And talk way, way, way too loudly. Obnoxiously so. Something about which lamp they should buy for the apartment they share together. A conversation which one would think couldn’t be stretched to the length of fifty minutes. But I guess not much happened in their wretched little lives and this was a really, really big decision for them.
If that weren’t painful enough, then they turned on me. They started talking about my stomach, or the after-effects of my stomach, which had been acting up again. And they talked about it loudly enough to make sure that I and everyone else in the bar heard them, of course. The curse of CFS. I was so incredibly tempted to turn around and hurl my beer bottle into their fat, little piggy faces. Finally, after what seems like an eternity, they go back to talking about the lamp. Who could have imagined how hearing such a vacuous discussion could make a man so happy. Such is my pain.
I then went back to My Mom’s. My Mom lived two houses down from My Sister, Lynn. She had moved to be closer to My Sister. It wasn’t the house I grew up in, but it might as well have been. It looked and felt exactly the same. It was a really good arrangement for them. My Mom was close and helped Lynn out with the Animals. The Foul Beasts. Alright, I admit, they are really kind of cute when they aren’t totally grossing me out. I don’t really hate them as much as I might have indicated. I just don’t find them endlessly entertaining the way My Sister does. Not even close. And they really do do some pretty disgusting things. I suppose I’m not one to talk, though.
Now, where was I? Yes, at My Mom’s, getting a much needed break from the Animals and from the Piggy-Girls at the bar. I sat there with My Mom and we made small talk about all the changes in Madison and how exciting it was for the city that a new shopping mall had opened up and something, something, something. I really don’t remember after the talk about the Wal-Mart. And then My Mom, in her total Mom-like way turned to me and asked three, simple words.
Are you OK?
I blew it off with a quick “I’m fine.” But she kept looking at me for that extra second or two in that way only moms can do. That way that let me know that she knew that I was lying. It was really, really awkward. I kind of wanted to talk about it. To ask her more questions about My Dad and how he died. But I knew I couldn’t. It would just start us down a path of discussion I really didn’t want to get into. I mean, I did. But knew I couldn’t. It just wouldn’t be right. It would be hard enough for her losing her only son in a car wreck in Los Angeles. If she ever suspected…
I called Paul. What do you mean, “who?” My friend in Los Angeles. Just because I haven’t mentioned him in a hundred pages or so, doesn’t mean you should forget him. I certainly hadn’t. Although I keep forgetting to mention it to you, I call the guy all the time to bitch about life. He knows more than most. He knows about what I did to Thomas. He knows about my feelings for Nancy. He knows about my CFS. He even knows about my family curse and how I might die from some weird disease.
What he does not know. What he WILL NOT KNOW is that I am going to kill myself. It would hurt him too much. In some ways, maybe even more than My Mom because he would blame himself for not seeing the signs and stopping it. Alright, just saying that about him has just made me feel incredibly gay. Yikes. Guys don’t talk like that about each other, God Damn it. How about them Giants? Anyway, it would just be wrong to do to him to make him feel in any way responsible for not stopping me or any of that bullshit.
Moving on. Thankfully. I did get to tell Paul all about Ann. To which he responded by asking me when I was going to bang her. Boys will be boys. His advice on how to get to that point of success was entirely useless, however. Although it was kind of amusing (it involved alcohol, flowers, and small furry animals). When asked about his own relationship with some psycho wanna-be-actress named Vivian, he told me she was acting nuts and driving him insane. But he liked the way she looked naked so things kind of evened out. Like I said, boys will be boys.
I also called Tim. Drinking Pal, Tim. He wasn’t home. I left a message telling him that the beer in Wisconsin was all really bad American shit and that it was really difficult to drink since you had to drive pretty much everywhere. I wished him well and promised to call him back some time.
And last but so not least, I called Nancy. She wasn’t home, either. However, Josh was and, believe it or not, we ended up talking for about an hour. I told him about my road trip and the things I had done and seen (slightly edited of course). And I heard about his boat outing with Nancy on The Bay. And so on and so forth. He really was a good guy. Too bad I might have to kill him and steal his wife from him. Kidding. Just kidding. No killing involved. As for the stealing part, I was gonna be dead soon, anyway. So, it really wasn’t stealing so much as borrowing. What was I saying? Jesus, sometimes I was even shocked by the stuff that churned around in my brain. Enough of this.
KEEP GETTING YOUR FILL OF JOY ON WWW.FIRST100BOOKS.COM