Cafe Hitch-hike


For my (half) sister

To my dear sister known as Princess:

I was surprised to see your e-mail in my box this morning with only the contents, "Hitch-hike?" I hadn't talked to you since last Thanksgiving and I hadn't had a phone conversation with you since January 2003.

The first thing I wanted to reply was, "que pasa?" I then wanted to say, briefly, that I was in the same place, the same job, and all that fun stuff. I wanted to say that I heard you were pregnant and I hoped that was going well. I wanted to say that I hope things are going well your way.

I didn't finish the letter, but clicked "Save as draft" so I may add to it later. I added to it later, indeed... These thoughts came instead:

"I was there for your mother's death and stood by your side...

...I was there and always was willing to listen when you were having troubles in your marriage...

...I always listened when you talked about your issues, and I tried to encourage you to pursue realistic goals with your education...

..but what did I get in return?

At the end of my terrible teaching internship, I got no consolation from you. All you said was I should move down to Atlanta where life will be swell and I could live with you. Nevermind my input or what I wanted to do with my life. And God knows, never mind giving any sense of empathy or compassion.

After college, I heard nothing from you but your judgement: Why wasn't I married? Why wasn't I making more money? Why can't I keep a boyfriend? Why did I cut my hair? Why don't I move to Atlanta, why the hell do I choose to live in backwoods the midwest?

I was getting really, really sick of you when you decided to separate from your husband. You lied to him about everything, lied to your family, too, and hoed around with guys you met here, there, and the internet. I said, "be careful," I said it again and again. I spoke from my experience handling divorce cases and what else I had seen. You were content to play your games and act like you'd never get caught. When you finally caught by your husband, you were so scared: "what can I do?"

My reply: "this is all part of the game you've been playing... You can't get around it or avoid this. You're going to have to face up to this."

Yes, I was sick of you, but there's more. This was an adult situation, so I have you an adult answer.

And then, no word for months and months. No phone calls, e-mails, nada.

Where does this e-mail come from anyhow?

Oh, I know... I know why you're calling. The only reasons you ever called was to cast your judgement or if you wanted something from me. Oh, I know why... (TBContinued)...

downwind | upstream