Cafe Hitch-hike


Another day in paradise

I didn’t think my brother Deebo and cousin Drew would be too opposed to me coming over, bearing gifts of side dishes while they got the turkey. They are single men, after all! Drew was given a roaster by some clients of his, and so we inaugurated the roaster and cooked a turkey! We relaxed and watched the Detroit Lions lose in the usual fashion, but Deebo and I got caught up on a lot of things.

We talked about Uncle Joe a bit. Deebo is about 7 years younger than me, so we had different memories of the same people; it makes me step back, stop, and keep my lips together and listen. I need to listened to my siblings and get to know their understandings of our family life because we all has separate understandings. His recollections are not too different, maybe just a different kind of setting but a similar theme, We died laughing when we talked about Uncle Joe’s kidnappings, also known as his impromptu little road trips that were always fun.

Deebo’s take on our family life was also the same. He was 9 and our sis Bre was 8 when his parents divorced and they grew up with our Mom’s longtime beau Larry. Larry treated them right, but he and Mom had a violent relationship. Sadly, Bre is repeating that dynamic in her own relationship. Although she and Deebo are close, he said he left our hometown because he couldn’t stand watching it. He also thought our hometown sucked and it seemed to bring out bad things in people. Hah, my Uncle Jumpranger called the hometown Pleasant Hell Valley on a play of words, replacing ‘hill’ will Hades. It’s true that those who did the best left the region.

In the back of my mind, I thought it was quite important for us to be together since our favorite uncle died. No one spent the holiday sequestered. Our phones were buzzing with swapping pics, doing FaceTime, and phone calls. Uncle Joe would had loved to see this and especially be a part of it. We really could not get together for the funeral (and yeah, who would want to do all that in times of grief?), so we did this instead. I’m glad I didn’t hide out this holiday! We needed each other!

My brother and cousin kinda are keeping in the grief. I respected that and just said we handle it in different ways, but we do have to handle it. I told them that Joe had a lot of grief when Grandma died and so did Uncle J.

The other part... I know the guys here just get by. They kinda do what other relatives did and work enough to have what they need and live very minimally so they can afford to do what they do when they party. On my 3.5 hour (and super easy) drive here, I told myself to be open and nonjudgmental. My siblings are adults, and while shit often sucked at home growing up, it’s up to us to change or live with it. I can’t judge them, lots of things were different for them and they managed with what they had just like me.

I acknowledge that I was able to tap into some significant advantages to steer my life into a different direction(not to mention the joy of starting out with nothing). I know that I don’t want to keep shutting them out, it’s unkind for me to, and... I chose a much different life than theirs, and it doesn’t make them undeserving. It’s just different. I have to have boundaries so I’m not getting taken advantage of, taking on responsibilities that don’t belong to me, and not enabling anyone.

The guys stay in a little guesthouse that they are fixing in exchange for rent. I didn’t want to intrude especially with such tight space, so I got a great deal on a studio-styled hotel nearby. It had one of the best beds ever with down filled everything, and it has a kitchenette (I’m ganking the dish soap so I can give it to the guys, hahahah). It’s in an area full of office complexes next to the interstate, and I took Marley for a nice walk while I sipped on fresh coffee. Hell yeah, after staying in that gross motel during last year’s Gulf Coast/ Texas trip, I decided we deserved an upgrade.

Anyhow, I’m glad Joey pressed me to do this. I always said he had a big heart, and someone who suggested this has to.

It’s off we go to another day in paradise!

downwind | upstream