Cafe Hitch-hike


Collecting and Assembling the Pieces

Another appliance in the Cannabis Condo had to be replaced. My air conditioner made a final dive into Davy Jones's locker. After months of sticking it with bubble gum or whatever piecemeal repair that was made, I'm getting a new one. This joins the dryer, refrigerator, and hot water heater (which was the worse of them all). When I leave, the carpet will most likely be torn out considering the job the dog and I did on it. Every time I see a unit with carpet vacated, it gets torn out and replaced with hardwood laminate, so no loss there!

I'm still looking for another unit, but it's probably not the greatest idea with Mercury Retrograde (hahahah). I found some units in places I liked, but I declined one because a guy I once dated lived in that complex. I hope to do what some of my friends did and find units owned by wealthy South Americans who really don't care about profiting off it. The owners simply figured having someone in it was better than letting it sit empty.

With that, I decided not to go to Texas for the holiday. I'll be busy either moving and getting settled in. I have family fatigue, and really didn't feel like going for the holiday. I'd love to see my friends, but just the thought of tearing all over central TX lacks the appeal it held in previous years.

Oooh, but I was excited at the thought of heading to that ashram in Colorado again, bahahah!

I had a nice visit with my bro Deebo and cousin Drew. It was like we were kids again as we tore around a theme park just as we had 36 years ago. D&D were really good to me; it was like visiting my friends! The thing was I felt a little sad to realize Deebo had a much better memory than I ever thought and remembered a lot about home. I felt sad that the rest of my siblings possessed very similar memories. It also made me sad about all kinds of things, and I really realized why I hardly went to see them. Deebo hit it on the head when he said our sis Bre replicated the relationship our mother had with Larry, her beau of 15 years. He said he was depressed by watching her go through the same motions. Although they were close, he said he had to leave her and the hometown for identical reasons as mine.

I also know Deebo had some big problems with drugs and alcohol in the past, and had some pretty significant behavioral problems when he was a teen. He alluded to those over the weekend and said, "I was going crazy inside. I thought I was going to explode."

Now I know where I got my sense of hopelessness. It's from seeing the way things stayed the same for so long. People stayed the same, situations stayed the same; it gave me the impression that once things are a certain way, that's that. With people, what you see is what you get. Nothing will change. Go downhill, yes, but change for the better? Hah. It's easy to see everything in black and white when the majority of what happened around us was just that.

My siblings and Mom have been in contact more with each other. I understand that often happens after a death, Everyone reaches to each other in memory of the beloved that passed, both to remember and also for comfort. What I didn't quite anticipate was the feelings it would stir. Feelings of that pain. We are much older now, and the older I get, I've been piecing together what my siblings thought about home. Our opinions really don't seem to be that divergent.

It seriously pains me to think they felt even a bit of what I often felt about it, and that it messed them up in different ways. I always thought maybe they would be immune, but that was a wish where I didn't really acknowledge their humanity. Of course they would be hurt and wounded as well! As I said yesterday, I was able to muster up some resources to get me through and so was my sis Big Momma, but the rest weren't so lucky. I think that is what pains me the most, and that is what I really don't want to face. This, and when they are stuck in what my mentor called a repetition compulsion.

I still talk to Bernardo here and there, and his family life was near-identical. He once told me he was so glad he was able to get away from the hometown, and even acknowledged that those who did the best were the ones who left.

Something in me says that since we are talking more again, maybe this could be a time to heal? I don't know. Wishful thinking on my part? A time to talk about this, show the wounds, and let them go? Hmmm... There's nothing like a death to put our backs to the wall with this. My sibings' father died, so now that he's gone, things can be said. Now that our caregiver and friend Uncle Joe is gone... perhaps things really beg to be said.

As I look at it all, the more I see it was real and all of that really happened, and it makes me want to cry for a whole year. Oh, how I wish we all can heal, I wish we can find a sense of wholeness despite all that had been splintered and broken. I hope we can... somehow.

I guess the other reason I didn't want to go to Texas also has to do with Uncle. It won't be the same without him, to say the least. However, it also makes me think of what happened before his funeral. Uncle Bert made the arrangements for Joe's funeral which came to what I thought it would cost, and I told him I would cover it, whether it was through Joe's life insurance (I was his beneficiary) or my own pocket.

Immediately before the service, the funeral director talked about Joe's arrangements to his siblings, nieces, and nephews that showed up. She explained the timeline for the death certificates and cremation, and then broke down the costs of his service. As she said this, I was signing a paper where the funeral home could directly get the payment from Joe's life insurance company instead of waiting for a check to the beneficiary. It was a mom and pop company, and everything they did was reasonable and quite good service, so I agreed to that.

The director finished and asked if anyone had questions. The room had a heavy pause, and Uncle J. (the guy that tormented me and my sister) obnoxiously asked, 'yeah, is this gonna cost us anything?" and more than one person murmured in agreement. I had just finished signing the paper and firmly replied, "it's handled."

Yeah, it's handled. Don't worry about a damn thing. Thanks for asking if there was a way to help out, even if it was $50, flowers, or hosting a gathering at your place. Our loved one died, and the main thing anyone could ask was if they'd have to pay for anything. In comparison, my mother was willing to tap into her paltry 401k to assist (I told her no). I could understand their concern, but it was said with such disregard that I felt repulsed. That remark was a glaring reflection of that and my regard for some of them kinda diminished. In short, I probably don't feel like visiting Texas so I won't make efforts that would put me near those very inconsiderate people.

Some other matters popped up about Uncle Joe's very small estate. Yep, I'm still handling it, and I haven't been telling anyone much about what's going on. Like the funeral, his matters are being handled. If they didn't care about the costs about his funeral, then they have no business concerning themselves with his other matters.

Damn, and I think of the stage IV colon cancer that had taken my uncle. His alcoholism was an indirect reason he died. He had been taking such terrible care of himself that his using shut him off to paying attention to what was happening in his body. In a way, he really did drink himself to death. If he didn't have that alcoholism (and possibly psychological problems), he would had paid better attention to his body and maybe gotten it (successfully?) treated, but no. It makes me angry and even sad at the same time! I know it was Uncle's choice. I guess I can just detach, treat it with equanimity, and bla, bla, blah, but why don't I just disassociate from it as usual and allow it to bitch-smack me when I least expect it?

It reminds me of the time after Remy had died where his BFF Bill had to piece together his matters. We found that a lot of what Remy said was not true, he was doing odd things (injecting himself with something), and his most valuable possessions had disappeared. Just as what Bill encountered while he collected and then assembled the pieces, we will also hit a sense of surprise, disbelief, and unanswered questions. My family and I are piecing together all kinds of things at this time: about ourselves, Uncle Joe, and our family.

downwind | upstream