Cafe Hitch-hike


Playing unsupervised

I allow myself to say 'piss off' to my work every so often. I also decided to not be a slave to my routine. I usually get up to let Marley the Puppy Dog relieve herself if she already hadn't on the bedroom rug (I quit those) or a cleaning towel I put down. I then do a 20-minute workout in my home gym that I pieced together in my now-reclaimed second bedroom. I got a climber from a tech guy at work for a good price, and I got it the last week we were able to work on-site. Then, I shower, make coffee, and wind down to my office (aka reclaimed 2nd bedroom) and attempt to do work.

The thing was I don't have the friction of people to bounce off. Even when we don't like being around certain people, they seem to have use even if they irritate us. Their energy motivates us, energizes us. If they weren't there, we wouldn't be doing much (except maybe getting bored around the people we do like having around).

Then, I can play very well unsupervised; it's one of my specialties. However, it's wearing very thin. The Grand Pubah told us last week to get used to that; they were clueless about how things were gonna go, so we need to find our own projects to work on. I have been able to do it, but I'm absolutely unsure of how it will play out whenever we can return to our site.

In a surprise turn of events, my employer Xanadu Polytechnic has taken a cautious stance on having us return. It's probably because if one student gets the virus, our chancellors will get positively skewered by parents (like it has on less serious issues in the recent past). Nevermind the employees, but at least they Big Cs are thinking about the students (even if they're more afraid of the wrath of parents and bad PR).

This staying home shit is wearing a little thin. I get in touch with someone every so often, but even my neighbor Suzanne could tell I wasn't jiggy with staying home. Miss Marley has been a great companion, of course. Rafa and I talk just about every day; our usual humor has deflated a bit (he has some heavy matters to attend to), but we're glad we're there for each other.

On the friend front, my buddy Jimbob's dad, the Evil Jim, died 3 days ago from heart failure. Jimbob's dad and my stepdad pretty much belonged to the same club, The Loyal Order of Assholes. Jim's dad probably had a higher rank. My step-f had some redeeming traits, but other things controlled his behavior a whole lot more while Evil Jim didn't seem to have any. His family mutually agreed to sell off everything as quickly as possible. Apparently, no one wants to remember much about their home with the exception of keeping a meaningful token or 2, but there's still been squabbles about that.

In his will, Evil Jim wanted to be buried next to his first wife, but in a final act of defiance, his kids decided to cremate him and spread his ashes on his property in rural, central Indiana. The family agreed to add the date of their father's death on the headstone next to their beloved mother's, rather than subject her eternal rest to being next to him.

Jimbob agreed to go to the funeral, and yes, all of this made me see my step-f's passing a little differently. I was glad I went to it because I got to see many people I hadn't seen in a very long time. I was also able to see a connection remained with them, small yet significant at the same time. I think going was my quiet confirmation of everything that happened in my family life which I needed to assure me I wasn't psychotic; much was reconfirmed 2 years later when I returned for my family reunion.

The bigger challenge in going to the funeral was seeing all the people who were genuinely grieving and in shock over the sudden loss of my step-f. My family and I experienced him as an abusive, philandering alcoholic while his family got a different version (though they were somewhat aware of what he did). The pain of my younger siblings (his children) was different. They mainly grieved their difficult relationship with him and that it never had the chance to be redeemed or repaired. I think I was respectful, yet I muttered to him, 'May God have mercy on your soul.'

My mother decided to move to Michigan once her lease ends at the end of summer. I know she was depressed after her mother died in 2017 and more so when Uncle Joe was in 2018, and she's said she felt disconnection with the relatives who live near her. Mom had a fantasy of moving to where she was born in South Texas, but as she realized no one was going to follow her down there, she finally looked north. Most of her children have roots in the hometown and didn't want to move to Texas, so she finally made her decision. In the meantime, she's working 32 hours a week and collecting Social Security, so she's saving up for her move.

Over the holidays, I told Mom she could stay with me for a little while so she could get a change of scenery and decide where she wanted to settle. She never told me 'no,' but she never made plans to do it. For years, she's wanted to move this way but my concern was I'd be picking up a dependent because the cost of living is higher where I am. I actually was sincere in it, although people joked I bluffed.

Well, it looks like I might be visiting Michigan more frequently than Texas, which kind of sucks. Texas is like seeing the fun, obnoxious cousin while Michigan is seeing the one who's in and out of trouble. Thank goodness I have some cool friends and places I could see! But, some of my nieces and nephews are really cool kids, and it nice to see my sisters, so I'll have that going.

I guess I better get my ass back to work and do something constructive, although the lovely sun calls and maybe I'd rather sunbathe (hahaha, and I don't even do that). We're all in the same boat, so I'm sending my 'heys' your way, and thoughts that we will get through this.

downwind | upstream