Cafe Hitch-hike


Family event logistics

After finishing a little dish of ice cream, it slipped out of my hand and shattered all over the kitchen floor. It survived 3 bounces before shattering on the fourth one. I was going to give the remains to the dog, but she hid under the bed because she was scared. I wasn't going to yell at her about it because it wasn't her fault at all.

I cleaned the floor and the dog was noticeably gone. It reminded me of being terrified when one of the adults did something like that when I was a kid. Sometimes it was my fault; I was very clumsy. Sometimes it wasn't. Either way, I'd get scolded and sometimes disciplined.

Something in me, current-day me, felt the reactions from the past was often out of proportion. Sometimes I even yelled at my siblings for the same things. I kneeled on the floor and felt myself between a past memory and a present-day understanding of it.

Hell, just the fact that I could serve myself a bowl of ice cream in my own house would had been quite the feat when I was a kid. When we lived with my step-father, we had so many restrictions about what we could do and where we could go in our own damn house. The kitchen cabinets were largely verboten. We weren't allowed to sit on the living room furniture when he was around. When he was home from work, we were to be silent and as invisible as possible. Was that possible in a house of 6 kids and the majority in early elementary school? Hah.

After cleanup, I sat on my patio lounge with all those awareness at once. Present-day me was in my own damn house. I could go anywhere I wanted in it, I could reach in the fridge and the cabinets to eat anything I wanted. The dog sits on the furniture and the bed (since she's my kid), and the only thing I get annoyed at is chewed rugs and soiled floors as opposed to clumsy mistakes. I quietly shook, imagined being 14 to 15 years old (the last year we lived with the SF), and then me telling the teen she was free to move about the house as she pleased.

I guess I'm a little sensitive about this because Mom and my youngest sis Rosepetal conned me into visiting Michigan again. I really didn't want to go. The last time I was there was 2 years ago and it wasn't a terrible trip at all, I just don't like going there. I once said to Mom, "it reminds me of where there was never enough of anything, there was never enough to go around." Even if the last trip was all right, and I had a great time with Rosepetal's kids (her sons are super cool), I still cringe to think of the place.

Well hell, Mom, Rosepetal and I had a nice time together for 2 nights last fall in Orlando, before we met with everyone else at the Gulf of Mexico. Once R. vented about her challenging family/ personal life, she was at ease. She and Mom even talked vigorously about news and current events. It was Mom, Big Sis, and Youngest Sis, and all we did was just be in each other's company. No wonder Rosepetal would love to have us near again.

Despite the low-grade but annoying strife I had with Mom in the last visit, she was eager for us to share accommodations and had ideas for where. Well yeah, I usually get nice quarters, but we shared the thought about having a day-event where people could come over and hang out.

So... I guess I'll have to change my Texas plans so I could have more resources for Mitchi-ghen (said in my Mexican grandfather's accent). Summers are usually quite nice. I like the long days, the sound of the cicadas at night, and the unusual smell of the trees combined with the region's ample freshwater. Maybe I can make it up to the live sand dunes and be in the presence of their subtle magic.

There's still the realities of family event logistics. Everyone wants to do cool things, but they're broke and their availability is haphazard at best. Dates are highly subject to change. The latest family drama (or if people partied the night before) will affect the ability of some people to show up.

Nice places always have rules, which we saw when we stayed at a beachside resort in the Gulf of Mexico last fall. To bypass that, maybe we can find a nice field with a pond with few restrictions. No guests or management complain about the noise, kids have plenty of space to run around, and people can smoke wherever they want.

With all this in mind, I already made up my mind to elope in the unusual event where someone asks for my hand and I accept and I complete the ceremony. I'll simply have the party later, and keep the norms of family event logistics in mind if and when planning it.

Anyhow, I'll leave the dates up to the main organizers. My do-able contribution will be to provide some food and something cool for the kids like popsicles and Capri Suns like I did 2 years ago.

I just realized this is a part of a string of family events that have been happening since Uncle Joe and Arielle's deaths, and people are more eager to have them because of those and the pandemic. I could think of worse things to take happen as a result. Hopefully, it will turn out as nice as the last Mitchi-ghen visit.

downwind | upstream