A Cast of Characters

I awoke this morning to the screeching pitch of "BEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!" It was our bastard microwave, the one appliance that enjoys announcing both the loss of power and the restoration of it. "BEEEEEEE-EEEP!" is probably a language amongst kitchen apparatuses; a sound translated by the refrigerator, stove, and can opener alike to mean, "Shit, guys, we're losing juice!" The raucous sound roused me from my slumber, which I suppose I can't complain about too much--I had been in somewhat of a lucid dream, one in which I witnessed a penis ejaculating miniature sharks. Great White Sharks, nonetheless. What I found most amusing is the fact that, once free to the world, the sharks (which were approximately two inches in length) swam independently, capable of breathing the same atmosphere I did.

Perhaps I shouldn't consume Double Stuff Oreos before going to bed?

Anyway, after waking up to the microwave's robotic scream, I read
Lord of the Flies for awhile. After dining on some eggs and crispy bacon, I listened to my mother argue on the phone with her mother for an hour and a half.

"No, mom! You don't get it! I don't
want to stay here! There is nothing in T---! Nothing!"

"Mom, you have to stop living in the past!"

"No, Mom! You ARE! The past is over and done. T--- 'was' means nothing. It's
nothing. T--- 'was' is the past. "

"Mom, listen to me! You are living in the past! All you are doing is talking about the lives of people who are dead!"

"MOM. This town is not the same. This town is growing, but it is only a living community. I want to go someplace where I don't have to drive half an hour to get my groceries. I don't want to have to drive half an hour to work. I want it all in one place. I want to go somewhere else close to my kids. This isn't it."

"No, mom! You're not listening! You're not listening. There is NOTHING here. There is nothing that this town offers."

And with that, the cyclical argument of my grandmother living in the past commences. I will be honest--I do agree with my mom. My grandmother does live in the past. She assumes that no one ever changes their personalities, that everyone who grows up in this exact town will always live here because "that is the way it was". When my cousin moved to Maryland to attend school, my grandmother threw a fit. When she first found out I was going to school in Indiana, she chewed me out for a half-hour. Even now, when I am alone with her, she accuses me of deserting my family, of forgetting them.

"Obviously family isn't important to you--I'm not important to you--because you moved so far away."

I outwardly shrug, but inwardly fume. I cannot begin to share the frustration my family has with my grandmother right now, especially since she is, literally, crazy. Previously, she was often preoccupied by the divorce she is going through (a twenty-year process which has turned both of my grandparents into bitter people who despise each other). Once she got sick at the end of May and had to be taken to the hospital, she went, as my uncle often says, ape-shit.

Needless to say, my family is full of inexplicable characters that would provide an apt cast for a novel.

First, there is my mother. She is a sarcastic individual who avoids arguments but likes to start them. She is like her mother, but doesn't want to be. She is a wonderful cook, but hates technology. She is a potential murderer of cats.

My brother was an alcoholic and drug addict for seven years. In August, he will celebrate five years of sobriety.

My cousins--all ten of them. Three of them are the same age as me, and we are completely, utterly, and irrevocably different.

My grandmother--the near 75-year-old woman who has smoked since she was 15 and insists that her emphysema is "just a cold". She has been trying to get divorced for more than 20 years. She suggested that my boyfriend wear a woman's sweater. In her free time, she hoards.

My great aunt--My grandmother's sister, Aunt Carol, is also crazy. She lives in Arizona without air-conditioning and, when she was younger, married a Native American who later committed suicide. She used to deliver "dirty magazines" to gas stations in Tucson, and calls her sister twice a day. Most revoltingly, she recently tried to teach me the "proper" way to masturbate with my fingers. She is 73 years old.

Heck, if I wanted to, I could even make the microwave as a character. The can opener, too. I'll call them Norman and Zans for Cans, respectively.

And now, since I have realized that this post has completely gotten off the beaten track, I will stop here and continue tomorrow. Continue to the real reason I was posting. Be a little more light-hearted. Besides, this post is getting a little long, and I do not wish to water-log anyone with my words. It's like listening to a voice mail or an answering machine message someone left you; one in which the person continues speaking and talking and rambling and speaking faster in order to not get cut off by t-



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