April 6, 2004


My Uncle from Louisiana is visiting. Hes so polite with his soft southern lilt that I cant hold a thing against him, even voting Republican in a swing state. Hes got this way of being humbly stubborn--its apparent that theres no point in arguing, although my dad spent the day trying anyhow.

Hes the youngest of 8 and my dads the oldest. Fifteen years apart, but they look strikingly similar, particularly because they share mannerisms. With so many brothers and such an age difference they hardly know each other, but they are perfectly in sync. Never before have I realized that blood is so binding. It makes me wonder about my long lost half brother. Id always been nervous about the very notion of him, for some reason just assuming that hes probably a psychopath or an asshole. Maybe he isnt, maybe he has got a whole brood of kids who walk and talk and think just like me. It might be worth knowing about. Then again he could be a psychopath or an asshole.

Posted by at 12:22 AM

December 5, 2003

First Snow

The flakes have just started coming down now. Whenever it snows I wish for a blizzard, even if its Friday and I wont get any time off. I just want an interruption.

This morning in Dunkin Donuts these two guys ran into each other in line. They seemed like maybe they grew up on the same block or something. One of them was on his way to a funeral. The other guy cut ahead to join him in line and bought the first guy his coffee. A small with lots of cream, very, very light. They were talking about the snow saying, Now I just think, Ive got to shovel the driveway. Its not like when we were kids, it isnt exciting anymore. For some reason, when I saw the guy in his dark suit I wished I was going to a funeral too. Its that break in the routine.

Its like the time I had to go to court. I was eighteen and I got arrested for drinking. I was on the late shift that day and would have to go to work after court. I was anxious in that way where everything I said and every movement I made felt quivery. Before leaving my bedroom that morning I paused and tried to calm my nerves. I stood over my typewriter and tapped out the words Boy, Im in for it now.

My dad told me he wanted me to drive to the courthouse with him. I hadnt spoken to him since the arrest and I knew hed ask me questions. Mostly the whole thing was embarrassing. He made me tell him all the details and I couldnt lie to him the way I lied to my mom. She was a pushover and wanted to believe in my innocence, so the lies came naturally. Id told her I had nothing to do with it and that Id never drank before, the truth was Id been getting drunk every weekend that year.

In the car I told my dad the facts. That we were drinking 40s and that wed bought them with a fake ID from a liquor store at St. Marys. He assumed that Id done it before and I didnt deny it. He was stern and disapproving, but not shocked. We stopped for coffee and I felt sort of relieved. Just doing something different, driving in a car and drinking coffee. I was honest with him and he accepted everything I said. Why the malt liquor? he asked, that stuff is just about the worst thing you can drink.
Its cheap. I said and he nodded and smiled and understood. Amidst all the awfulness it was sort of a nice moment.

Posted by at 11:28 AM | Comments (3)