Drifting thoughts of a snowflake

Friday, December 30, 2005

Christmas Spider Web

It’s not often that I write about my oldest sister, The Dog Lady. TDL is ten years older than I am, and lives very close to my Mom. Well, except for the fact that she collects dogs and I don’t. And by collect I mean, she currently has 5 or 6 dogs ranging from a Great Dane to a beagle lab mix that are destroying what shred of a house she has left at this exact moment.

TDL is also a control freak. She dominated all of her younger siblings with a harsh tone and mean stare. She can be a loving woman, but there will always be a piece of her that I just can’t figure out. When TDL was younger she found it important to be a part of the Houston socialite scene and so, she rubbed elbows with some of the cities wealthiest trust funders. A few remnants of this time in her life still exist, but for the most part she’s grown out this irritating need.

This Christmas she asked that I have Christmas dinner with her at a friend’s house in the country. She informed me that my mother would also be there, and that it would be very laid back. I was highly skeptical, but seeing as though I really didn’t have anything else to do, I accepted the invitation.

I arrived at the ranch around noon on Monday. I was confused as to which one of the houses on the property might be the living quarters, until I saw TDL sticking her head out of one of the doors and waiving me in. I pulled into the drive way and jumped out handing her my re-gifted cookies as a hostess gift. (Yes, I really am that tacky)

She looked beautiful and eagerly walked me into the house. Once I walked into the forier I realized how incredible aloof I am at times. By the looks of this place, I was standing in a house that was well over a 2 million dollar home. And those other houses I saw were really stables. Guess it makes sense they live in this one.

The introductions started and I couldn’t figure out how anyone was connected to one another, except for the moms. This is RT, Surky, L’s Mom, M’s Mom and the kids. Great. The introductions are done. I can relax and eat. But something kept bothering me. It was M’s mom. I had never met her before, although my mother kept insisting I met her as a child. Her skin is so pretty. She seems to speak Spanish, but she’s very pale. I wonder if she’s actually Spanish?

Huh, RT is L’s Mom’s carpenter. Interesting. And then there was Surky. Surky was wearing cheap grey pants that didn’t cover his socks, with a black and white stripped shirt that barely covered his bulging girth, and suspenders. His ensemble was adorned with matching thick gold chains around his neck and wrist. Surkey reminded me of someone out of the Goodfellas cast due to his choice in jewelry and his slicked back grey hair.

Dinnertime came and we all sat down. M’s Mom was sitting in between RT and Surky and I noticed everyone using the term “honey” when referring to her. That’s odd. Is that some sort of nickname? Then Surky’s abnormal breathing distracted me as he began stuffing huge amounts of ambrosia and potatoes in his mouth. Plate after plate, the enormous man continued on his path of gluttony until he finally rested before dessert.

During his little break the fat man started talking and I’m sure he must have though I was a mental patient the way I looked up at him. Here he was this fat fat enormous man who looks like a low-level mafia man describing his work as a florist. And yes, he was gay. And of course his clientele is only the super rich. Yet I can’t stop wondering how this happened to a gay man? I mean, he’s disheveled looking at best. And for a while there I thought he was M’s Mom’s date. Man, I’m dumb.

RT was asked to bless the food before the night began. He started in on a prayer that would make the Pope weep. The words flowed through him in a dignified and humble manor. He was above all a respectable and gracious man. I liked RT. He was the only man in the house that didn’t appear too shifty.

The only other man there besides Surky and RT was M. M had been sent to prison during the 80’s and his girlfriend at the time waited for him to get out so they could get married, have kids and buy this huge house. It wasn’t any deplorable crime, just drugs and a little embezzling. You know. The basic?

So after dinner I wondered about the whole scene. My sister and my mom are here sitting in an X-con’s house having Christmas with a frumpy gay man, a carpenter and a woman who seems to have eyebrows stapled to the top of her scalp.

When we got home I asked TDL about the players and how they were connected. Turns out that “eyebrows” or M’s mom, became an advocate for people in jail when her son was thrown in the pokey. During this time she spent her days working with the men in jail, and that’s where she met RT. When he got out, they got married despite the fact that he was a convicted and confessed murderer.

Huh. If you had told me that I was going to spend my Christmas dinner with an X-con, a murdered, a mafia florist and my sister I wouldn’t have believed you. Can’t wait to see what New Years is like.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Today is my mother’s birthday.

And she’s crazy. Crazy in the sense that she has no concept of reality. I think she started loosing it in her early teens and it’s become a rapid decline since then. I’m not sure how old she is today because she lies about her age. It’s tied up in some story about Pearl Harbor. I guess that makes her either 65 or 68, depending on which story you go with.

My mom is like one of those choose your own ending books. Depending on which page you flip the outcome is surprisingly different, but either way it’s a dramatic ending filled with fascinating twists.

I just called her to wish her a happy birthday and towards the end of the conversation she is accusing me of not emailing her regarding the closing date on my house. I’ve emailed her regarding this at least a dozen times. Then she goes into some rant about her knee and possibly needing knee surgery. It’s a perfect example of her mind’s squinty eye.

Me: “Oh my gosh, Mom. Are you going to get surgery?”
Mom: “I’m not sure. You know this happened during one of my cheerleading stunts”

** Blank stare down at the paper clip I am messing with in my hands **

Me: “When were you a cheerleader?”
Mom: “You know, back when I lived in San Francisco”
Me: “Oh. Well…I can’t believe it’s still hurting you”
Mom: “Well, I injured it again when you were little. Don’t you remember? I was sitting cross-legged like I always do, pinning dress patterns for you guys. I got up to take you to school and we got into the grey station wagon I use to have.”

**More blank stares to the paperclip. I’ve never heard cheerleading stories from her before and when have I ever seen her sit cross-legged? And why the hell is she making us dresses before school? Wouldn’t that be at 7 am in the morning or something? Who pins patterns at 7 in the morning when you have 4 kids to get to school? **

Me: “I don’t remember the grey station wagon. I must have been too little”
Mom: “Well, we got to your school and I couldn’t get out of the car. My knee had locked up and I couldn’t move it. Well, we just laughed and laughed and then I drove myself down to the ER. They had to lift me out of the car and drain my knee.”

**Eyebrows contorted and my face is tilted. When did my Mom become some type of stunt driver? How would she be able to drive with her leg straight all the way through Houston traffic to the hospital? **

Me: “Wow. Guess I forgot that”

My voice was flat and monotone. These are the stories she comes up with. These are the outrageous lines my Mom will hand you if you’re within earshot of the lady. She talks about going to Japan and Africa all the time. She’s never been out of the country. She talks about how my birth parents were in the Rodeo, but I was born in April and the rodeo is in February. She talks about hanging out with Dave Brubeck and how she once gave CPR to my brother’s hamster and it saved it’s life.

These are the tales of the woman who raised me. Reality was never permanent around her. It moved and shifted when you least expected it. It was hard and brutal when you wanted it to be soft and cuddly.

I needed her address the other day and so I Googled her. Page after page came up about all the amazing work she’s done. In this sense of reality she is amazing. Somehow she’s able to conquer the world, just not her private life.

So for what it’s worth, or whatever it means to her, I wish her a happy birthday.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Ahhh, Houston strikes again.

I had one of those strange weekends that only Houston can provide, and now I feel like the most unproductive person in the world.

Maybe I just need a slack day in order to get my thoughts together. Right now my thoughts are scattered like marbles on the playground. And if anyone makes a mean little bully step into the middle of the marble circle, I might just loose a couple of them for good.

Friday night was Funky D’s birthday. So I headed out to Houston with my baby boy and we caught the party mid swing. It was the typical Houston affair. Nice bar, nice drinks, nice people and a few shady ones. The shady people follow Funky D everywhere he goes.

After playing the rounds and catching up with everyone we headed back to D’s house and I ended up going to bed around 3 or 4 am. I woke up the next morning hearing Funky D doing his impression of Harry Carry and other random people yelling, “Hi! I’m Brian Fellows”. I made my way down to the pool and it was just as I suspected. A pool full of naked people left over from the night before awaited me.

I made my stop to the convenience store for my water logged friends and went back to join them in the naked debauchery. Float, talk, sip the mimosa, and laugh. A good 8 hours of doing nothing at all but being amazed at how some people party.

Poor baby boy, I warned him but it’s something else to be thrown into it. I lost him for a good 10 hours over the weekend. And this time, it wasn’t me who went astray. I was a good kid tucked in bed right where I was suppose to be. Turns out that he learned all about the nightlife and silly bars, and people with more money than self respect.

I was accused at starting drama when I suggested that I would indeed beat the shit out of the girl hitting on me. I didn’t mind it so much when I had to pry her off of me, but make one move for someone I’m dating and I’ll try and beat you to a bloody pulp.

To me it was an anti-drama statement. You do that, and I’ll do this. Like a warning, I didn’t see any harm in it. If you fart, I’m going to throw-up. That’s not drama. So why all of a sudden is, “if you do that to my guy, I’m going to beat the fucking shit out of you” so dramatic.

I didn’t mean it that way, but I still got the result I wanted. She didn’t overstep my boundaries again. That’s all I wanted.

So it’s Monday and I’m back to my real world. No one’s doing drugs here and most everyone is at work today. I have no hint of all the champagne I drank this weekend and the only thing I’m feeling guilty about is all the stuff I didn’t get done this weekend. Although, I can’t think of a thing I really need to do anyway.

When did life get so busy that I couldn’t let myself get away for the weekend without feeling guilty? And has anyone seen that green marble? I need that one.

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