It’s about 8:30 on the second and last night of adult Halloween, and instead of being nicely scented, well dressed and as pretty as possible, I am sweating like a longshoreman and in a bit of a self destructive rage.
TBB called around 4:30 on her way back from a technical training, and we talked IT, which meant Information Technology long before Ebay. I had to talk and cook, though, and I saw my father being freaked as I did it. Even though nothing sensitive came out, he was scared it would,
I got dinner on, though the clock he cleaned last week was wrong. I was told I should have fixed it. I have reset it a couple of times, but not yet done everything he thinks I should have done without being told. It’s like the celing tile hanging out of the cobbled together grid over the bed — it’s not hanging because it’s warped, it’s warped because I let it hang. My fault.
My brother and sister in law are having a 25th Anniversary “surprise” party next Saturday, run by their children.
My parents have drafted me as consultant, but while I have consulted long hours, everything I try is futile. It always gets dragged down back into a big unformed party that the kids are used to.
That’s fine, of course, their choice, but why do I need to help?
“They have ignored everything I have said,” I told my mother.
“Yes, but you have to help,” she said.
“You mean I have to clean up the messes of people who hate me?” I asked.
She raised an eyebrow.
Tonights drama was that, from her drowsing chair — this week she has admited to losing hours in it — she wanted my father to parade all the silver and trays in front of her to decide what she would assign.
That means my father trying to get stuff, which means me facilitating, always, And, of course, we can’t get what she wants.
I sleep in the basement with the garbage. She doesn’t like clutter in her sight, so it’s all consigned to the basement, where I do my best to pack it together so there is a little room to move. She makes decisions about what happens here without thinking or asking, and then I am stuck having to rebuild tables that my father was ordered to take apart becaise I need a table, only now it’s no longer solid but jittery.
My father understands that my packing means there is less access to crap, and that’s my fault.
Of course, with all the moving things about, this room is now drippng with crud, and I get to be in it. Yum.
The big drama, though, was my father whining about the clutter in the garage, saying he wanted to start the snow-blower. Yes, the snow blower that hasn’t worked in over a decade, the one we put $100 in parts into and lots of labour, with me having to take the blows.
It’s my fault there is clutter in the garage, of course, even though I have cleaned it at least six times in three years. Last time, this summer, I did his workbench, even stringing up a work light to help sort his toolbox. I did his tool chest three years ago, when I was told to do a brake job in the driveway. He always wanted me to fix cars so I would be a man, and I have never been good at it, even though I know some dykes who are fabulous.
He has never had a pristine work area, outlines in pegboard and all that, but he is sure that’s someone else’s fault. Mine.
Now there is a rusted part from my sister’s car filling the workbench, the one he made the dealership give to him, the one he has done nothing with. Between that and his other dumpings, the workbench I cleaned is a shambles, and you know whose fault that is.
His big complaint was cardboard boxes. I cut them all down, though I know that in three weeks people will be whining for boxes for Christmas. Fuck me.
And then there is the scooter that my sister’s friend dumped on us, a beat up ride that had a comparable on Ebay for about $78. That’s weighed down not only with damage, but also with a long drunken lecture about how I wasn’t doing enough for my mother, how I had to do more and more and more and more. . . .
Well, I got the boxes up and the bags bundled, the scooter moved and the snow blower dug out, all the while wanting to shred the flesh in my face, and singing about the pleasure of death.
And then it’s 8:30PM on adult Halloween, and I am sweating like a longshoreman, my nails cracked, my shoes needing re-gluing, and in a bit of a self-destructive rage.
What do you think the odds are that the snow blower will get started, or the kids will want my mother’s junk?
Happy fucking death to you, she said, as she reached for the big mug full of rye and ginger.