Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Travel Journal: Day Four

Travel Journal: Day Four--Strained Interactions and a Message From Grandpa

Okay. Let me give it to you straight, no chaser. My sister is an nosy, aggressive, rude, argumentative, overly dramatic, back stabbing…that word that rhymes with witch.

And I know my mom is scared of her. She is tall…like five nine and has a pretty full build. Her energy--mad angry, outrageous. And she talks non-stop…doesn’t stop asking questions and it was annoying the crap out of me.

Okay, let me back up. I woke up a bit early. I had planned to go the library to check the Internet because on Wednesday, I got there too late. The local library closes at one every Wednesday, but I didn’t know that. I didn’t start going out with Grandma the day before until two, going on two-thirty. So I figured I would do it the next day.

A little after nine, while I’m talking with Grandma and drinking coffee, I hear a knock on the door. Grandma didn’t hear the knock at first. I’m like, “Hold on, I think someone is at the door.” Then, I hear my mom calling my name from the other side of the door.

It wasn’t that I forgot; it was just that I was so tired from the day before. But I know my mom thought otherwise; she seems to jumps to conclusions about a lot of things. Quick to assume; you know what they say about that.

So it’s her and my sister, wanting to know if I want to go and get a pedicure. I have never had a professional pedicure done. I’m like, “Who is treating?” and my sister said it was on her. I’m like, “Well, I just got up. I’m not ready.” They agreed to wait.

I let Grandma know I had to put in a personal appearance. She asked me why and I told her because my mom and my sister want to go out for pedicures and I didn’t want anything said, since I didn’t catch up with her the night before. Grandma was like okay but warned me that my sister was going to ask two million questions and how she was.

I knew it was going to bad; I didn’t know how bad.

I was actually surprised they waited on me. I took my time on purpose. My mom let my sister drive the grey car; it is a Magnum with 22” rims on it. Quasha’s mouth did not stop going on the way to the nail salon.

Keep in mind that no one told me there was a spending limit on the pedicures; I figured since I had never gotten a professional one done before to indulge just a tad. The small indulgence was an extra seven dollars; I didn’t think it was such a big deal. I found out from my mom later that my sister was upset about it. Oh, well! She wouldn’t be on the list of top ten people I would hang out with if stranded on a desert island, either.

She asked me all types of questions that I really didn’t want to answer. I mainly just paid attention to Mom and her debating back and forth. I was in the middle of the exchange.

It outraged me how she would “talk at” Mom. Even though Mom and I have our differences, I would never just “talk at” her like that, as if she was beneath me or nothing. So I did have issue with that. The thing that really surprised me was how much latitude was given. It made me really suspect that my Mom is scared of my sister.

But I guess she has good reason. To make a long story short, at one point, my youngest sister was taken away from my mom, and Quasha was the reason why this all took place. It took a while but my mom finally got custody of my youngest sister again. I know they say forgive and forget, but if my own daughter was responsible for the other daughter getting taken away from me, I’d have a pretty hard time getting past that. Quasha may have had good intentions, perhaps seeing some things going on she didn’t like, but unfortunately, my youngest sister was getting treated no better under her and her “hubby’s” watch.

And speaking of Quasha’s “hubby”, she told me they were having their problems but they were trying to work things out. I know this seems random now, but it will make sense later on in the journal entries.

After the pedicure, which I enjoyed, despite the non-stop yapping and inquisition, Quasha was complaining about the bugs biting her skin. So we stopped at a few places to see if we could find her some “affordable” cream. For her, she only wanted to spend a dollar; I told her there was no place around here that had that type of cream for just one dollar. Two or three maybe but not one.

Mom kept randomly pulling me to the side, talking to me. I think she wanted to get away from Quasha. She kept wanting to tell me her version of what happened regarding why she left. I let her speak her piece--she really believes that what she did in regards to me was similar to God sacrificing his son Jesus to the world.

Perhaps part of her discord with Grandma is regret, maybe resentment that I turned out so well and she had practically nothing to do with it. I cannot say I know what goes through her mind. But I do know Quasha’s mind and it is nothing short of vindictive.

Finally, Quasha found what she was looking for, not as cheap as she wanted, but “it would do.” She kept making little comments about my mom’s height and my height, so I kept calling her the jolly brown giant. I’m not used to people excessively picking on my height. In the past, my weight, but not my height. Her voice; her whole demeanor , was annoying to me.

On the way back, she asked me what I thought of her. I told her she was a “dynamic personality.” I maintained my civility; I could have easily been blunt and called her an “abrasive bitch” but that would not have been nice. Plus, I know that she and one of my other younger sisters, Carmen, love to fight.

I would not have wanted to shed blood (Quasha’s) in Mom’s car.

Don’t let the outside fool you; I will phuck a person up.

Once we got back to Grandma’s house, I told my mom and Quasha I had to run some errands; I would be back to spend time with them in the evening. I wanted to show Mom the purse I was going to use for the funeral. I also told her she shouldn’t let Quasha downgrade her and talk at her the way she does and that she’s going to cause trouble for her. I think she was a bit shocked hearing that from me.

I went to the library, only to discover the Internet was down. I guess I couldn’t win for losing. She told me I could call before coming back later on tonight or come tomorrow. I figured it would be best for me to wait until Monday, since the wake was Friday and the funeral was Saturday. I ran a few more errands and then returned to the house.

My Aunt Carol and her daughter Susan had finally gotten into town. They said that Uncle Bud wasn’t going to be in until later that day. We all got a chance to talk and catch up. Aunt Carol shared the same disdain for my sister as I did and filled Grandma and me in on some of the disrespectful things Quasha did to her. Grandma shook her head, but the antics didn’t really surprise me.

I got changed into something a bit more casual and later made my way to my mom’s trailer. This would be the first time I had ever been there. I noticed a cat on the outside who seemed to take a liking to my mom. I petted the cat before knocking on the door. Quasha opened it and I noticed quite a few things: 1. It was very hot. 2. My mom is as much of a pack rat as Grandma 3. My mom has no cable service.

I also noticed that my mom didn’t interact with my youngest sister much. She would often let her go to the neighbor’s houses to play; Quasha’s eyes were as sharp as a hawk. I had a very bad feeling about how Quasha was taking everything in. How could I sense it and yet my mom could not? Or was I being ultra sensitive?

I did discover through talking with my mom that I was talking to a teenager. What I mean is that a huge part of her is still stuck at 16 and she never evolved emotionally beyond that. It does not excuse her actions but only gives explanation to them; that is the only way I am able to fully interact with her.

I do not expect her to be a Mom at this stage; I know emotionally, and in some ways, mentally, she lacks the full capacity. When I talk to her I feel like we are old girlfriends who get together every now and again. There are other times when I feel like she’s my client and I’m the therapist. Everything except mother/daughter.

I can deal with that.

What I can’t deal with are history rewrites or getting thrown in the mix where I’m having to choose between a flimsy relationship with her and an iron clad bond with Grandma.

There is no competition.

I can never love my mom the way I love Grandma. I will never have the full devotion to my Mom like I do Grandma. Grandma is Mama; I know what she sacrificed and did without for me. A lot of it she wouldn’t have had to do if my mom had only done her part; if she would have signed over legal guardianship to my grandparents, I would have gotten all the military benefits because my Grandpa was in the military. But she chose not to.

Luckily I had the willpower and drive to get it on my own, but my Mom was the main one that made things harder than they needed to be. I know my Mom will only go so far; if it causes her too much discomfort or she doesn’t see what’s in it for her, she won’t go for it.

During my interaction with Mom, I noticed my sister would either ask questions that had nothing to do with the conversation, stare angrily or just walk off. I don’t think she liked the fact that during the time Mom was talking to me, she was ignored. It makes me wonder what types of thing my mom said about me…because with the exception of my youngest sister, I have the feeling my other siblings do not care for me too much. I cannot really speak for Carmen or Chris, Jr., but I definitely know that Farrah, Karmen, and Quasha are distant towards me.  Farrah and Karmen are more passive-aggressive in their behaviors; Quasha, just aggressive.

I can respect Quasha in that sense; her emotions are written in her eyes; her behaviors very brash. Karmen’s energy is very fickle, but I’m not sure if it is because of her having to rely so much on medication or because of her addiction to pain killers. As for Farrah, my next youngest sister, I have not spoken to her since my gradation back in 2000 when my falling out with Mom caused her and me to fall out.

After a while, I decided to leave because Quasha wanted to get alcohol with one of my other cousins. If Quasha is the way she is sober, I can only imagine how she is with liquor in her. I do not drink alcohol when I’m around my grandparents or family. My family are avid drinkers; a couple could be described as borderline alcoholics. I don’t want to be an alkie or get in the habit of feeling as if I need a drink. A little bit every once in a while, maybe.

I was glad to be back at the house. The energy is a bit calmer, more soothing. It still hasn’t quite hit me yet that Grandpa is gone, although I am sleeping in his room. While I was trying to sleep that night, a hint of Old Spice hit my nose. The thing about it was there was no Old Spice spilled or near me. I just felt like it was Grandpa trying to tell me something. He was telling me he needed his black hat to go with his suit.

Now keep in mind, before the last time I came down, it had been almost 3 years since I had been in MS, and even longer since I had been in Grandpa’s closet.

So I’m trying to figure out what black hat and where the hat would be at. Cause I couldn’t remember if he had a black hat…so he told me to look in the top closet on the right hand side in a bag…then I found the hat he was talking about.

I told him it may be too late, but he urged me to get up early in the morning and try. If not it was all right but his head felt funny without it. When Grandpa was that determined, who was I to refuse him?

I dusted off his hat, set it aside for the next day. When I closed my eyes this time, the Old Spice scent was gone.

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