Yesterday, I had a rare moment of calm. Jenna was outside playing tennis, Alex was in his room playing which is a rarity. I had just made some chicken (a beautifully simple recipe requiring nothing more than a microwave and low-fat vinegar-based salad dressing) for an extremely late lunch in between loads of laundry.
I had just started writing in my journal, while eating my chicken because I'm just that talented, when Treasure walked in.
To set this up, you must visualize the positioning of my house. The front of my house is, well, on the street it's on, but I actually enter from the alley behind my house, where my garage is. Directly accross the alley from my garage is my Aunt Vickie's house- the front of her house sits on the alley. When I look out the windows in my kitchen, into the backyard, my garage blocks the view of my aunt's house, but I can see her garage and driveway. There you have it.
Back to Treasure coming in the back door. She asked me what was going on at (our) Aunt Vickie's house. To which I responded that I, in fact, had no idea what she was talking about.
Prior to Treasure's entrance, while eating my chicken and writing in my journal, I had been wondering why my aunt hadn't called me yet. We mall walk (a sure sign that I'm getting old) together 3-4 nights a week. We were to walk yesterday, after Todd got out of work and came to get the kids. She usually calls right when she gets home from work to finalize our plans. Her call was about 30 mins. late.
In the brief moments between Treasure asking me what was going on and then actually telling me, I worried greatly. Vickie always calls when she gets home from work.
But Vickie was okay. Treasure was referring to the two policemen that were at my aunt's house talking to my 20-year-old cousin and his friend. Like we didn't see that coming.
My cousin, dear, sweet boy that he is, is a pothead. Big time. It's probably genetic, maybe a little bit environmental.
My mom comes from the epitome of a white trash family. One of 13 siblings (some half, some step), she was only one of two to graduate high school, and the only one to go to college.
I hate to say that there was a lack of intelligence among my aunts and uncles, because I truly view them all as intelligent. They just chose the wrong paths, collectively almost, and those paths did not include education. They're all alcoholics and addicts, some recovering. Except for my mom. I'm lucky.
Let me just say that this is the reason I get so uncomfortable around people who are drinking when I'm not. Flashbacks of my childhood. I do enjoy having a couple of drinks and very occasionally having a couple too many. But, for the most part, I try to exclude myself from plans involving alcohol. It's as if I'm afraid of what will happen if I drink more than my typical 5 times per year.
Addiction is in my blood. It just is.
Again, back to the story.
I love my family. I've become generally numb to the bull shit, I don't cry when my favorite uncle gets hauled off to prison anymore. This most recent time, he's been out of prison for a year- but I don't let him in anymore, so I won't cry when he lapses. I always hope I'm wrong. Maybe this time...
When Treasure left, against my will, I was fixated on the driveway visible from my kitchen window. I saw them put my cousin into the back of the car. I saw them take him back out and try talking to him. I saw the cop reach into his coat pocket. He found something. Mike went back into the car.
I have feelings of sadness when this happens to some members of my family, and happen it does, but not for others. I don't know why. Truly, I love them all.
But, yesterday, I was sad. He's a good kid. He's just a pothead. One of the neighbors called because they were sure he was dealing. He doesn't. He just smokes. All of the time. And all of his friends who come in and out smoke with him. They sit in the shed in the back yard, they play cards, they smoke weed. That's what they do. But this time, he was a few brain cells short and was actually smoking in his friend's car in the driveway when the cops pulled up.
I believe that when you fuck up, and you get caught, that's it- there's no one to blame. You take the consequences. And still I feel animosity toward the neighbor. I don't believe she was in the wrong, but I feel it. This pisses me off- at myself. I wish I could feel all the time what my brain tells me to. It would be better.
All I see is the poor kid's face. He was so red. He was upset and belittled and busted. I just wanted to mother him and I hate that after all the shit that I've been around with my family that I would still have that instinct to protect them.