Sunday, March 16, 2008

A Conversation With Aunt Kiki

The other day I fell over a picket fence and busted the shit out of several parts of my body, including my face. Do not ask how this happened. It had to do with me getting locked out of my apartment and trying to get over the fence to get to the window and I was trying to be a bad ass, which clearly didn't work because I ended up bloody on the asphalt parking lot howling in pain. I'm ok. I was just bruised and bloody and have some nice abrasions and bruises on my nose and the right side of my face. I was pretty sore and stiff for a day, but other than that, I'm good. I kind of like having a banged up face. I've noticed that people are giving me a lot more respect now, like they know not to mess me with. I'm tough, man. I have scratches on my nose. You don't mess with people with scratches on their noses. Or bruises across entire sides of their faces.

The gang kids that hang outside of the crack house across the street witnessed much of the event and one actually came over to rescue me, so after I stopped howling in pain and looked over to my side a very cute white pitbull greeted me. It belongs to one of the gang kids and it looks exactly like Petey from the Little Rascals. The gang kid was really nice and offered to call am abulance or help me up or whatever I needed, but Husband was there by then. I think the gang kid thought Husband was beating me or something. I promised the gang kid I was ok and he and Petey went back across the street where the gang kinds have set up a makeshift outdoor Internet cafe where they all sit in the dirt out in front of the crackhouse with laptops and steal wireless. I don't know what they're doing, but the gang kids are in my good graces now for coming over to help me.

In any case, I really am quite ok. It's a good thing that Aunt Kiki doesn't know about this because she'd swear I was dying, had broken my spine and was a paraplegic. Then she'd call everyone in the family and tell them this.

Lately Aunt Kiki seems to have caught a case of hypochondria, but it's focused on everyone in the family and not herself. Usually hypochondriacs (of which I am totally one) think they have diseases and are dying. With Aunt Kiki, she thinks everyone else is deathly ill.

Hypochondria is rampant in my family. My mother has never in my entire life been to the doctor, but she has diagnosed herself with everything from hepatitis to diabetes. My grandmother, Memere Marie, swore she had lung cancer, which turned out to be acid reflux, and my Uncle Bull, my mom and Aunt Kiki's older brother, was actually admitted to the hospital with severe stomach pains. They were going to do exploratory surgery but it turned out all he needed to do was take a gigantic crap. So yeah, my family goes to the emergency room when they have to poop. I'm not immune to this nonsense either. A few weeks ago I envisioned my entire death from inflammatory breast cancer because I had a mosquito bite on my boob.

Mostly, our hypochondria is limited to ourselves. Aunt Kiki has taken hypochondria to a whole new level. A few weeks ago she had lunch with my mother. This is how the conversation went. They were having clam chowder.

"Sissy," said Aunt Kiki, "I think Mom's dying."

She was talking about Memere Marie, their mother. My mother was very upset and wanted to know why Aunt Kiki would say this. My grandmother is in her mid 70s afterall and has smoked since she was about 7 months old.

"Did she say something to you?" My mother asked.

"No, I just have a feeling. I really think she's going to die this year. You know how she's been sending everyone money? I think she's giving us our inheritances because she knows she won't be here long. I'm telling you Sissy, Mom's gonna die."

My mother changed the subject.

About five minutes later Aunt Kiki started up again.

"Sissy," said Aunt Kiki.


"Are you keeping secrets from me?"

"Kiki, what the hell are you talking about? Of course not."

"I think your husband's dying," Aunt Kiki deadpanned.

"How could you say that? He's totally fine!! Are you saying this because he buzzed his hair off?"

"He looks bad Sissy. He looks like he's dying. I think he has stomach cancer. Look how much weight he lost Sissy."

"He lost weight because he was on a diet because he ate like an asshole over Christmas when the kids were out to California with us."

"Mom thinks he looks bad too. She's worried. We think he's dying and you aren't telling us."

"I can assure you, I would tell everyone if something were wrong."

Their entrees came and they talked about something else. Ten minutes later Aunt Kiki went at it again.


"What Kiki?"

"You are wasting away. You are too skinny. I never saw you this skinny before. Something's wrong with you. You need to go to the doctor. You're gonna die," Aunt Kiki said.

"Kiki, I am NOT going to die and I am definitely not skinny. Cut this shit out. Nothing is wrong with me."

Aunt Kiki shook her head sadly.

"Yes it is Sissy. You look like a slip of nothing. I can't believe how skinny you are. Only sick people get that skinny."

"Kiki do you see me sitting here eating this fish and chips? I am not too skinny. I need to lose 20 pounds at least, now cut this out. There's nothing wrong with me."

They finished their entrees and ordered coffee. They started to talk about their kids.


"What Kiki."

"Little Anne looks TERRIBLE."

I need to break into the dialogue here for a second. Aunt Kiki suffers from the same affliction as everyone else in my family. They can't call anyone by their actual names. "Little Anne" is me, your author. This is what Aunt Kiki has been inexplicably calling me for the past three or four years. Before that she called me Louise. Neither Louise nor Little Anne are anything close, not even remotely similar, to my actual name. I have no idea where she comes up with these names. There is no logic. I think it's why I don't use my name on here. No one calls me it anyway. I can't even remember what my real name even is.

So Aunt Kiki here was telling my mother that I look TERRIBLE. In capital letters terrible.

"She looks fine," my mother said.

"Sissy, no she does not. Little Anne looks like she is deeply unwell. She looks like she's dying. Did her cancer come back? Are you keeping it from me?"

"Kiki, honestly. She NEVER had cancer."

"Yes she did. She had cancer in her neck."

"It wasn't cancer and it went away when she got treatment. She is fine."

"Little Anne looks like shit Sissy. Her color's bad. Listen to how she coughs. I bet she picked up tuberculosis on one of them trips she goes on. You know it's back. There's an epidemic. She could have got it at school. Don't you see how pale she looks? You hear her cough."

"Kiki, she's tired because she works her ass off and she's pale because she's inside all day working and studying and writing. She's coughing because she has asthma and she coughs more around me because of my cigarettes."

"Sissy, it's not normal. She looks bad. You need to tell her to put some rouge on her face or something. I'm telling her myself. She needs to get to the doctor. I think she needs to get tested."

My mother asked for the check because at that point the only other family members left were Mini-T and my sister. Maybe Aunt Kiki think they look healthy. Apparently I look like a tuberculosis victim who needs a makeover. She should see me now. On second thought, actually she shouldn't.


misha said...

i love the friendly neighborhood gang members. I used to be an aunt to a pit beagle (bad breed combo for kids) named Petey - I loved him so much.
With you on the facial damage thing - my dog has given me a few black eyes and I feel like such a badass when I am sporting one :)
I thought my mom was bad - if she was like your Aunt Kiki I would be even more batshit crazy than I already am LOL. When I go to her house I wear my most unflattering clothes - the ones that make me look the heaviest just so I dont have to hear how skinny I am. The best was when I was on a cruise w/ her - she alternated between I was anorexic and I was eating too much. I ate all I wanted but walked my ass off and actually lost a few pounds on week cruise to Alaska.

monda said...

Clearly you have a better class of gang members there than we have here. Pit bulls and wi-fi in the front yard. Lord.

You're wise not to let Aunt Kiki in on your injury. I've got one just like her and she'll have you dead by Easter for sure.

garden girl said...

Your family cracks me up! Aunt Kiki is a hoot. OMG, I can imagine what she would have had to say if she saw your banged up face!

Nanci said...

Ah, Aunt KiKi. I honestly have to say I can't even remember my made up name much less my real name. I think I have a new name each time I see her. She actually called me this weekend and said how she wanted to see me and she thought I was not doing well living all on my own now and she needed to come over. I can't even remember for the life of me what she called me either. It's hilarious. Also, Cousin Fallon does the same thing. She calls everyone around her something completely off the wall and nothing close to their real name. I wonder where she gets that from! I'm sorry to hear about your "falling out" with the fence. I have definitely shown my Graceful Polish side and done that before. In fact, I decided that since I live alone now I would run and jump through the air like a graceful ballerina. Just so happens I was fresh out of the shower and nekked....and when I landed oh so gracefully, I twisted my ankle. I swear the cats had stitches in their sides from laughing so hard. I limped to my room to get dressed and sulked eating a Ferrero Rocher on the couch after that fiasco...Mmmm... Anyhow, I hope that you recover quickly from the fall. Hope that you have a great day! P.S. You could just tell whoever asks that you took up "fencing"....Hmmm...Maybe.

Architect Critic said...

Great post.

On Friday my wife was on a dairy walking near a concrete water trough. There was some green slime next to it that made her slip. She reached out to brace herself and missed; her left arm went into the water and her ribs impacted on the edge. Fortunately it appears that nothing is broken, but she's in pain.

My grandmother isn't quite that bad of a hypochondriac, but whatever the subject she rarely stops talking. One day we went to lunch with her, my immediate family, cousins, etc. My brother and one of my cousins timed the rare intervals of silence when my grandmother wasn't talking - the longest was about 48 seconds. Bless her heart, as they say in the South.

JoeInVegas said...

Thanks for the update - wondered how your illness was coming on.

Reb said...

Glad to hear you have friendly gang neighbours and that in spite of looks you are in fact alright. Your family stories are so funny, I love them!

Kandace said...

O.M.G. Seriously can't stop laughing. Aunt Kiki is a riot and between you and me I may or may not suffer from something very similar.

You look a little pale, is the cancer back?

Anonymous said...

You know what's crazy? Your Aunt Kiki called me and told me she thought I was dying too.

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