Thursday, December 04, 2008
I have to administer my first final exam of the season today and then I will go on to my last class. I'm not really giving them an actual test. I just check portfolios of writing and then we have a fun awards ceremony, eat candy and take a class picture. It's fun. It provides closure and we satisfy the requirement of having to meet during the final exam period.

I have a headache that feels like someone is driving a railroad spike through my temple and I have a crap ton of work and errands to do.

That is why I've decided to blog a little this morning before I become a productive member of society once more.

One week from today I am leaving for Millpond where I will stay until New Years at the homes of various relatives like some sort of vagabond. I'll also be spending a lot of time alone because I have to write my thesis which is due January 15th and is a collection of memoir poems and prosish things that defy genre about my childhood growing up out in the country, in the drowned valley of the Susquehanna, near a low swampy marsh, in a landscape puddled with lakes (actual lines from the thesis by the way). Maybe that will give you a better idea of where I'm going, but maybe not. It doesn't matter.

The trip promises to be interesting. My relatives are acting up.

The other day Aunt Kiki, who lives in Florida, called my mother in hysterics because my Uncle Garble is losing his mind again. Aunt Kiki thinks we need to have him institutionalized and that he might hurt someone or himself.

Please refresh your memory about Uncle Garble here.

Uncle Garble and his Irish Traveler family have a long, detailed and intimate relationship with the crazy. It's part of their routine. They're probably running out of money. The welfare people might be looking too hard for jobs that they can all do, so it was bound to happen that someone in his clan would lose it. I guess it was his turn, although out of the whole lot of them, I think he might be the closest one to legitimately insane.

None of us except Aunt Kiki are bothered about it.

The whole thing started last week when my mother called Uncle Garble and said we were coming up for Christmas.

"Well don't come see me, because I don't want to see you," Uncle Garble told her.

"Why not?" my mother asked.

"I'm tired of people and I don't want to see you or anyone else and I don't want anything to do with anyone," he replied.

This was a little strange, but not exceptionally strange from him. You expect him to come up with off the wall shit like this. It's just who he is.

Normally though he and my mom write a lot of letters back and forth and talk every few weeks, but now he's decided he doesn't want that anymore, so whatever. My mom wasn't bothered by it. She knows how he is.

Uncle Garble is so strange that eleven years ago, at his father's funeral, he walked up to the casket, took off his eyeglasses and put them on my dead grandfather. Then he looked at them, took them back off and put them back on himself. After that he removed his hat and put that on the body, didn't like that either, removed the hat and put it back on his own head. It was so weird that in the midst of our tears, those of us who saw the whole procedure couldn't help but bust out laughing.

Personally, I'm relieved that Uncle Garble doesn't want anything to do with us. This saves me from wasting an afternoon to go to his nasty-assed trailer, only to sit there awkwardly and attempt to make small talk with people who don't have a full set of teeth between them and who, I kid you not, were furious about Obama's plan to "redistribute the wealth" and give free handouts to people who don't work. EXCUSE ME??? Really? Because I think they were talking about themselves. If that were true, that Obama were giving free handouts to people who didn't work, you'd think this bunch would be his biggest supporters. They'd be first in line at the check cashing store. And being that these jackasses don't have any wealth to redistribute I have no earthly idea what they were worried about.

But Uncle Garble is resisting treatment and refusing to go to the mental hospital. Aunt Kiki is worried. My mother said it's all jsut part of the plan. If he refuses to go, it makes him look crazier and it's more believable.

So that's one part of the story of my relatives.

The other part is that my other uncle, Uncle Bull, is separated from his wife, which is a story in and of itself.


That damn expat said...

I laughed out loud when I read about your uncle's behavior at the funeral.
Your stories always have that effect on me though.

JoeinVegas said...

Soon to be Master Wide Lawns, and then Doctor Wide Lawns? wow.

kerry said...

Enjoy your trip! I hope it's happy and restful and you get a lot of writing done.

Robin in Ohio said...

Good luck on the thesis writing! You know we're all behind you...cheering you on! :-)

"Go, WL! Write that thesis! Yay!"

Karen said...

No matter how weird and awful my holidays are, I come over here and read and feel pure envy that they aren't weirder. That's how wonderful reading your stuff is.

Anonymous said...

Susquehanna, eh? Well, that tells me something anyway.

I love driving places versus flying. It feels more like an accomplishment.

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