In Your Eyes

I don’t have too many illusions about being a “good son.” I mean, I am pretty sure I am not one. That doesn’t mean I’m not a good person–that’s a whole different discussion. When you talk son or daughter, though, you’re talking about a very specific thing, and that’s how you relate to your parents. It’s really about what your parents think of you as you relate to them. Isn’t it?

But of course your two (or more, I don’t judge) parents may not agree on either what makes a good son or whether you meet the criteria.

I wish I knew why it mattered to me.
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When Doves Cry

The next evening we went back to the same mall. Me, Remo, Courtney, Ziggy, and Claire. Janine had abdicated her vote into Court’s hands. Ziggy and I had already bought something for her and no one argued with us–by which I mean Claire didn’t object when we said we had. Court and I were put in charge of getting something for Ziggy, while Ziggy and Claire went off together to find something for Remo, and Remo… I lost track of what Remo was doing.
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Wrong

I saw a T-shirt the other day that said something like this: there are two kinds of crazy, the kind where you’re sure there’s something terribly wrong with you, and the other kind. I think the shirt was pithier, since that sounds like a lot of words to put on a shirt? What had caught my attention was that it was plastered across the rather nice chest of a bouncer, so I was a little distracted at the time I was reading it. But now that I think about it with a broad canvas of that size there was plenty of room for words.
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Into the Fire

I don’t know what Janine was hoping would happen. It wasn’t like Claire wasn’t going to notice that my oldest sister wasn’t there. I guess maybe she thought if she could wait for the right moment to tell her, she could minimize the damage?

Doesn’t that sound like the kind of thing I would do?
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Tell Your Sister

By the time Ziggy and I arrived at the house there was a full-blown apocalyptic argument going on between Claire (of course), Janine, and Courtney. Remo opened the door for us and we made a beeline for the kitchen while the three women had their knock-down, drag-out fight in front of the Christmas tree. Then he went to make peace or something, but we could hear it all perfectly well. It went something like this:
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A Day in My Life (Without You)


In the morning we woke up to find Courtney had already left for Janine’s. She’d gone with Remo, of course. Remo wasn’t exactly what I’d call a morning person, but he had a kind of fortitude for keeping a daytime schedule that I just didn’t seem to have. Maybe it was related to the whole moral character equals early riser thing that we seem to have in American culture which of course I didn’t follow since most Americans would’ve considered my moral character to be completely degenerate anyway, no matter what time I got up. At least according to Janine.
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Suck My Kiss

Court had her own room at the motel. Now that Christmas was like a week away the place had emptied out, so there were plenty of vacancies. I said good night to her at her door and said I’d see her in the morning to head over to Janine’s.

Ziggy was waiting up for me, reading a book in bed. He was in nothing but a bathrobe as if he’d just gotten out of the shower. “I was just starting to worry,” he said, setting the book on the nightstand.
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Ballad of Youth

“What do you mean, ‘we‘ go to church’?”

Courtney had arrived at the airport after multiple delays due to ice storms back east and other weather shenanigans. Remo had left Ziggy at Janine’s to keep Claire company, and had left me at the airport to pick up a rental car of my own while he went in to the city for some business reason. I had spent several hours wandering around the airport attempting to amuse myself and by the time Court arrived I was disoriented and tired and out of sorts.

I was driving, she was passengering, and I was trying to explain how things had been going. “I mean when we go to church it’ll take two cars, between you, me, Ziggy, Remo, our mother–”

“Oh, oh, you mean actually attend normal church, not like… funeral-church.”
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Mysterious Ways

Later that week we had a tree-trimming party. I don’t actually remember ever having a “party” to do it before. When I was a kid I’m pretty sure that getting the tree up and decorated was a big chore that various family members were drafted into. Or maybe Claire always considered that to be a “party” and I just didn’t remember it as such.

What made it a party this time, apparently, was she not only gathered everyone at a designated time to do the decorating, but she put out snacks and put on music. A well-worn cassette tape of Christmas classics played from the boom box on the fireplace mantle.
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Weirdo

Remo drove me and Ziggy to look for a Christmas tree. We ended up at some farm where Remo did all the talking. Once the tree was tied to the roof, we got back in the car and Remo was chuckling.

“What’s so funny?” I had to ask.
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