I present my last few days in sections, since this post is bloody long. The final cut is recent art. I still got it.
Reflections on being home:
The house is clean, in the bacterial sense. I feel dirty being there though. Existing ing that place is a think blanket of laze. It is the feel of seclusion, isolation and isolationism. My father doesn't want people around him. He wants his own company and the company of his stuff. He keeps the blinds closed in all the rooms he frequents. I imaging that the first time he had been to the sparerooms on the second floor since I was home last in Mau was to get wrapping paper from a closet last week.
The house is not neglected, per se, as it is very clean - not even dusty - but unloved. The house hibernates as it slowly deteriorates internally. It is blind to it's own systemsatoc devolution, as is my father. This is insurmountably sad one on level, but he is happy. This makes it acceptable on another level. As I prefer a person live how they wish, I'm pleased that my father is pleased even as I do not comprehend his motives (even as I exhibit many of the same habits). Hat this leaves me with is exhuberance that my father is happy and profound sadness that this is "how it will be" up to the point of his death - which I must understand is probably sooner than I'd like in many different understandings of "sooner."
My sister is doing better than before. Her boyfriend is very cool, very much like her ex-husband, but far more spiritual - a shaman. She and he drink heavily though, and that is terrible for them and more so for the kids. Surprisingly, they are well adjusted, including the youngest who's howls were usually heard well into the night. They, too, are all happy. I wonder if my sister's happiness comes from the tequila they both know so well. This I cannot know without spending many days in their presence, which is unlikely as well as untolerable. I cannot stand children.
Digression. My father asked about Fox and I having children. I had to admit that she and I are DINKS for now, and most likely for a while. He was quietly amused. If he was disappointed, I could not tell. All in all I know he is proud of me and respects my descisions which is easily the best a child could ask for. End Digression.
I'm pleased to think that my neices and nephews will turn out all right. Alex, the eldest, will certainly rebel hard in a few years though, much like my sister did at that age. Will my sister be understanding? Unlikely, as anger is quicker to the draw than understanding, especially when one's drawing hand is tempered by agave.
I felt more comfortable in my sisters home, which has recently been declared a federal disaster area by the president. Aid is already being airlifted. The apparent difference between the two houses? Life. Life and activity. My Sister's house has people that live in it, not just exist. This is key, but a key my father has lost and does not wish to find. It is also a key my sister has broken in the opened lock.
These did not exist, really. There was carnage at my sister's house, the kids all assuming future debt unknowlingly. Each person in that house, with the exception of the 3 year old, have their own TVs now. I imagine this keeps things from getting to loud when they each want to do something different. Piece of mind bought at one hundred bucks a head?
Otherwise, I watched football and basket ball with my father, intersperesed with episodes of Stargate: SG1. Not exciting, but the sort of thing my father appreciates. Too bad Green Bay didn't render an impressive game. Even though the Pack won, neither deserved it. The game should have been called on account of slackers. Ditto the LA/Miami basketball game. Miami won, as I wanted, but it was a hollow overtime victory made with excessive rim shots and hard pressed free throws. Pitiful sight, really.
I got lost, because my poor intellect didn't detect a difference between MM and Mm, one leading directly to Fair Verona, the other to Oregon (or as I like to call it, Podunk Land of Joe). That gave an extra 45 minutes of travel made bearable by Nick Sagan's Idlewild on CD (audio books are truly a godsend).
Digression on gifts:
I dropped one of the gifts as I walked it to the door. My father gave Fox and myself gorgeous flatware, now we have real dishes. Luckily I only broke two bread plates and a single mug. Otherwise, the year's haul included that flatware (enough for eight) plus serving dishes, a breadmaker and the necessary fun calendars from my father. Mine the "Worst Case Scenario" daily and Fox's "Anguished English" daily. (She wins the "best calendar" game this year, where as I won last year.) My sister bought me the necessary sweater, a standard, but this time far too large - both a good and bad situation. It is extremely fuzzy and very large, two X's that I no longer require. She noted this (the ONLY one in my family to acknowledge my absent gut) and considered an apology that my brother extinguished with his arrival. I don't fault her for it, as she hasn't seen me for months. My previous tendency was to inflate rather than deflate. I just enjoy knowing that I can count on a nice sweater from her.
My brother gave me the standard gift card. A step up, it was from Borders this year. A step down, only twenty dollars rather than fifty from previous years. (these are just idle chatter and have no real animosity). I'm glad he tries, at least a little. My relationship with him is amusing. Jokes and jibs and many paper balls to the head (mine more than his). He treats me like I'm a worthy human being. This is a great gift.
My foreign sister, Kristin, is in Thailand apparently. She gets so many flyer miles that she goes whever she likes every six months completely free. She sent me a nifty italian panini grill. Unexpected, but incredibly appreciated. Much will be grilled on it.
What I got them:
I like giving my father gifts. We have a running joke in my family. If it is heavy you say, Ohh! A brick of chocolate!" Well, that's exactly what I got my father this year. I got him two 1.5 lbs bricks of organic chocolate. He said the requisite phrase when he picked it up and was very happy when it was, in fact, just that. Fox and I also purchased him the Illuminated version of The Da Vinci Code. He had asked for a copy, just not the really pretty one. We also bought him a CD he asked for by name, Stardust by Willie Nelson.
My sister got (is getting when sent as I forgot it here) hand made soap. She is coocoo for cleanliness. My brother, the first two seasons of Ren and Stimpy which he and my other brother absolutely loved. Everyone was happy. That is what matters.
In the end, that is what matters. My father is happy in his isolation. My sister is happy with the new guy (but really, we all are). The kids are happy in spite of agave. Kristin is happy, even if Thailand is tiring her out. I'm happy to see my family happy. I'm especially happy to come home to a lovely and appreciative girlfriend, and warm fuzzy kitties.
I say that is the holiday spirit. I do not worship Jesus. He is a... gateway? tool? (can't think of the word). He is something I use to catalyze my own salvation. Santa is, most certainly, a tool of consumerism (which I lost to very hard today).
In honor (not really) of Christmas season, I made this. There are many high transperancy images designed to emote. I could have made this even more blatant than it is. I like what it is now. :)
24in x 30in.