Out of the Texas Panhandle and Into the Syracuse Oven
But, I can't complain, though. I'd rather have this weather than the crappy summer we had last year, where temperatures barely rose above 60 all summer long. Weather like this gives me an excuse to go and sneak into the nearby neighborhood pool here in Cuse at 2 in the morning, bypassing all the potheads and orgie fanatics mucking about in the nearby outdoor amphitheater. Thank God that my new apartment has ceiling fans all over the place. I can just chill, with my arms and legs spread out and let the air chill my crotch. Ahhhh yes... that's the life right there!
So, as I mused in my last post, I was forced to come back to Cuse without doing anything with my late grandfather's body. I still marvel at the bureaucratic BS surrounding this entire thing; the fact that we have to get a SPECIFIC doctor to certify that my grandfather is officially dead doesn't make any sense to me. I'm not sure what it's like in other states, but I know this would've never happened right here in New York State. Then again, a lot of things don't make sense to me about Texas. In either case, I'm still waiting for word that Abuelo's closing ceremonies can go forward as planned, finally. With any luck, that word should come any day now.
It was cool spending time with the fam out there in Houston, especially my uncle Angel. I stayed in his place the entire week and beat down my two little cousins, Alex and Gabriel, every chance I got. I had a great time while I was there, and, as usual, found it incredibly hard to leave. And, as usual, I found myself considering living in Houston for a little while after I graduate from Syracuse in order to spend time with the family down there. Every time I go over there, I always get this little feeling in the back of my head that makes me think of nice, happy thoughts consisting of me just connecting with my relatives down there. After all, with just my mother and one of my uncles left in New York City, I always feel somewhat isolated from the rest of the family that's centered in Texas. Part of me has always wanted to have that family-type of environment, where everyone gets together during special occasions and calls on one another when shit hits the fan. I don't have that kind of experience being in NYC, though from time to time, I try to reconnect with my uncle and with my cousins there. It's no replacement for what could happen in Houston with my family down there, but it's certainly a lot better than nothing.
Of course, I always snap back to reality when I think about just how fractured my "family" really is. You got one person arguing with another here, someone trying to extort money there, and my grandmother running the "no one loves me" gambit, angering and annoying everyone around her by playing favorites whenever it suits her and pitting her own children against one another. It really is a crappy situation. For example, my grandfather hadn't even been dead for 24 hours when people were already arguing over his will. When I found out what was happening down there in Houston while I was packing my bags, expecting a week of solidarity and unity out of everyone, I flipped out. How could they?! It was as if their desire for the almighty dollar had dissolved their sense of compassion and sensitivity. I was happy to hear that Angel cursed them out and kicked them out of his house after they came storming in, demanding to see the will. As everyone in the family is so quick to point out, Angel and I, along with my mother to a slightly greater degree, have very similar rapid-fire responses in these kinds of situations, so, I'm confident that Angel got at them the same way I would've, with unrelenting and deadly precision.
Because of the will situation, I feared that I was walking into a minefield when I landed in Houston, but thankfully, towards the end, I saw some signs of hope for recovery and unity. My grandmother and Angel started talking to each other again, for the first time in about three years. (If I remember correctly, they stopped talking because I think my grandmother said something like, "you're not my son" to Angel, and he, being the hot-head he is, stopped talking to her. (That's where I get it from, in case you wondered) My grandmother, of course, was too hard-headed to apologize to him, and then, after awhile, completely "forgot" that she ever said that to him, and started complaining to the rest of us that he "denied her as a mother." Other disputes and events only compounded the situation and made it worse, so eventually, the chances of Angel and my grandmother ever making up seemed incredibly low. However, with my grandfather passing away, I guess Angel felt that it was time to just drop the communications embargo. Deep down inside, I don't think he would have ever forgave himself if Abuela passed away and he maintained his silence. He showed up at her house for a visit one day, along with us, and surprised my grandmother. She would never admit it, but she was as happy as I've seen her in a long time. She welcomed him with open arms, and though she never apologized for what happened before, deep down inside, I know that she's thankful that Angel was able to forgive her faults. She was even happier a few days later when she was invited to a big family dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. Because of Abuela's bridge burning over the years, she hadn't been a part of many combined family functions for a long time. On this day, however, she was as happy as she could be. Four of her eight sons and daughters were sitting right in front of her, engaging with her and making her laugh, along with 5 grandsons and 1 grandaugher. I looked right into her eyes and saw just how it filled her with incredible joy to be in that position. I smiled right at her, and she beamed right back, secretly thanking me for being a part of a moment in her life that she wouldn't soon forget.
And neither will I. Even if I am all the way in Syracuse. :-)
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While I was out in Houston, I was able to give fellow Blogger, Freebird a holler on the telephone. I wasn't able to meet her in person (after all, she is a resident of H-Town), but I did speak to her for over an hour on the cellie. She's definitely cool people. After I hung up that phone, all of a sudden, the words that she had written on her blog seemed to leap out at me; I could finally match a voice and personality to her typed musings. It's an awesome transformation. She now seems so REAL to me. I think everyone should connect with their favorite fellow bloggers. It adds such a wonderful dimension to this whole blogging experience.
Who knows? Maybe if I can ever figure out where Bakersfield is, I can pay Veronica a visit. (Nora and I wondered where the hell that place was in Cali, lol.) I could beat down her bitch ass neighbor, for example. :-)