6:00 a.m. on the dot—need water. Sleep again.
I’m awake, showered and ready for the day. There was a growing tension in the air. Jamie’s cousin-in-law has arrived with her birthday boy and baby. Soon after, Jamie’s sister-in-law showed up with her birthday boy. A good enough reason to unite family, eat cake, and sit in the sun for five hours during the hottest goddamned part of the day.
Jeff and I were ready to go well before my wife woke up, so we started our tour of the country. She needed to shower—I needed to get away from the toxic combination that is stress and family. We packed in and headed out to the fields. The paved road has ended, and we’re out in the real Farmville now. I climb out of the car only to be surrounded by rusted beer cans and broken bottles—from afar it’s so wonderful to behold, I imagine the spectacle of the gladiator from old Roman times must have looked glorious from the stadium but standing in the field viewed closely: the rancid puddles, trash, and heat, the only difference between beauty and brutality is perspective. All I can do is stare at this shit, and wonder if it’s going to cause another fire. I managed to get some photos while under attack from every bug imaginable. Forty minutes haven’t passed and I feel like shit. I checked my phone, TEXT: Come get me before I kill my sister-in-law.
We arrive as Jamie bolts out of the front door, “We have to get out of here, I’m seriously going to kill her. I only took half-an-hour to get ready, and she will not shut the fuck up about how long it took. She was even telling people on the phone!” So we took off for more pictures, and more fast food. This whole trip is starting to catch up. I feel like I’ve been eating rocks, and drinking acetone for two days.
We spent a good three hours out in the sun with a quick break for DQ. By the time we were done and back at the house, the party was almost in full swing. I was met by an array of people: older family members–they sat peacefully out of the hot sun. The backyard encased late twenties rednecks—bald, overweight, bearded bike riders huddled out in the sun talking about their trucks. The women grouped together on the porch to shade their phones as they text friends. It’s a standard small town get-together with everyone’s kids running around.
Having kids is one of two ways to take care of a notorious small town problem: boredom. All the women here have huge tits, and flat asses, a classic case of birthing boobs coupled with too much driving (nobody walks anywhere here). If you don’t want kids, your other option is booze. The worst hangover of my life was a small town hangover. Some people opt to just sit in the sun and drink all day–everyday. If you want the combination of liquor, and child free sex, rumor has it—there’s a very secretive, elitist swingers group that meet at a finely furnished house. When there’s not much to do other than drink and fuck, it seems to be a decent option.
I’ve been at this party for about an hour, and I’m done. I’m not sure if it’s the sun, or the general company, but it was time for a nap. I slipped out at a good time too. All the others were busy watching the two children open poorly wrapped gifts, which they will grow tired of playing with after a couple of weeks.
Out of my slumber I awoke to, “What the hell is your problem? I told you not to give him sugar!” It’s the sister-in-law’s, Carolina’s voice, and it’s directed towards Jamie’s step-dad Steve. He had it in his mind that he could give his grandchild anything he wanted because he was “grandpa.” So Carolina was furious when her child was fed copious amounts of sugar. Despite all reason, and the unwillingness to simply apologize, Steve held his ground. In the midst of all the family and friends who don’t see each other that often, two relentless parents were at each others throats over a child eating frosting. Thank god those kids aren’t old enough to remember this shit. Had they been, the party would have been a whole lot worse. And who could blame them? Fact of the matter is it isn’t Steve’s child, so he had no right to disrespect the parents. All of a sudden, it’s not just two people pissed at each other, now four people, and more are starting to frown.
This stream of bullshit causes a chain reaction in my head: at the end of the day, we all simply want our way, for good or bad. No stalemate. Every relative, spouse, and friend; every mayor, pope, and president want what they want and time is the ultimate teller of truth. It’s impossible to convince those who believe they’re right.
The buzz-kill that family can be was not about to ruin my fun. This would be another night of beer, and good company with Dalton and Alyse. We’d drank in front of a fire, and a few people swam in the pool they set up. The water was a bit cold for my taste, so I just sat in front of the fire pit and drank; telling stories of my past. A couple of Alyse’s friends came over, and though I had planned on gaming, tonight’s seduction was just simple conversation. Just as well. After such a long day, all my body wanted to do was sit, and all my brain wanted to do was explain the past ten years of my life to the new kids.