You Can’t Always Get What You Want

April 22, 2007 at 6:22 PM | Posted in Personal | 4 Comments
  April 18th
  Soon–this week,perhaps–I’ll be able to post this and other articles and get current with my blog.  So much has happened.  So, so much has happened.  So much so that. . .
  Hmmm.  I guess we’ll do this time-line style.
  1965- I was born poor black child.

  . . .Let’s jump to more recently. . .

  March 13th–I actually played the comedy club for the first time.  My sister was going to go, but Dad was starting to get sick.  I was worried, but she said she would stay home with him.  I went on.

  March 14th–My dad went in the hospital.

  March 15th-21st–During this week my dad had ups and downs.  Regular room, ICU, regular room, Respiratory ICU, back and forth.  Every time I came to see him, I had no idea where he was.
  I think the last time I talked to him was on Wednesday.

  March 22nd–He took a turn for the worse.  All the meds he was on for everything else caused his kidneys to fail.

  March 23rd–I left work early and went to the hospital, my brother Carl was already there.   This was the day.  The last day.

  March 24th–Funeral Home Day.  We make the arrangements.

  March 25th–Sunday.  I have no idea.  I don’t remember.

  March 26th–Monday.  Dad’s service.

  March 27th-30th–Tues-Fri.  I spent this time fielding phone calls, arranging the burial in Mt Vernon, and moving.  We (all of us) decided it would be best for me (and Detroit) to move into my dad’s house.  Even though it was supposed to go to my sister (my parents had already given me a house and my brother a house, so it was her turn), she never made enough money in her life to take care of a house, even one that was paid for.

  March 31st–The burial service in Mt Vernon, followed by the obligatory eats and beer at the Eagle’s Lodge.  Afterwards we went first to my Aunt Nina’s house, and then to my cousin (her daughter) Carrie’s house, then on the way home we stopped at my brother’s house, and I gave Detroit the tour of the town I grew up in.
  So many things–my Aunt and my cousin and her daughter, too, are three generations of creative and artistic.  There is a lot of it in our family.  Aunt Nina makes jewelry, and paints, and does this organic sculpture with gourds.  And other things, too, probably.  She built a labrynth in her back yard.
  I walked it, as you are supposed to do, and contemplated.  I got to the center, and walked back out.  I’m not sure what clarity I was seeking, what answer I sought.  Perhaps it was a calm.  Maybe I got that.  Maybe.

  April 1st–Sunday, we finished moving out of the apartment.  I may yet go back for something, I don’t know.  The landlord indeed wants to be a hard on.  Yes we are leaving about 5 months early.  I explained the circumstances, and the first thing out of his mouth was not "my condolences," or "Sorry for your loss," but "you know you’re responsible for the rest of the lease."  What a prick.  He is willing to go to court and sue me over this, too.
  So even though we are out of the apartment, I may have to pay the rest of the lease, just to avoid even more expenses legally.  But I’m going to have to do something special for him.  Like call someone about all the Illegals he has in his buildings.

  April 2nd-to the present.  I’ve been about the several tasks of closing out my father’s business, changing names over, and trying to get things paid out.  The challenge being, of course, we can’t find a will, and the beneficiary on his life insurance is "the estate of–"  himself.
  Unless you have a goddamn will and make fucking sure somebody knows where to fucking find the son of a bitch, that is the stupidest motherfucking thing you can do!  You make a goddamn PERSON your fucking beneficiary!  This is the most ridiculous bullshit I have ever seen, been through, dealt with.  Christ in a fucking ice cream truck.  Anybody who thinks I’m wrong can stop by, get in line, and I will personally attend to hitting you in the fucking head with a ball-pene hammer.  Idiots.
  Luckily, he did have some money in the bank, POD to me, Judy, and Carl, so we were able to pay for the funeral, pay his car off (in fact, they made us, which is BS), and split what was left.  His pensions–his and the one from Mom–both made a payment in April and they both want their goddamn money back.
  During this time–a week after the first service–I find out that the mediation for my divorce is scheduled.  Since my mail is in the process of being forwarded, I don’t see any of this.  I find out about it completely by accident from my older kids.
  I go to the mediation.  You know, I’m done talking about it, and about The Storm.  Suffice it to say that I gave her every goddamn thing I ever mother fucking had, and emerged with my testicles intact and my soul bruised but healing.  I chewed my own arm off to get away.
  As a side note, I’m finding out that everyone I ever knew who ever met my wife all felt the same way about her:  She was a cast-iron bitch and I was a brave, stupid martyr for staying with her.  So’s your face, pal.
  I explained to Detroit just the other night, that I like everyone.  I even like people that other people don’t like.  Case in point, the Storm.  I am a good judge of people in that, if I don’t like you, you must be a really, really horrible person.  I can still make excuses for her, and be defensive about her if someone says something bad about her.  But it’s all true.  The worst that someone would say, it’s true.  And actually, the truth is even harsher.

  Speaking of harsh, we are living in the same house as my sister.  This is an adjustment for Detroit.  My sister. . . is an odd duck.
  Five years younger than me, she’s 37.  But she has really been a teenager for the past 20 years. 
  She’s not retarded (that I can tell), she just never. . .grew up.  Peter Pan was originally played by a woman.  Most of her friends are early 20’s, college age.  She herself just recently went back to school a few years ago, after I did (I take credit for the idea).
  In college she flourished, getting involved in activities, student government, things like that.  She likes living the life of an adult, living at home, no responsibility.
  Our parents never pushed us, not really.  I could have used a push when I was a kid, in school, to do better.  I wasn’t pushed.  I think it went a step further with her, because she was the baby.  She was coddled.
  The big problem for Detroit is, my sister has the worst trait my mom had, the one I’ve been fighting all my life, that she revels in:  She is a slob.  Bonafide, 100% pig.  And a pack rat extraordinaire.
  Okay, this was the problem:  My sister, in all of her piddly part time side jobs she has worked, has never made more than 8 grand a year in her life.  As I said, the house is paid for.  But she is trying to finish school (although not trying very hard at this exact point), and there are the utes and the taxes and insurance.  The taxes are about 2 grand per year, and they want that every year.
  My dad had often remarked to me in the last few years, and occasionally in the previous months–"I really worry about your sister after I’m gone–"  I realize now that this was a hint to me.  She took care of Dad, but not as much as she thinks she did.  Remind him to take his oxygen with him, remind of appointments, making sure he bundled up.  She did the grocery shopping (with his money), and most of the cooking.  Dad’s pensions and IRAs paid the bills, and they both did pretty much what they wanted, no clear goals in mind.
  That thing really bothers me.  I never realized how goal oriented I was until I had none, and sensed a void.  When I was living in the apartment with Detroit, I had everything I needed, like some badly written soft rock song from the seventies.  Dad was retired and felt himself near the end, there was nothing he wanted.  My sister is oblivious, immature, and a stoner.  Between them they let the house fall apart.
  So in I stroll and now it’s the dawning of a brand new day.  The problem is two-fold but the root is the same:  A)  the house needs a remodel worse than anything you’ve seen on HGTV, and B) there is no room for everything because we have:
  1. our stuff to move in (admittidly a small, streamlined amount, having already been reduced my moving and divorce)
  2. Dad’s stuff already there
  3. Some of Mom’s stuff left (she died three years ago)
  4. All of my sister’s stuff, who has never had to move, saved everything, and wants to part with nothing.
  She wants to make the house a shrine to Mom and Dad.  The house is full and cluttered the way it is, and we have no room to move our shit in.
  My sister wants things to be this way or that–but she’s unwilling to do anything.  Her inaction was my free license.  We started moving our shit in and moving things around and getting rid of things.
  "But I wanted to keep that!"
  "It’s trash."
  "It reminds me of Dad."
  "It’s an empty package of disposable razors."
  "It’s the kind Dad used."
  "He forgot to throw it out."
  "He meant for me to have it."  This is a typical conversation, and much less of an exaggeration than you think.

  Gradually, though, she has started to come around.  She still takes credit for everything "we" do when she talks to people even though she has barely lifted a finger, but I was shocked as shit to see her up on a chair cleaning the ceiling fan– albeit badly.  But she’s on board with most of the changes, and the rest. . .?  We’ll see.
  Detroit did like my sister, before we moved in.  But then she had about two weeks solid of PMS because she can’t stand filth and clutter.  It was tense around here (for me) because she bitched to me and not to Judy, who was the cause of her problem.  This didn’t seem logical because I am a man, a natural thinker and regular user of logic.
  I felt I was going to have to choose between taking care of my sister and having Detroit in my life.  I felt the bittersweet agony of having a perfect love–and having it for so fleetingly short a period of time.  All we’ve been through, and this is how it ends?  With this?  It’s not fair, it’s not–
  And then it started to get better.  With progress made, things getting done, trash and clutter getting removed, it is more of a place Detroit can call home.  I’m so glad, because that would have been a painful choice to make.

  Although the choice may have become:  Which one of them do I kill FIRST, and bury and the back yard?



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  1. I am not biased. (wink)  …get a place for the sister..LOL I know you and Detroit will like that!!!  Maybe a trailer in the back yard. something of her own she can be proud of! Yeah I know can\’t swing it..but it sure would be nice huh.. YOU CAN DREAM!!   take care..  :  )

  2. Man o Man, sounds like you\’ve had a whooper of a time lately.. Sorry I\’ve been non-communicado, still trying to get myself back into the swing of blogging and such again… I wish I had profound words of wisdom and healing, but alas nay.. But I know that you will survive and overcome this battle, just as the many that have been lain to waste in the battle field that is the past.  As for slovenly people, I can relate to Detroit, nothing is worse than living in a place with a person that is a pig.  My mother growing up was horrible, I hated it, to this day I have compulsive cleaning habbits, dosen\’t matter if i\’m at work, home out in public, or a friends house.  If its dirty I\’ll start cleaning it.  Maybe if you made her keep her crap in her room and make the community area\’s clear of clutter and excess junk.. But this is all speculation.. I do with you well, and hope that everything works out.. if not .. I dig real good.. hehe..
    Love n Light

  3. OK I guess my thinking is if she is 37 she needs to get a REAL JOB and start helping out. I get the going back to school thing, I get the parents taking care of her and vise versa thing, but fuck there is a time and place she needs to grow up.

  4. please don\’t bury me in the backyard… don\’t wanna be beneath a lot of dog doo.thankslove ya

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