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Sunday, July 02, 2006

Zombie Was a Rolling Stone (Wherever She Laid Her Hat Was Her Home)

Oh. Hi. I'm back. Again.

This time from St. Louis.

I am a World Traveler.

Well, okay, a Several State Traveler.

But I had a grand time in St. Louis, since I was visiting many folks whose company I enjoy, namely my foster family and former CIM staffer Caligula.

My foster family down there is large. Very large. And friendly. Very friendly. Sure, it's friendly in a "Hey, fuck you, buddy" type way, but friendly nonetheless.

Now, when I say large, I mean large. My grandparents have 36 grandchildren. That means I have 35 cousins. 35 cousins. And this is on my foster mom's side alone. One aunt has 20 kids on her own. 20 kids. If that ain't Irresponsible Vagina Use, y'all, I just don't know what is.

You can imagine that having that many cousins makes it hard to keep track of them all. Sometimes I even forget who I am, which isn't unusual, really, in my day-to-day life, since I often wake up and go, "Who am I?" Though not in a Pondering Philosophical way, but rather a Quite Possibly Retarded way...yeah, that gets way worse when surrounded by so many other people.

"Okay, so...you're Billy's kid, right? And you're Debbie's kid? And you belong to...Sandy. Okay." Et cetera.

I'm not the only one that has a hard time keeping track of all us grandkids, though. When I showed up one morning after hanging out with friends, my grandfather was sitting out on the back patio. I hadn't seen him yet, so I was all like, "Yay, it's my grandpa!"

So I say, "Hi, Grandpa!" all cheerful-like.

He doesn't look at me.

Louder: "Hi, Grandpa!"

Now he looks at me.

"Hi, Grandpa...?" I say, thinking he's gone deaf or senile or something.

He stares at me for a few more beats, then: "What the hell one are you?"

"Don and Linda's kid, Grandpa."

"Oh. Yeah. Go inside."

Then he goes back to ignoring me.

So that's loving. In fact, even after being there for a few days, giving him plenty of time to get used to me, he still had a hard time remembering who I am.

I called a little while ago, to say I got in safely and my plane hadn't crashed, etc, and Grandpa answered the phone.

"HELLO!?" he shouts, because he apparently thinks we're still in the days of communicating on tin cans and string or something, necessitating the loudest possible volume he can produce with his voice so everyone clear to Africa can hear him.

"Hi, Grandpa. It's Zombie's Real Name."

"WHO?"

"Zombie's Real Name, Grandpa. Are Don and Linda around?"

"WHO?"

"Zombie's Real Name, Grandpa!"

"WHO?"

"It's Zombie's Real Name! I was just there this morning!"

Where he said goodbye by giving me a manly handshake, because the huggin'? That's for women-folk.

"HUH? OH. HM. NO, THEY'RE NOT HERE. TALK TO DEBBIE." This is Grandpa-speak for "Stop fucking bothering me and bother someone else. Por favor." Except without the Spanish, as Grandpa isn't very partial to the coloreds.

So I did talk to my Aunt Debbie, who didn't even realize I had flown back home today, because she started that "It's after dark, young lady, you better not be off in some dangerous part of town again, gallivanting around with hoodlums without me" thing she does, and I am all like, "No, I am home and not dead" and she is all like, "Okay, I will leave a note."

Anyway.

Went to see Superman with two of my cousins. These cousins come from the family of 20 kids and are very religious folks. Ben is 22 and Abby is 19. Both are nice and nice to be around, though I must confess I felt very strange stuck in a van with two such wholesome people. I began to worry that my capacity for evil might leak out all over them and drive them to smoking or listening to heavy metal and worshipping Satan or something. And I just don't want to ruin lives like that. I warned them that I am Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know (without giving too many details, you dig) and that asking questions might compromise their innocence, so it was best that we stick to neutral topics like the price of bananas in Madagascar and Hannibal getting over the Alps.

Now, see, these kids grew up with no TV, no comic books, no nothin.' They were homeschooled and lived on a farm far away from other people. Consequently, while being extremely intelligent, they have absolutely no frame of reference when it comes to a lot of things.

So I knew it was absolutely necessary that I take them to see Superman on IMAX. Neither had seen an IMAX movie before and neither were quite certain what exactly a Superman might be, but they were up for it, and so we went. I located the only IMAX theater close enough to get to without crazy hassle, which was still fairly far away. And we drove and we drove and it was annoying to me and then lo and behold, we make it to where the IMAX lives and the Superman? It's sold out.

So we watch it on not-IMAX and that was okay, because the Superman? Fucking ruled. Granted, it had no plot to speak of (it had one, but it was weak) but, hey, it's Superman, and Kevin Spacey is Lex Luthor and you can't even imagine how great that was for me as I love me some Kevin Spacey like a fat kid love cake, and Superman is faster than a speeding bullet! Huzzah.

Both cousins enjoyed the movie and were happy and that was nice. It's always nice when someone is happy - and by "someone," I really mean "me."

But! If other people happen to experience happy at the same time as me, I'm certainly not going to be offended by that. I'm pretty sure there's more than enough happy to go around, especially when it comes to movies about men in tights wearing faggy boots. All the happy that inspires just cannot be contained, I think.

And stuff.

Hey! Guess what else? St. Louis? It's possessed of many, many Waffle Houses. I must confess to loving the Wa Ho. And St. Louis has a Wa Ho on almost every corner, it looks like. So I got me a big fat waffle and all was right with the world.

Seriously, the lack of Waffle Houses up in my neck of the woods is a great cause of pain to me. There have been many times when I've looked up from whatever it is I am doing and said to myself, wistfully, with tears glistening on my lashes, "If only the Waffle House would make its way up to Michigan, my life would be exponentially better. How I long for its ugly yellow-and-black sign, its not-been-cleaned-since-its-opening-during-the-time-of-Moses interior, its borderline retarded waitstaff, its heavenly, fluffy, syrupy waffles...oh...Wa Ho...so dirty, so yummy, so wrong...you complete me."

True story. I do find myself saying that from time to time. But now with a famed Waffle House waffle somewhere in my guts, I can stem the longing for at least a week.

And that is a not-so-short and probably overly-long-winded account of part of my time in St. Louis. And I for real will get back to blogging about my mother and Seattle and stuff, starting not-right-now-but-probably-tomorrow.

And I will also use less hyphens.

Maybe.


link | posted by Zombie at 5:57 PM |


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