brings us back to doe.


the doorbell rang, and my uncle showed up with his wife and his wife's kid. they showed up because his wife's kid wanted to buy my dad's car, a 1994 silver camry. the kid runs his own limo business in l.a., and he's gonna drive the camry down to l.a. he bought the car for $1,800, and the kid is going to pay my dad in installments, $200 a month. that's how these types of things go, i suppose.

i helped my cousin move into her new house. we had to move a refrigerator, and i wasn't happy about that. luckily, her mom's boyfriend knew how to strap a belt around the refrigerator and load it up onto a dolly. i stood there, helpless, as i watched him run the strap through the fridge's handle, and he used a clamp of some sort to tighten the strap. he said that he used to do this kind of stuff in the air force. i thought about my friend in seattle who likes a guy in the navy. and then i thought about how i will never actually be a man. only a failed writer.

i played with my cousin's two kids. sometimes, i would watch them and wonder what they are thinking. are they amazed by everything they see? are they going to remember this, moving into a new house, all the new smells and how it feels to wake up in a new bedroom? will they remember their old place, the apartment, walking up the stairs, and all the wood chips in the apartment complex? are they thinking that they just want to be happy? that they just want jelly beans and good television and mushrooms wrapped in bacon? and that they want to avoid pain, like getting their fingers smashed, or else being ignored?

my other cousin and i played music. i couldn't remember how to play most of our songs. i tried playing without a guitar pick, and it didn't sound so good. it was fun for a bit, but it was also good knowing that i wasn't a dreamer anymore. that i'm no longer an eighteen year old with visions of doing anything real with my music. i can't stand people who refuse to grow up and be ordinary. i want to fit in, be like everyone else. i bought some shirts and sweaters from the banana republic factory outlet.

i went to chick-fil-a with yet another cousin (yeah, lots of cousins), and we ordered up a feast. chicken sandwiches, nuggets, waffle fries, dipping sauces, icedreams, the works. he wanted to ask one of the workers for her number. i said he should. he didn't. it kept raining and then stopping. we sang along to dashboard confessional on the way home.

it was saturday night, and my parents were on the loveseat, and i was in the rocking chair. i told my mom how it was weird that i had to hide a sports illustrated swimsuit issue from her when i was a kid. like, why was it such a terrible thing to look at women in bikinis? i was curious about sex, and i wanted to look at them, so why did i have to hide it from her? she said she never knew what i was doing. then she brought up the time she found a porno in my vcr. she said, you were so stupid, and you said it belonged to your friends! my whole attempt at talking about how i'm socially retarded completely backfired.

that same night, i asked my dad if he ever really asked himself what he wanted to do. he said he'd always wanted to fix cars. or be a policeman. so, how did he end up at 55 still without a clue? i was afraid that i would be just like him, bouncing from this job to that - whatever came up or happened to fall into my lap - and one day wake up at 55, not having done anything i really wanted to do. but he did it his way, and he turned out alright. he watches philippine news and listens to sound of music clips on youtube.

sometimes, i can only guess that my parents are wondering what the hell this thing is that they raised. this kid who always has to have these profound talks late at night, as if he won't get the chance to ever say what's on his mind again. i brought up my grandma, and how come no one ever asked about her life? about her relationship with my grandpa? i said, why did everyone only become curious about her and have all these questions after she died? i wanted to ask my dad how he dealt with his mom dying.

how do these men do it? strap refrigerators to dollies, lose their mothers, regret not asking that cute girl for her number, raise children, buy a '94 camry and drive it down to l.a.? what the hell is this? what the hell, really.

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