At 1AM, first of the month, my fiance and I rushed out to be with my family. We got there around 3AM. No one was awake, of course, so we decided to take a quick nap. Morning came quick for my family, and before long, they were up and getting ready for the hospital. I talked to my mom for a while about the procedure. It’s a serious surgery, and she was very worried about my sister and how she’d handle it. You could see that they were all dragging their feet, dreading the 10-O’clock hour fast approaching. They were doing anything they could to postpone or delay their departure, but after a few reassuring shoves, they were out the door. I stayed at home to watch the kids, and prepare for the 4th of July celebration the community we live in holds every year. My job was to hold down the fort and make sure everything else remained business as usual.
Her surgery was scheduled for 10AM, but the procedure didn’t begin until about 11. It took some hours. At four, she was finally in recovery, and remained there for quite some time. Because of all the careful planning and waiting, the surgery went without a hitch. The doctor says that it went far smoother than they could have ever dreamed, and that this was the product of efficiency and skill from the people of the hospital, and the pure determination and bravery from my sister. Despite the seriousness, the graveness of the procedure, my sister is pulling through fantastically. Everyone is quite impressed. She should be home within a week, we’re hoping.
When my parents and sister left for the hospital that morning, I took over as caretaker for my four brothers and other sister. I cooked for them, cleaned, played moderator to several disagreements and was a true peacekeeper the entire time I was there. We even managed to fit in a few movies and a laps on a racing game. The festivities for the 4th were actually planned to occur on the 2nd, and it’s an all day event for my family. The first was spent casually playing videogames and prepping for the day ahead, and waiting on the edge of our seats for updates on my sister. Once the day was done, and I was sure she was okay, the 2nd of the month became more focused on “getting shit done.” Unfortunately, when you’re dealing with bratty, privileged teenagers, you’ve got to crack the whip a couple times. We cleaned the house, the kids were showered, they ate breakfast, and I began preparing a few food stuffs for the party later. At 11, the twins were supposed to go to the pool. It was a hassle getting them ready, but I managed. The other kids opted out because they’re somehow so convinced that they are too cool for the pool. My brothers don’t have enough collective coolness to amount to that of a certain Steve Urkle from television, so I don’t’ know who they are kidding. Surely, they are only fooling themselves. I swear, some people are too salty for their own good. It’s like living with three Eeyore the donkey, if Eeyore was also a massive asshole with a pottymouth and bad attitude and a serious case of athletes foot. Teenagers suck. Had I not been busy doing everything else, I would have went to the pool myself and left them to wallow in their own sarcastic eyerolls and passive aggressiveness.
From 11:30 to 2:30 the twins swam, the kids played games, and I ran around doing whatever I could to keep us on schedule. My father insisted he pick up the pizza instead of delivering it. He’s cheap. Even though we offered to cover the delivery, he still insisted. Yet, when it was time for pick up, he wasn’t ready. Fifteen minutes after he was supposed to pick it up, he was still home on the computer fooling around. By the time the pizza got to us, it was cold. He had only two jobs: Take the kids to the pool, and pick up the pizza. I did everything else. He was 30 minutes late leaving for the pool, and 30 minutes late picking up the pizza. He’s cheap, and he’s also a jerk. Most people wouldn’t have to crack the whip on a grown man to get him in gear, let alone their middle aged father, but I had to. We set out all the foods, and ate ourselves sick while watching television.
At 8:30, the kids were scheduled to go to the firework show down by the beach. I began getting everyone ready the event at 8. I did my sister’s hair, got the drinks together in an ice chest, made sure everyone had proper sun protection and bugspray, loaded up the snacks and everything else they could need. Now, my mother had written up an exact agenda in red ink and hung it on the wall, and I had been following it to the minute. Everything I had set in motion happened exactly on time. But my dad kept trying to assure me everything was half an hour to an hour later than I said it was, and ended half an hour to an hour sooner than I said it was as well. And several times I had to point out the schedule to prove him wrong. Why? Well, he’s lazy. Incredibly lazy. He’ll do anything he can in his power to procrastinate whatever it is you want to do. I can’t drive, so this, again, is the only thing he has to do. All he has to do is put his key in the ignition and drive them the four miles to the beach. Also, I’m sick, and tired, and I needed him to handle this so I could finally catch a break. 8:27, and he says “we’re actually a bit ahead of schedule!” And I said, “No, we’re just on time. If you leave right this second, everything will be on time.” So, naturally, he didn’t fucking leave until 9PM. At 8:31, he came back into the house, leaving the kids to wait outside for half an hour. I asked him what he forgot or what was going on, and he said, “I need to do something.” For thirty minutes, he walked around the house arbitrarily, pacing back and forth for no apparent reason. And I caught him just standing over my shoulder, arms crossed and watching television a handful of times. I’m not sure if it’s just because he’s lazy, or because he’s an asshole. My father is a control freak. He has this thing where he’s constantly got to make people on his time. Everything has to be at a pace that he set. It’s obnoxious as all hell. The thing about him is, he has no attention on spearheading anything. He has no motivation or drive to do anything, because he’s lazy. But the second anyone else decides to grab the wheel and drive, he suddenly becomes Mr. Authority. God, help me, I nearly had to kick his ass. He does this all the time. A few weeks ago, when we were going to the creek, he did the same thing. We all were out in the car waiting, and he went in to get something, and didn’t come back out for almost an hour. Because he’s lazy, and likes to make people wait on him. He does this with everything. You could spend all day making dinner for him, and he’ll circle around you like a vulture. The very moment that you’re ready to serve him, he suddenly disappears. And you won’t be able to find him or get him to come eat for almost another hour. It’s disrespectful as fuck. You can work your ass off, taking care of every little detail, and even though all you need him to do is show up and be present, it’s like he just can’t. Fuck’s sake.
We also managed to get a speeding ticket, our first, and I’m not too happy about it. Saturday evening, my fiance left for home to get a full night’s rest for work the next day. On the way back, there were cop cars swarming everywhere. My fiance counted four before being pulled over. They were essentially pulling over as many people as possible to fill their quota. My fiance exceeded the speed limit by only ten miles, in an area where people generally go nearly 20 above. And really, my fiance was just following the flow of traffic, as law dictates. And despite some people doing as much as twenty over, it was my fiance who got pulled over. We were fined $200, which is a ton of money as far as we are concerned. We’re very poor, and every penny counts. Especially now when our insurance payment is due. Every three months, we pay $300 into car insurance, and it’s always then that we have problems with finances. Insurance is due on the 6th this month. I’m not sure how we are going to recover from this. Not to mention, our anniversary is on the 5th. This totally ruins it for us.
The family didn’t come back from the firework show until almost 10:30. Most of them went straight to bed. At 2AM, my fiance picked me up to take me home, now that I’ve done what I could to help them with the celebration. I missed sleeping in a bed and having privacy. On the way there, my fiance told me that they were being trailed by police the whole way. I was sure they were just being paranoid after the ticket the day before. It really shook my fiance up terribly. But when we were driving back, in the same area my fiance got a ticket for the night before, one police officer tailgated us right to our bumper while another drove right beside us. The one beside us turned his lights on. Now, where I’m from, police have to meet a quota. Which is, of course, completely illegal to enforce and entirely unconstitutional. But still, some police officers stick to it to impress their boss or whatever. They have to pull over and ticket so many people, and they will make up any excuse, and will even lie, to meet that standard. I feel like he was testing us. If we pulled over, it was an admission of guilt, and he could conjure up whatever excuse (like try to convince us we were speeding) to incriminate us. Step one, if you are not guilty of a crime, don’t even give doubt to otherwise. So since the siren wasn’t on, we kept driving. Our headlights and taillights were working, our seatbelts were fastened, neither of us were talking on the phone, or drinking, or smoking of any kind, our insurance is to date, our tags and license are to date, my fiance is not suspended from driving in anyway, we were driving safely, carefully, and the exact speed limit, obeying all traffic laws. There was nothing he could get us for. At the stoplight, he finally turned his lights off, and though they tailed us for a few more miles, they eventually left us alone. They followed us for a good 12 miles in total, trying to catch us for something. Anything. It’s happened to us before, even closer to home. There’s a police officer that lives in our neighborhood, and despite that, our home has been vandalized, we’ve had property taken from us, and we’ve had several attempted break-ins. We’re not any safer with him just a few streets over. There have been fights in the street, but the only time he ever does any kind of police work is when it’s time for quota to be filled. Some nights, he’ll sit at the end of dead in streets in the dark and wait for someone to come by. Once, he pulled us over and immediately tried getting my fiance to admit some kind of guilt to a crime. (“Do you know why I pulled you over? I think you do. Tell me why you think I pulled you over.”) We were both positive we did nothing wrong and refused to say otherwise. You could see him trying to make up a story. God save him, he wasn’t very smart, and it was obvious what he was doing. He lied and said that we passed a stop sign without stopping. He said we drove right through it. We did stop, though. We lined up with the stop, paused for two whole breaths, and continued driving. It was a legal stop. When we disagreed, he got very vocal and said that it wasn’t a full stop, that we only slowed down a little and kept going. At this point, he knew he was full of shit. Worse, he knew that we knew. So he tried guilting us, talking about how this is a family community and there are children that play in the area. Ignoring that we know this very well, as we weren’t even two streets away from our own home. He kept screaming, “how’d you feel if you hit some kid!?” He was desperate to try and convince us we did something wrong. The real kicker was it was after 11 at night. And, we were going about 10 MPH. We were driving slow enough that you couldn’t have convicted us of reckless driving even if you wanted to. Still, we were fined a few hundred dollars for that as well. And the icing on the cake is that there’s several people, one in a beat up pickup, one in an even more beet up 4-door, and one on a motorcycle, that drag race down the streets in broad daylight. They actually run the stop signs during midday when children are actually on the street playing. But I know he’s buddies with the one guy, since he’s our neighbor as well. And he hasn’t done a fucking thing to prevent the races down these crooked, narrow, busy roads. But we got a ticket. Nice.
Twice in a year now, we’ve been fined for bullshit charges. I’m stressed. I’m tired. I’m going to bed. I just received an update from my mother saying my sister was doing great, she’s on an O2 machine for her apnea, but other than that, she’s fine. Time for bed. I’m politely asking the universe directly now: Please, universe. Dear universe. Stop making fucked up shit happen in my life for just a moment so that I can catch my breath. Please. I’m fragile, and I need a break. Much love. Your biggest fan, Gabu.