"The only thing you'll ever be is just a way for me to bleed on this stage"

As a kid, when my cats vanished, my family would tell it was because they went looking for their home. In no way was this an euphemism for death. It was an euphemism for sex.

Hope in November: Sitting on the bus from Chapin to Boroughs listening to the flavor of the month, a band named Anberlin. On her way to visit her dying grandfather, the patriarch of  the Queener family, Hope – or as her friends call her, HQ – prays her grandfather will allow her and give his blessing to her idea of leaving the state – and the college  she is attending – to attend an internship.

A conversation as we’re pulling out of Dairy Queen:

Jyg: Don’t you hate it when…Never mind. I forgot who I’m talking to.
Me: What?
Jyg: I was gonna ask, “Don’t you hate it when you’re sad for no reason?”
Me: You monkey.
Jyg: What?
Me: “Never mind. I forgot who I’m talking to.”
Jyg: Well, you’re always sad.

“You have to hear the entire story before jumping into conclusions.”

Javier’s lied before. It’s hard for me to trust him. When you’re raised knowing a father who can only disappoint you, you’re conditioned into always believing he’ll disappoint you, no matter your age. I feel childish holding on to imaginary grudges. And while I’ve allowed him human status for the past, it was current events that put me back into my funk. And now, I’m told he actually gave real, fatherly advice…Well, it’s hard to believe.

My niece, several years ago, sits with me at the table. I do my best to help her with a homework assignment. “Why don’t you talk to your father? He asks about you.”

“Your grandfather and my father aren’t the same man. You know a man who attempts to make an effort. I only know a stranger who made promises he couldn’t keep.”

Now she’s detaching herself from her father. Granted I don’t endorse or condone my brother‘s behavior or actions, he’s still my brother. And while I feel no attachment to most things human, a sense of fraternity is overwhelming. I love my family because they’re my family. They’re the people I can turn to no matter what, even though I don’t choose to. So in a sense, I – most times reluctantly – live up to my obligations as a son and a brother. I’m not blinded though. My brother is my brother. His actions, in no way, reflect those of my father. And while my niece is allowed to have a grudge against his leaving, I feel it’s unfair for her to do so. My brother, unlike our father, is attempting to be a father even though he’s no longer there. It’s not complete and utter abandonment.

“I’m gonna go back to bed. I’ll sleep until the world stops being ugly.” After a moment’s thought, “It’s never gonna stop being ugly, hu?”

The problem with me is I was too smart for my own good. In high school, I did my best to hide it. I aimed for average. When you’re average  no one cares. No one expects you to accomplish many goals, they just expect you to get by. Had effort played a role in my studies, I might have been something else. Might have given a fuck about it.

“Where’s your cat?” “Oh, he’s out fucking.”

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