Sunday, July 27, 2008

Assembling family tree takes him into the nooks and crannies of various lives and sometimes creates unknown consequences among those peoples lives who try to help him

Start with the boy screaming at his mom from the parking lot drunk and stoned.

At first she thought she was dreaming. Some maniacal man was hollering and screaming at her, throwing beer cans at her second story balcony of her condo. Hollering words like whore and fuck. Tossing them around like confetti. Meanwhile her door buzzer was further shattering the atmosphere. As if someone was leaning on it.
Then a clap of thunder made her sit up in bed. Lightening flashed. Everything in the room froze as in a sudden snapshot. Her oak cabinet, the one ruined and painted white by her mother and crazy step brother now frozen in the strobe flash of the storm, it’s image and size a monster silhouetted on the wall at the side of her bed. Just as suddenly all that was white now turned black, dark, except the spots dancing drunkenly in her eyes. And a summer storm downpour rushed at her windows tapping them with tiny bits of hail that sounded like small nails bouncing off the glass. The buzzing mercifully stopped. The power went out. She didn’t know whether to be thankful or scared by the looming dark knight. The screams and hollers of a long-suffering soul were still being hurled at her revealing intimate details of her love life and motherhood. Yes, this was no dream. It was her son Michael hollering vulgarities at her. Wanting inside. She had turned him away earlier when she saw the crazed look in his eyes that told her he was once again on the needle. Hepped up, juiced, cranked. She said a private prayer that she would be given the strength to exercise tough love for a change.

Was this a dream or a real life nightmare? She woke with a start. Head heavy and aching like a water balloon about to burst. It was daylight now. Her sheets were bunched up scrunched under her and as she moved quickly to get out of bed her head bumped the headboard. She had been laying sidewise and didn’t realize it. She cursed and put a pillow over her head thinking about not getting up, not facing her own private hell. Then slightly relaxed realizing she had the day off. She drifted back into a half sleep. Damnit there went the buzzer again a drill through her head. The aftermath of the buzz an electrifying echo washing over her inner sanctum. Why do condo door devices have to be buzzers. Why cant they be door bells like most old fashioned normal houses. Like the one she grew up in. Thoughts of that grand old home on a farm in an area that no longer exists. It exists as condos and apartment buildings and sub divisions and office blocks and shopping malls. That’s how big the old farm was before it was chopped up and parceled off like a bunch of meat. The thought of that old family estate brought on more fear and a pumping in her head, the kind you get just before a headache. It reminded her of her mother’s latest shenanigans. Maybe Billy May was right. Speaking of which that must be Billy at the door. She knew it was him because he shared her hate for condo buzzers and would have been polite and not ring it again. The phone rang and she heard the machine pick up. It was Billy May alright “Hey hon, didn’t want to buzz your buzzer again, know how much you hate that. How much we both hate that. We were going to do breakfast. Maybe you are sleeping in. I will wait another five minutes or so. Love ya.” Click. She had called Billy on her cell at three in the morning after the fiasco with Michael.

“I’ve finally done it.” Bea said to Billy May, a former lover turned soul mate. Or was it the other way around.
“Good for you!” He was always so supportive despite the fact she had said this all before many times over the past 15 years since they first me. He thought of how it was that some people you see or meet for the first time just hit you as someone you can get along with right away. Something about their face, or attitude, or demeanour. Others you see and you think to avoid their mugs. You can see them on a daily basis and never ever speak to them. Never say good morning. Never say much unless its excuse me. Billy May wanted to know Bea right off the bat. She had this down to earth attitude despite her attractiveness. Some body types you like more than others too and he liked her petite ness. And she had this hairdo that kind of reminded him of Elvis. Later she would blame this, jokingly, on his homophobia. This morning though was for empathy.

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