All of the Family

Because of my current socioeconomic status (SES), virtually any woman I would desire would regard me as out of their league.  Because of my outsized ego, I feel that very few women of any SES are worthy of me.  I’m only moderately concerned with physicality, but I can relate to Jim Morrison when he wrote “Build Me a Woman.”  Several times, after being rebuffed when I was in a better SES, I have said to the girl/lady, “Your loss, baby.”  If there’s any karmic justice, such women have seen me piss drunk and passed out on a sidewalk somewhere. “Yeah,” they will have thought, “what a loss!”
Not that SES is everything.
 
Living near Three Mile Island–Happy Meltdown 35th Anniversary!–for a couple years, not to mention my extensive partying over the years, has probably killed off most of my healthy sperm.  At 38, I will probably never procreate.
 
The worldly benefit of that should be evident by the recent conversation I had with my sister Janelle:
 
Me:  …So how’s Tyler [her 5.5 year-old son] doing?
 
Janelle:  He’s doing good.
 
[She recently told me that he’s been asking questions about her parents, who died before he was born.  In spite of earning her undergrad degree in psychology and doing social work with messed up kids, she’s been at a loss as to what to tell him.  I, a master of avoidance and denial, have urged her to explain the issue posthaste.]
 
M:  Did you have that talk with him yet?
 
J:  [sighing]  No.  But I will the next time he asks.  I’ll use the advice you gave me and some of the stuff I’ve been reading about the subject.  I’ll tell him that my Mommy and Daddy got old [they didn’t] and their bodies stopped working.  But now they’re in a wonderful place called “Heaven.”
 
M:  No talk of reincarnation?
 
J:  Uh, I think that’s definitely beyond his comprehension level now.  And I don’t know if I believe in it.  I know you do.  Brett [her husband] doesn’t.
 
M:  You’re never too young for a good old-fashioned existential crisis.  “You mean you’re going to die someday?  More importantly, I’m going to die someday?!”  That shit freaked me out as a kid.
 
J:  Me too.  And it’s not like we had church or anything.
 
M:  When I heard about hell, that really freaked me out.  I even cut down on my masturbation by 7%. 
 
[Cum to think of it, I might not have any sperm left.]
 
J:  Thanks for the mental image.
 
M:  Well, I don’t know what Piaget would say.  And don’t care.  Who would trust a Frenchy Frenchman anyway?
 
[We are part French, and I proudly tout our Huguenot background.]
 
J:  Or a German?  Or an English or Welsh guy?
 
M:  Yeah, we are just a couple mutts, aren’t we?  But you could tell him that you almost died at birth, and then his soul would be in another body now.  Or what if Dad had died at birth instead of his twin sister?  Where in the fuck would we be?
 
J:  True that.  And who would Mom have married?  And Brett?
 
M:  Here’s what I’d do:  have Tyler watch as Brett kills a deer.  Then tell him that the deer’s spirit is going elsewhere, but we’re eating that bastard’s body for a couple good meals.  Because all animals except humans are literally bastards.
 
J:  I swear, Brian.
 
M:  Better yet, kill one of your pets, because that’s something he loves.  Tell him, “Yes, Fluffy did some bad things, like not using the litter box or some shit, but overall he was a good cat with good karma.”
 
J:  We don’t have to eat the cat, do we?  I mean, it’s not like we’re part-Chinese or anything.
 
M:  Unless it’s done in self-defense, you have to eat whatever you kill. 
 
J:  So you ate all those bugs and bats and mice you killed in some of the hellholes you lived in?
 
M:  You forgot about the hobo, but I was on a four-day crystal meth binge.  “Youthful indiscretion,” you know, all that jazz.  But 1-2% of bats are rabid–I know you’ve read or seen Cujo–so that was self-defense.  The bugs threatened my peace of mind.  And the mice threatened my cheese.  Which we Frenchy Frenchmen love as much as we hate showering.  [I affect the stereotypical French laugh.]
 
J:  Don’t forget your stupid cooking wine!
 
M:  [I hum the McDonald’s tune]  I’m loving it!
 
J:  Tyler wants to talk to you.
 
[My nephew always gets excited when I’m on the phone.  Frankly, he doesn’t impress me that much.  Janelle told me he has an imaginary brother.  Early sign of schizophrenia?]
 
Tyler:  Hi!
 
M:  [I instinctively adopt the softer pitch one uses when speaking with children]  Hey there, buddy!  How are you doing?
 
T:  Fine.
 
M:  You’ve got a birthday coming up soon, don’t you?  How old are you going to be?
 
T:  Five!
 
[Might need some math tutoring there, young man.  You’re already five.  I then realized I had confused Brett’s May birthday with his in October.]
 
M:  Keep on playing that soccer and learn as much as fast as you can.
 
[I assume my sister never followed my direction to tell him that his soccer coach, a former classmate of mine, was a coke-snorting woman-beater.]
 
T:  Okay.  Bye!
 
[I do not see a future in broadcasting for this kid.]
 
J:  He’s into t-ball now, aren’t you Tyler?
 
M:  Are you fucking serious?  That shit’s a joke.  You’ve got to have the ball thrown at you.  It’s like when I see newbie skate fags trying to learn to ollie while stationary.  I tell them, “Dude, you’ve got to learn that basic trick while moving.”  I then try to give a demonstration but usually end up falling anymore.
 
J:  Gee, Brian.  Maybe you should have been a kids’ gym teacher.
 
[She knows I think I would have made a good one, because I love teaching kids basic motions like how to throw a ball or a Frisbee, how to hacky sack, etc.  Perhaps I could have incorporated philosophy into the curriculum and produced classes of young superior Spartan Supermen.  Shit; I’m starting to sound a little Nietzschean and Hitlerian, aren’t I?]
 
J:  He does want a skateboard.
 
M:  That’s great!  I mean, “Rad!”  Is it because of that [early Jason Lee] video I sent you.
 
J:  Maybe.  He did love it.  I probably won’t let him watch Earl, though, until he’s older.
 
M:  Bad karma, Janelle.  But then again, the show does feature race-mixing.
 
J:  Oh shut up!
 
[My mom’s best friend and our babysitter growing up was one of maybe a dozen blacks in our half-horse town.  The rumor started that she was my mom.]
 
M:  Shit, take him back to our old house [at the top of a hill] so he can do the downhill to the river.  I’ll coach him under two conditions:  he has to not be afraid of getting hit by cars, and he has to accept that pads and helmets are for pussies.  I never broke a bone.  Well, not from skating, anyway.
 
[Full disclosure:  I sucked at Little League baseball, was a below average skateboarder for nine years–with the exception of downhills–and found my true athletic passion with tennis and racquetball.  I was average at best at these activities.  My best sport, not including the non-sport of dancing, was ping pong, i. e., one of the least manly sports imaginable.]
 
J:  You know, maybe I should place a restraining order on you on Tyler’s behalf.  No offense; I just have to look out for his well-being.  You can see him when he’s 18.
 
M:  Which is right when he’ll need an “old head” to buy him beer and who has the knowhow to score pot.  I’ll get him acid and ‘shrooms a couple times, but I’ll have to set limits at that.  I’ll even make up shit about you and Brett.  “Did you know your mom was a stripper in college?  Or that your old man used to run a cock-fighting ring?”
 
J:  Jesus Christ, Brian.  It’s a wonder you didn’t corrupt me–not much, at least–and that your friends turned out well.
 
M:  Don’t forget all those times I almost killed you and your friends when I was a crazy driver, like the bad kid on The Afternoon Special.
 
J:  I tried to repress those memories.
 
M:  Ashley, though; I remember she was a trooper.  She laughed herself silly when we did that icy 270 degree slide, then a 180 in the other direction.
 
J:  She was probably delirious because she hadn’t eaten in three days.  And it’s stuff like that that probably led her to law enforcement.
 
M:  And hey; when I did that day in jail, she hooked me up with extra trays.  All the other criminals were probably wondering why the hot C.O. was giving me preferential treatment.  Bought me some cell cred.
 
J:  So it’s like, full circle, you’re saying?
 
M:  Speaking of which, I’ll try to find this one clip you can show to Tyler about life…
[This Buddhist-like lesson on the nature of existence is sans video, but I’m sure my nephew would find it informative]:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HjGbjbsrP0

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