Stalkers, Shoes, and more Relatives
It's been a while since I've posted here, so I've got a few stories.
More relatives have been coming to visit my dad. Second cousins and great-uncles from the hills and mountain towns who I've never met before. I've never fit in with my dad's side of the family - they're from the mountains of Pennsylvania, really small-town, rural places. Their main interests and talking points are sports, intra-family gossip, and God, in that order. Three topics that I can't really say anything about, since I don't follow sports, I don't know any gossip, and I don't believe in God. As such, I usually just stay quiet when they're around and shrug off their criticisms-disguised-as-questions ("You're such a handsome young man - why do you go and shave your head like that?" "Why don't your socks match?" "Why do you have that pirate flag flying from your window? What, you think you're tough?" "Why don't you play football? What do you mean, your college doesn't have any sports teams? What kind of a school is that?" "You want to be a teacher? Isn't it mostly women who do that?").
Some relatives from my Mom's side have been visiting, too. That's the side of the family I've always fit in with. One of my uncles is a systems-admin and a juggler/unicyclist. One works for NASA and writes poetry. My Grandpa on that side died before I was old enough to get to know him, but I understand he was some kind of working class hero who marched with the unions and read Shakespeare to his fellow migrant rail-workers, teaching them English as they sat around the campfires. I only got to hang out with them for a couple minutes, though, because I had to go to work on the day they came.
Something weird happened the other day. My mom tells me that she was outside when one of the local girls came up and started grilling her about me - "Is that your son? How old is he? He likes punk music, right? And he juggles, right?" And then, this girl who I've never met tells my mom - MY MOM, the preacher's wife - that she thinks I'd look pretty hot in chains and leather. GOOD. LORD. So now my parents are laughing about me being some kind of secret bondage freak going around corrupting the local high school girls. Eh...heh.
I was out walking during a thunderstorm earlier tonight. I like walking in the rain. It kicks all your senses into overdrive - listening to the static of the raindrops, feeling the little wet explosions all over your skin, smelling and tasting the water on the air, watching the bubbles erupting from the gasoline rainbows on the pavement - it's the best. But today, it was raining so heavily that the storm drains started to back up, and before I knew it, I was knee-deep in water. Now, as soon as I felt the cold water sloshing over my shoes, I started up a nicely flowing stream of profanities that only intensified as it deepened, while I slogged through in search of higher ground.
Somewhere in the midst of my soaked swear-storm, I changed gears. I shouted to the trees that there was now enough water in my shoes to form at least two new Great Lakes - Lake Shoe-perior and Lake On-toe-rio. I then looked around, and told the streetlights that I hoped that the swearing had scared off any listeners, because I'd hate to think that someone had just heard that terrible, terrible pun.