I was approximately four years old when my parents became involved with another woman, Sarina. My clearest memories of her involve cigarettes, dark hair, and a lean, shrewish voice. As the story goes, she met my mad father at a bar and found him interesting enough to follow home, pretending that her car had coincidentally broken down in front of our house. Apparently, somehow, this worked. She moved in soon after, bringing with her two little children – Daniel, age three, and Brianna, age two – from her marriage to another man. It was unexpected. Suddenly, not only did I have another mother, I had young siblings, the first children I had ever encountered.
All three of us were incredibly blonde. We were thin kids, the sort with exceedingly clever hands that like to climb bookshelves and get in behind furniture. (Once, in a fit of crackling genius, we gave Brianna a safety-scissors haircut coloured with our favourite smelly markers.). In the few photographs that survive, we look unquestionably related. It wasn’t official, however, until our parent’s decision to have children together – Robin in January then Blake in September.
My mother left soon after, young, worn, and tired, taking Robin and I with her. We moved out, (really it was more of a midnight raid as we ran away, with Daniel helping me out of the bedroom window), and settled into a nice apartment on the Drive above Nick’s spaghetti house. Silva lived across the hall, I began going to school. Life continued. Very rarely did I see that branch of family after we left. Not only did they move every year, Sarina became increasingly difficult, systemically explaining to we-the-children that everything we lived had been delirious make-believe, even to the point of raising Blake with a fictional name. Eventually, they became impossible to find. Vancouver Island swallowed them whole.
All of this was so long ago that I never expected any of them to remember – Blake certainly couldn’t, he was a tiny baby, maybe three years old the last time I saw him, and Daniel and Brianna had likely been quite thoroughly brain-washed by their unappealing mother – but I continued to hope I would find them again. Vancouver Island is vast, but population small, and Blake’s birth certificate, after all, had my father’s name on it. One day, eventually, he would need it, if only to apply for a driver’s license.
It turned out, however, that Blake found out he had a different father when he was seven years old. He and our sister Brianna were having an argument, and she burst out, in perfect cliché, “He’s not even your REAL daddy!” Way to go, girl. (Last time I saw her, she was extolling, very seriously, the various merits of My Little Ponies). From there, the facts began to trickle in. His false name was discarded when his CareCard came, (“My middle name isn’t James?”), and when that foretold moment with the Birth Certificate happened when he was sixteen, his mother threw a fit, refusing to tell him anything or sign anything until he legally changed his name from Holmes. Apparently it was a bit of a drag down war, complete with shouting matches and threats of cutting him from the will. Being a smart kid, however, he simply waited out three years and applied again when he was nineteen. At that, his mother, not relenting, but simply giving up, finally told him of my existence. That was six months ago.
Next time he was in town, he looked me up on-line in the phonebook. And that, my friends, brings us to yesterday. Tah-fiddle-dah. My long lost brother returned, remarkably undamaged and notably sane. I’m proud of him for struggling through our dubious genetic heritage, our intensely unstable parentage, and his obviously isolated upbringing. He could have gone away and come back a deeply unpleasant individual, but he didn’t. Apparently none of them did. I’m told our brother Daniel is currently scuba-diving in Thailand and our sister Brianna is living in Sweden with family. I never would have guessed.
Flickr launched a new feature this week, something they call Collections. It’s a way to create sub-sets, (folders within sets). This means that I could, for example, create a collection called Local Events and fill it with sets like Avery’s Video Game Party, Ikea Adventures, and Flashmob Croquet. It’s likely going to be a long and tedious process for me to switch everything over to the new system, (I have an inhuman amount of photos), but I expect it to be worth the effort. Now if only they would announce, like Livejournal, that permanent accounts will be available for sale soon.
I watched new parents on the Skytrain today, smiling, as all three were young, attractive and happy. Suddenly, a brass thought ship-wrecked whole in my mind – “My father was never that young.” It surprised me, but it feels true. He sprang into the world fully formed at age 35 and only got older from there. I remember him smiling, but even before he went mad, he always looked tired.
Imagining my mother young is easy. I am almost the same age she was when she had me. I thought of standing at the bus-stop, hands on my belly, feeling a hard curve there, cradling The Word inside me, and I knew that she felt happy where I would feel trapped, as if my feet had been pierced through with tent-pegs. She has never been hungry the way I am, her aspirations have always pointed in a different direction, but still I can see her in my mind, thin, almost conventionally pretty, and tenaciously practicing the same six chords on the guitar until her fingers bled, until she grew callous, then bled again. The first day I kicked in her belly must have been a small personal miracle, like branches swaying Yes after you’ve asked the sky a question.
It’s my brother Cale’s 17th birthday today. She named him after J.J. Cale but got the date wrong on the birth certificate and they made her fill it out again. We are not the most cohesive family, but biology links us together irrevocably. He is stuck with us, carries us on every official document he’ll ever have to take the time to fill out and carry. See, I gave him his middle names – he’s Cale St. Patrick Gibson – and wear green every year in atonement.
Value Village has begun it’s halloweening! REJOICE!!
Stripey stockings are $6 and are all colours. (I got the purple ones). Knee high stripey socks too. (Knee highs come in black velvet as well as colourful stripes).
There are also beautiful fairy wings, (also purple), for $8.
I’m totally going to stock up.
I brought home Violet Stockings and a pair of wings.
Is it just me or are all the best bits of clothing available only when the shops are halloweening?
Went to Playland yesterday with m’Love, the roomate, and two of the brothers. I wouldn’t bring the youngest. Horrid thing should be shot in the foot. No. Wait. Then he’d actually have something to complain about. Blah.
Anyhoo – unbelievable! $170 to getr us all in + four ride passes!!!
When did the prices jump? Last time I went, entry was $6 and a pass was $20, now it’s $10 and $40!! FORTY?? Berloody hell. (A scary moment – realizing just how many people looked as if this is just what they do on the weekend).
The rollarcoaster was wonderful as always. M’love had never been on one before, so it made it that much more special. *happywarmth* After that though, we made the mistake on going on a terrible ride. Everyone got quite ill after riding it – not enough speed to cancel out the carsick feeling. That took us out of commision for about an hour, but really, so did the lineups. (Including the one for the bathroom).
After that, we split up. Marchall with Cale to go see the Monster Trucks, Bill and I with Robin. We headed for the bumpercars, then gace Robin money to win toys with while we waited for the mad mouse. Talking in the lineups about the people that died on it when a car shot off the top of the track. Does anyone remember how long ago that was?
After leaving Robin to the numbing pleasures of the arcade, we sneaked off to the haunted house. I think we were a bit of a dissapointment to the actors inside. *grins* Wandering around placidly through crashes and bangs and people jumping out from the walls. We examined thier costumes while they tried to menace us. Poor things. *laughter* At one point we came upon a girl and her boy, afraid and lost, she was refusing to enter the pitchblack hallway. I took her by the waist and told her I wasn’t going to let go, just come along now, there’s nothing here but the dark, I’ve got you, and led her around the corner to light. I felt like a hero for two point five seconds.
My first haunted house… The hearses were pretty.
We met up after that, deciding to logride. Longest line-up so far. An hour we stood or tried to sit. Evil. If there were a gaurantee that the ride were to be as long as the wait, I would have gladly endured it, but as it was, it was the beginning of the end.
The swings were next, with Marshall hitting on any available female. Telling them that I was just a roomate and that my lover is 20 years older than me just to play thier disgusted reactions. Hah. Glad I caught him out on that one. Bill vaulted to fencing just in time to join us. Better than flying are the swings at the fair.
And that was it. Time was pressing, darkness had fallen, and it was the when to go. On the way out I bought M’Love a dragon. It’s a goofy little thing, but it commemorates the day in a way that ticket stubs can’t quite capture.