Tuesday, April 26, 2011

[My Life] No Room for Carebears

I still feel a bit numb. I really suck at being an adult most of the time…

Last year, I was knee deep in work drama bullshit, juggling my spiraling emotions and obligations while dealing with life in general. The year before that I was at Staten Island University Hospital emergency waiting room with half my face burned waiting on news on if my grandmother was dead or not. April 27th will mark the 2 year anniversary of the accident that lead to my grandmother’s death. The fire was not the direct cause, but the infections afterwards were too much for her body to bear. It took seconds for a spark to climb up my grandmother’s sweater sleeve and spread across her upper body causing 3rd degree burns. It took seconds for me to react in putting out the flames, calling 911 and keeping her calm until the ambulance arrive. Sadly, it took seconds for a fire to change my life forever. I watched for months as one of the women I loved most in this world, fade away from me and there was nothing I could do about it. I could not understand why I survived with just minor burns while she received the brunt of it all. I am haunted by those images, the resulting smells and my disfigurement and almost every time I close my eyes I can still see her looking back at me.

After her death, people would come up to me, telling me that she was in a better place, even though I could not phantom how being DEAD beats being sick, I would smile and nod, hoping they would just leave me alone while I suffered. I was constantly told, constantly told that I did everything right and sometimes shit happens… and I look at them with tears in my eyes like a child asking: “Why?... Why does shit just happens?” I looked to mother to make things right. To undo what was done and make everything all better, but in my selfishness, I did not realize that my mother was just a child too. She was a child who lost her mother and I didn’t know how to comfort her like she had comforted me in the past.

When death happens in a child’s world, the parents or some adult figure gives them some sort of comforting words to make the pain not disappear, but understandable. Yet, nothing is really understandable because no one knows what is next after this life, so we say things to force us into a false sense of security. Oh happy joy… What sucks about adulthood is that you know about the same amount about life as you did as a child. You just learn how to sugarcoat things to make them appear better than it actually is.

No, Johnny… there are no monsters in the closet… There in plain sight.


Friday, April 08, 2011

[My Life] Lie

I was talking with a friend of mines the other night and I told him a story about one of the many fights I used to have with my grandmother a couple of years ago. I brought my dirty dishes into the kitchen where she was busy in front of the sink washing and watching the movie Rush Hour on DVD. “Grandma, can you wash this dish for me, I’mma be right back…” I asked her. She took the dish and I ran to the bathroom like my life depended on it. I was back in least than 3 minutes, looking for the freshly washed dish because I was going to get some more food. In the cupboard, there the dish was and when I pulled it out, it looked the same as it did when I handed it off.
“Grandma… Did you wash this dish?”
“Umm… no, you didn’t. You just put it back in the cupboard”
“(My full name) I said I washed it” she yelled at me.
“No you didn’t… You just put it back with the clean dishes. That is so nasty…”

She narrowed her eyes at me and asked: “Are you calling me a Liar?” Now, that might’ve worked when I was a teenager, but as a grown man, not so much. “Yes!” I replied. “You Lied! That means you are a LIAR!” She rolled her eyes at me, grabbed her cane and shuffled out of the kitchen cursing the day I was born. My mother ran into the kitchen minutes later asking me what happen and I told her that grandma was going through one of her moments. “You two are going to drive me fucking crazy” she said, rolling her eyes which seems to be a family trait. Just for my own security of mind, I took out all the dishes and rewashed them. Overkill I know, but that is also another family trait.

I have to admit that remembering the story brought a smile to my face. Even though my grandmother has passed on, I still remember all the good AND the bad about her. For some reason people forget the bad things that a person did when they were alive and just relive only the soft and cuddly moments. She had major faults just like everyone else and had no problem showing them.

But there is a reason why I brought up this story. Why do people ask you the silliest question of “Are you calling me a liar?” when you catch them in a lie. Little white lies, tall tales, all those fabrications or just a way to avoid the truth, right? I don’t know why my grandmother lied about something as simple as a washing a dish, but the bigger questions is why did she challenge me when presented her with the truth. Was questioning me going to for some reason make her the right one? I know that I am not the only one who has experienced this before; I just find it so damn interesting.

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