Today

I’ll start at the end. I’m sitting here at my computer, Halo 3 is sitting in the Xbox unplayed, and my media player is shuffling through songs while muted. There’s nothing I really feel like doing, and that feeling is mingling with a feeling that I shouldn’t really do anything anyway given the situation.

Now to the beginning, so you can wonder what the ‘situation’ is and I can build suspense for the marvelously undramatic reveal of what this uninteresting situation is. The beginning is in the past, though, so this post’s title is inaccurate.

What would have been referred to as yesterday during what is now yesterday’s yesterday (read: Thursday) was the effective last day of school, meaning we weren’t doing anything Friday, the actual last day of school, so everyone weighed the options and chose to be ‘sick’. That description paints a more devious picture than it is. There wasn’t any mass exodus of youth from a scheduled school day. It was well-known that we were quite literally doing nothing  that day, and so it was well-known that the vast majority of students would not be there. Teachers openly asked in class who was going to be sick Friday.

Anyway, one of my friends was going to see Avatar in 3-D at a nearby IMAX theater on Friday, and at some point Thursday discussion of other people going with popped up. It was decided that some people would go probably (we’re teenagers). It was found the planned IMAX didn’t actually exist, so we would see it in 3-D at a regular theater. Thursday afternoon an actual plan was reluctantly drawn up. Friend #1’s dad was taking him to Avatar. Friends #2 through 4 and I would also go. We had to get ourselves to #1’s house. My mom agreed to give me a ride there, and also to pick up Friends 2 and 3, who couldn’t get rides there otherwise.

Next day. Friday. Friend #4 isn’t going, because he is a lying poser-type person, and also because he got himself grounded for doing thoroughly stupid shit, including causing his computer to catch on fire and being a dick to the parents. This is a person I can only stand when our conversation is limited to jokes, since we have matching senses of humor. The less contact I have with the rest of his personality, the better. So I’m not really bummed out about him not coming. Friend #1, it turns out, was not aware Friend #2 lived just like 10 minutes away, and so picks him up. I get ready for my mom and I to get #3 and go to #1’s house.

My parents get into an argument. This is an apartment with thin walls, so even with my door closed I could hear them as they madly launched their accusations all around the room, hoping to hit something while lying, both to each other and themselves, that they don’t want to hurt the other and seek only a peaceful resolution. My mom is the saner of the two while arguing. She actually argues about something, although she will usually pull several unrelated ‘somethings’ in at random. My dad, while he generally stays in the vicinity of Things They Have Not Argued About Several Times this Year, flings his set amount of topics about wildly, like they were nun-chucks. He is not trained to effectively use nun-chucks. As a result of all this, it’s not actually possible to determine what these people are arguing about when it happens, but it was something about my mom getting what conflicting sources (read: them) say is either 1 or more than 1 address(es) wrong on Christmas cards, and my dad somehow feeling shut out of family activities because of this. Yeah. This argument wasn’t as bad intellectually as others I’ve witnessed in this family (such as when the youngest of my older brothers, while arguing nonsensically at my mom, actually said “Yeah, well, who’s going to be the better person?” and was silent, expectantly, waiting for my mom to leap up and align herself to be better on his personal scale. It hurts to think about. The whole “you should be the better person here” tactic implies so many psychological fails at having a functioning brain and not being a dickbutt that, if rage could boil blood, this would completely evaporate my circulatory system), but was still rather logically bankrupt. It was short, however, since my mom had to give me that ride.

Before going to Friend #1’s house, which is in a town out in the woods somewhere since his parents refuse to move, we went to go pick up #3.  I felt I should talk about the argument, but since #3 only lives a few minutes away we wouldn’t have time to finish our conversation or for my mom to regain her composure if she got emotional. I knew she wouldn’t want to look like an emotional wreck in front of anyone, so I tried to be as non-awkwardly silent as possible. We got #3 and after a minute or two of silence I noticed that he could probably detect the “we’re not talking about some things” vibe in the van, so I struck up a conversation with him about Left 4 Dead 2, since he had borrowed that from me. This somehow became us reminiscing about fun things that happened in Halo 3, which I hadn’t played in months. I hoped my mom didn’t feel alienated.

We got to Friend #1’s house, screwed around for an hour or so, and went to the movie. Friend #1, his dad, and Friend #3 had gotten tickets online beforehand. Me and Friend #2 had not. The show was sold out. They exchanged their tickets for ones for a 3:30 p.m. showing the next day, and we bought ones for then. We headed back to #1’s house. #2 and I would spend the night, but #3 couldn’t, so we took him back to his house. We spent the night screwing around, watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail since #2 hadn’t seen it (it has somehow become my duty to educate #2 in great movies he hasn’t seen), and we went to bed at about 6 a.m. Me and #2 had to sleep in #1’s sister’s room (she always sleeps on the living room couch), which had a bed that had another bed that slid out from under it. I ended up with the main bed.

We got up at 1:30 or so. We almost immediately left to get #3, and then we went to see Avatar. I’m not going to put an entire movie review in this giant post (suffice to say it’s great and is basically a sci-fi version of FernGully, and all potential problems that might summon in your head are perfectly fine. The special effects are great too, and apparently 3-D is actually good now, so I’d really recommend seeing it in 3-D. It takes a bit to get used to it but after that it really helps flesh out the special effects to give it an other-worldly feel and also helps with the “fuck yeah, explosions” stuff. Also, don’t worry, they never have anyone shoot or throw something directly at the camera). Afterwards we all agree it was very great and I am surprised to find that everyone (except for #3) knows what FernGully is. Friend #1’s dad decides he’ll just drop everyone off, we won’t need to get rides home. We go back to their house first though, since #2 needs to grab some movies I am letting him borrow (as part of the aforementioned greatness education). Then we drop him off at his house and head into town. They drop me off and continue to #3’s house.

I go inside and only my dad is home. My mom is at work. My dad had called earlier to ask how I was getting home, and I had assumed he would tell my mom. It’s obvious in my dad’s mood that the argument was still going. Not wanting to appear to show any favor to either during an argument, I am afraid my mom doesn’t know how I got home, and I know she would want to. I ask my dad if she knows. He says she does. He asks how the movie was, I tell him. He’s being rather quiet and not talking much, and it’s clear he’s trying to wait out the storm, so to speak, and will quiet and polite as long as he thinks he can. I go to my room and screw around on the Internet.

Later my dad comes in to tell me my sister and brother-in-law are coming to have him watch one of their babies for a few hours while they do something. Afterwards they’ll sleep here, and dad asks me if I’ll sleep on the couch so they can have my bed. I say sure. Soon they show up, visit for a bit (I make a brief appearance in the living room so I don’t appear antisocial) and then they leave. My dad cares to the baby until my mom comes home.

Turns out, she wasn’t consulted at all or aware of this whole baby thing. The first thing my dad says to her, other than maybe a hello, is that she should be quiet, the baby’s sleeping. She’s not really performing her actions any louder than usual, but abruptly and angrily. Finally she mentions she wasn’t asked if she wanted to babysit or told that she wouldn’t get an uninterrupted sleep tonight. My dad says he didn’t know she wanted sleep (he might not have had any other response), and he says especially quietly, as if to remind mom of the sleeping baby. My mom says she may as well not exist, she should just leave. My dad says something I can’t hear. My mom says “Fine,” puts her coat back on, and leaves for the night like she has before–probably going to her sister’s house. I’m not sure what my dad said. He either said something tactless, referring to the earlier argument perhaps, which my mom took a little far and decided to leave, or, he said something along the lines of “Then go,” believing she had made up her mind and would find a reason to leave anyway. Could be either.

And so now it’s the present. The past few days have been a tangled, never-ending series of unconnected missteps, on my part and others, along with the awkwardness and large amounts of social diplomacy caused by a parental argument and relatives. This has put me in a decidedly blank mood, where there’s nothing I particularly want to do, but with added layers of decision-making brought on by family visits and a baby; I shouldn’t do anything loud enough to disturb the baby, and I shouldn’t do anything very personal and enjoyable*, since the family could come back while I’m doing it and I’d have a new trait to defend in their eyes. So, yeah. Writing this has cleared my head a bit, though, so I think I’ll be able to waste some time playing Halo. I was pretending to play Halo when the family left, so when they get back it might seem strange that I’ve played Halo for several hours, but that’s quite frankly more judgment than I can give a fuck about.

Yeah, Halo time.

*That… sounds like it refers to masturbation, at least to my dirty mind. Well, it wasn’t meant to imply wanking. Just, you know, reading a ‘weird’ book, watching a ‘weird’ movie, etc. Things I like that they probably don’t know about and will judge. That kinda stuff.

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