June 17th, 2007

airbrushed, thoughtful

Endings, living decay, repairing the defunct

This weekend has been another family trip to Indiana, to visit my mother's relatives again; this is different, though, simply because it is for the last time before I go to Seattle. As of the time I write this- although it may post late- earlier this evening was the family's combined graduation/birthday/going-away party, and I'm fatigued from it- but for the first time at a large family gathering, I'm not painfully overloaded. Finally, I'm learning to deal with crowds, and handle large social situations (upwards of 20 people).

It was about the usual for us: the taking of pictures, the eating of food, the same questions everybody had about college and Microsoft, half a Hallmark Store's worth of cards, then games of Rook. But I'm not feeling overload-fatigue; fatigue, sure, but not that kind of fatigue.

The event was again in the basement of the church. A church that needed a copy machine; my father had an old one that only sorta worked, but a new toner cartridge should mostly fix it. He brought it in, bought a new cartridge, and watched it completely fail to print at all, spitting out pages as blank as they came in. He was ready to give up, I investigated it in more detail and found the gear failing to engage the cartridge because it was out of position; I pulled it back to where it should be, and my mother's church now has a slightly outdated but fully functional copy machine.

Which is better than can be said for a lot of my aunt's house. As she (and my other relatives) gets in worse health, so does the house. All the flat surfaces are piled high with junk, much of it medical in nature, because she can't get around well enough to sort things out well enough. It's depressing and saddening- it's a slow decay, and I know how hard she tries, and I remember what things were like 3, 5, 15 years ago. Her home is a reflection of her life- falling apart in illness, and I'm running away from it and I know it; I don't want to be entangled with their medical dramas, I don't want to be involved with all that stress the way my mother is, I want to leave this.

And I guess that's okay. I care about these people, but I have to move on, and it's time to.
airbrushed, thoughtful

Home again

Well, I'm back home now. Not much to say; I'm tired and hungry, and dinner's soon. But I'm back, and even though I know I'll miss my relatives, I'm glad to have this done with- one step closer to independence.

I had to take this photo, though:

Emergency? Emergency?
We are sorry. The emergency intercom system is out of order at this time. Please postpone your plans to undergo emergencies until the system can be restored to working order. Photo taken at a rest stop in Illinois, as an unintentional metaphor for the entire United States.

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