To really understand this story, we'll have to start at the beginning. No, not the beginning of my life -- that is for the autobiography I'll ask you all to buy in thirty years. No, rather, it's the beginning of another life. Or, the beginning of the beginning of that life. Basically, I'm taking you back to the day I found out I was going to be a big sister for the second time.
I remember my mom looking particularly nice that day, nicer than usual. So, it was only fitting what occurred occurred. I was on the couch at the time, playing my guitar or something -- I forget. I just remember her, standing in the kitchen archway, talking on the house phone. That, in itself, tipped me off. I mean, who calls on the house phone? Even in 2007?
The phone call she received was to tell her that my dad and his girlfriend were having a baby. This was March.
I was spare you my reaction at the time. Instead, I will jump ahead a few short months to...
By July, my dad's girlfriend is NINE months pregnant. (You got that math, right?) And my world has changed. My parents are finally divorced and all the sudden, I'm meeting new people, primarily from the world of my soon-to-be-stepmother.
One person I meet is my soon-to-be-aunt, M. Auntie M (get it?). Aunt M is exactly one year younger than me -- to the very day. This means that, when I would turn 19 on July 28th, she would turn 18. While we got along swimmingly, it was a strain being born on the same day. Who gets which relatives at the family birthday dinners and so forth. But there was something else that we hadn't counted on...
This was our response when my dad and her sister told us, "Girls, the baby is probably gonna be born on your birthday. Isn't that exciting?":
(I was really into slouchy tops and skinny jeans back then; I thought it hid my 19in waist and made me look fatter. I was a dumbass. And yes, I was the skinny one with the long hair. Now Auntie M is the skinny one with the long hair and I'm the curvy one with short hair and glasses. It's a circle.)
And you can understand our pissed-off-ness right? I mean, we had a reason. We had FINALLY gotten used to the idea of sharing our people on our own birthdays and then there's a fetus threatening to destroy the peace talks, the bridges we've built, all with a simple birth.
We weren't selfish people. We were teenagers and a lot had been asked of us. You can't look me in the eye and say you wouldn't have acted the exact same.
July 28, 2007
my our birthday, my dad had been camped out on his girlfriend's couch. They sat there, waiting for the baby to pop out at any minute, because it could. Technically, she was 2 centimeters already, so it really could've happened.
But, because he loves me, my dad pried himself away from the waiting-for-birth couch and went out to dinner with me, my mom, my sister who was not a fetus/17, her boyfriend, my dad's side of the family, and my mom's side of the family. See, we adjusted very quickly to being what I like to think of as a mature blended family. No jealousy. No hating. No crazy divorce battles to the death. Just love, respect, and tiramisu...because we were at an Italian restaurant and, of course, one must have tiramisu on one's 19th birthday.
This dinner marked the beginning of the Carriean Festival where I am not only the center of the attention, but the narrator of the story.
After bidding adieu to my family, I met with my friends, Ems (who is NOT my friend anymore) and J (who is my very dear friend indeed). Back then, we were the three musketeers, and as people who call themselves that are wont to do, we went out in search for action.
We didn't find any.
Instead, we found ourselves going to what was, at the time, the local watering hole. We couldn't drink, but there was music. Good, rockabilly music. And we had an awesome time. Ems told the band it was my birthday, they said "happy birthday", and it was embarrassing, but mostly harmless.
We pretty much danced the night away...
(This trapeze dress was just another failed attempt for me to hide how skinny I was. It was especially a fail when it shrunk in the wash and barely covered my bum. And here, Ems can be seen wearing the "fake butt" I got her the previous Christmas.)
...except for one other thing: at the bar on my birthday there, we met some people. Some people, we already knew. Others we did not. One person I had not known previously was B. I'm not the most social of people -- in case you haven't noticed. So, when B informed us that the same band (well, two bands, really, I think) would be playing the next night at a different location, Ems and J enthusiastically agreed that we would see him there. I had no say in this. But, it was cool, because it was my birthday.
July 29th, 2007
My soon-to-be stepmother still hadn't popped yet, so I felt perfectly confident in going out again that night. To this day, people will say my friends and I had ulterior motives for going to the next gig, to see the same dudes play. But really, and I emphasize this fact: we were invited. By B.
The 29th was not as docile as the 28th. After all, it was the second day of a weekend long festival celebrating my life, which is no small thing. The 29th, things got wild. Well, wild for me, at the time, anyway.
It was bloomin' hot that night, but it was muggy. Not long after we arrived, the bottom fell out of the sky. And the venue was small; it couldn't hold everyone at once, so people had to go back and forth, in and out. But I don't think anyone minded. It was the cool, relieving sort of rain shower that only seems to come on a lucky summer's day (or night, as the case may be). It was a renewing rain, a revigorating rain. It was a rain that wiped away the small amount of makeup I'd bothered to put on. And it was fun.
B introduced us to his friend K. Ems and J were so social, it was great fun for them and me? I took pictures. I didn't hardly know most of the people, but it was just a day I thought I'd like to remember. What I didn't know at the time was, it was a day I really couldn't forget if I wanted to.
was is an idiot. Ems, in her very own lude awakening, decided it'd be awesome if she let people draw whatever the crap they wanted on her bare arms. And when I say, whatever, I mean whatever. She ended up with some nice things, a phone number or two, anarchy symbols, but also not so nice things; some of them, I didn't know what they meant -- but I knew what a swastika was. And she had them ALL OVER HER FUCKING ARM. What made this worse is that blondie is of German decent. And, of course, this made no impact whatsoever on her. She proceeded to keep making friends.
Meanwhile, J and I became known as the chicks who were friends with Swastika Girl -- and that is NOT something I would ever want to be known by. (J and I actually have much love for the Jewish people and find genocide abhorrent.)
So, with swastikas all over her dumb white ass, you can imagine the kind of friends she made. There was one in particular that just wouldn't stop following us around, some high school punk I refer to as "Heroin Boy", partially as a homage to a Regina Spektor song, and partially owing to the fact I found out -- months after these events -- the POS was a heroin addict. At the time, I really just thought he simply wasn't right.
So, things are winding down and everyone's leaving. Ems volunteers me (yes, I had to drive, because I'm the only one who can find shit) to drive Heroin Boy home. I didn't feel too good about this, but, at the same time, I didn't want to be responsible for the stranding of some dopey, seemingly harmless seventeen-year-old boy.
B and K were older than us and, of course, male. I
choose to believe it was those two things that prompted them to offer their services as escorts home. They felt the need to make sure we got there safely, what with the new, unwanted passenger aboard. And THANK GOD K took Heroin Boy in his car, because I just don't think I couldn't handled it. Ems road with them. And, I mean, K had to have nerves of steel to drive those two. Meanwhile, it was me driving J and B in my Corolla -- my vehicle at the time.
Like that, we caravan'd across the bridge back to the town where me, Ems, and J lived. At first, we stop at Ems house. There, she informs us that the party is just getting started, that Heroin Boy doesn't live on this side of the river, he lives on the other side of the river that he just left.
We all looked like this:
(I forgot to mention that the rain had completely soaked us all, but me most especially, rendering my black bra entirely visible through my creme-colored top.)
See, we couldn't really be angry. We lost the right to anger when we didn't properly interrogate the intoxicated idiots that were guiding our journey. It was our own damn fault.
And disappointment leads to hunger. So, before heading across the river, we caravan'd to McDonald's.
Back then, going to McDonald's after midnight (and it was about 3am by this point) was an adventure. Back then, McDonald's after midnight was the venue in which people would show off their pimped out rides. We're talking lime-colored cars with some kinda rims, leopard prints seats -- these rides were all kinda pimp'dness you could ever imagine...rims, rims EVERYWHERE. And they would show off these rides by circling the McDonalds, the lane that goes outside and around the drive-thru, making sure everyone sees how awesome their shit is.
But we were used to this, so we paid little attention. Instead, my attention was drawn to K's car that was in the drive thru line in front of us. K was, once again, forced to carry Ems and Heroin Boy. Heroin Boy was in the backseat. This proved to be a big mistake. Because he did this:
(Yes, I understand I have no idea what the back of a hatchback -- or any type of car -- looks like. But don't focus on that. Focus on the stupid.)
We're in line at McDonald's and all the sudden, the dumbass sticks his body out the side of the window, faces us, and starts talking to us with the biggest grin on his face. He was just talking away and waving his arms like an excited kid. And we had no idea wtf he was saying because our windows were rolled up.
But I swear to you, it was the most hilarious shit ever. He had no idea whatsoever that we couldn't hear him. And he was smiling so stupidly. Some of us may have peed a little -- that's how much we were laughing. It was so funny. It is one of the funniest things I have ever seen. My crude drawing doesn't give it justice.
What was he saying, you ask? Well, apparently, he was professing his love to me. It was so fucked up.
So, we finally make it back across the river as the fog rolls in, and we drop the kid off at his house...
After he is safely inside, the dudes steal a melon from his front porch. I drive off real fast. I ain't no thief. Even melon thievery goes against my code. However, I don't mind, and encourage others to do it, if it jives with their respective codes -- and it did.
So, we go back to Ems house, and everyone but me and J thinks it's perfectly safe to eat some weird yellowy watermelon off of some random porch. And they all eat their water melon and me? And, being the old biddies of the bunch, J and I were tired. We kindly bid adieu to our new friends, who helped us drop off some messed up high schooler, we change into our jammies, and I fall asleep on Ems' couch, simply because, despite everything, I didn't want to go home for some reason.
July 30, 2007
Early in the effin' morning...
My phone is going berserk. And not a little berserk, but a lotta berserk. And I'm groggy and tired, and had a maximum of three hours asleep, but something deep inside of me says "ANSWER YOUR FUCKING PHONE, DIPSHIT." So, I do.
Me: "I'm 19; I don't have to tell you were I am, and --"
Mom: "THE BABY IS COMING. GET YOUR ASS TO THE HOSPITAL ASAP."
Me: "Do I have time for a shower?"
So, I rush home, shower, and throw on a shirt. The shirt I wear is, naturally, the shirt nearest at hand: it was the shirt B had given me the night before, of the band that had been playing. So, with that reminder of events past, I rush to the hospital, drive all the way to the top of the parking deck until I find what is literally the last place. I rush inside and say, "BABY -- I'M THE SISTER. I HAVE NO WORDS. WHERE?!"
Somehow, they understood my request and pointed me in the direction of the labor area. My dad and his girlfriend and her mother were already inside the delivery room. The rest of the family, and some select friends, waited outside the door.
At first, Auntie M and I contented ourselves to slump down against the sterile wall and mull over the fact that this worked out nicely, that we didn't have to share our birthday with someone else, and the joy that that someone else was coming RIGHT NOW.
But our excitement was too much. Being eager, happy teenagers, we couldn't settle for sitting on the floor like hospital vagrants; instead, like nosy Nellies, we each pressed an ear to the wooden door that separated us from the birthing process. And all we could hear was screaming. Lots of screaming. Eventually, that screaming was followed by words of comfort. After all, her mom had two kids (her being one of them) and my dad already had two kids. They were old pros at this. It was my soon-to-be-stepmom that was the noob, and, of course, the noob was giving birth. All the screaming was perfectly understandable. Even with an epidural, I imagine pushing something bigger than a football out your lady parts has to be rather...uncomfortable.
But, finally, Soon-To-Be-Stepmom's screams gave way to a smaller, high-pitched scream, a scream I instantly new belonged to a beautiful baby girl.
And, in no time at all, this happened:
(This is what happens to my hair when I let it air dry in hospitals. But, that day, I didn't mind.)
In a way, you can say that my youngest sister is a belated birthday present. Not just for me and Auntie M, but also for Dad, who was born on July 22nd.
And there you have it, folks. The story of my sister's birth and the saga of my 19th birthday, all rolled up into one long, oddly shaped package.
P.S. The end of the birth story/19th birthday story is just the beginning of another story: the story of the birth of my nephew, whose impending arrival was announced just two days after that photo was taken.
Circles never end; the wheel just spins.