It’s been 3 days since arriving in Houston to visit my dad for Thanksgiving, and another 3 days to go before returning home. We’ve done a lot of nothing and yet I feel exhausted. Emotionally exhausted, just drained. This is my first time traveling during the holidays to visit family, just like in the black comedies you grow up watching…where a couple (usually) returns home for Thanksgiving or Christmas and they are reminded every minute of their stay WHY they moved away in the first place.
I don’t feel at home here. The walls of “my room” are bare, like I’m some kind of serial killer. There is a bed. There is a door. There is a window that faces a brick wall. A ceiling fan rotates over head, carpet covers the floor. I could pack up and leave in two seconds, and no one would know that I was ever here…that anyone was ever here. The rest of the house isn’t so terrible, but it is still extremely spartan. A thousand other houses, all over Houston Texas, all built in a span of 20 years, they all have the same exact layout. I find it creepy that I can walk in to anyone’s house and know exactly where to go to find the kid’s room, the shared bathrooms, the study/home-office room. Some places make an effort to create a facade of difference – some exteriors look grand and unique. But walk past the front door and everything is the same.
It’s not just the empty room. It makes sense, I don’t live here and I never really did. At the most, I stay here two weeks and then I’m gone. But how can I describe it….you walk in to a friend’s house, and you see their things, their LIFE, on the shelves, on the walls, in the closets.
There’s a water boiler in my closet. I keep the door shut.
Those who live here get to eat with real utensils, real plates, drink from real mugs. What do me and my sister get? Disposable everything. Styrofoam. Plastic, bendable knives. Forks from KFC that droop under the weight of your food. We’re as temporary as our dinnerware.
Again, like during Hurricane Sandy, there is soap but no conditioner. I don’t know why, but conditioner seems to be a marker for comfort. So of course it’s missing here.
I suppose the most annoying thing is that having a license and having been on two 5+ hour road trips means nothing. I am not trusted to drive. This pissed me off and I threw a fit, so eventually i got to drive once (today)! But was blamed for many things I didn’t even do. Like backing up when there was a car behind me, except that I didn’t move the car at all, I waited like 5 whole minutes for that damn car to move before I took my foot off the brake.
Last night, at dinner, my dad remarked it was very surprising how me and my sister could speak to one another so civilly. Like, we’re friends or something! He went on to say that everyone yells with him; he yells at his siblings, they yell at him back, same with his second wife and step-son. I find myself yelling at him too and can’t help myself. It’s his attitude, his manner of speaking, his lack of tact. It’s so infuriating, you always go on the defensive. Not to mention most people, including myself, don’t agree with the daily choices he makes in life.
Like….wanting to change cellphone providers just to get an iPhone 5. For “free”, just to play with it…even though he doesn’t need one and always gets bored with electronics after a week. This “free” iPhone would cost him $3,120….barring any accidental or hidden additional costs. Or like eating bananas, white rice, white bread, and cookies covered in so much sugar that they are snow-white….even though he is diabetic. And he had a mini-heart attack / stroke already because of this uncontrolled diabetes. And he still won’t go to the doctor or listen to what anyone says. He’s like a kid, he just won’t eat his damn vegetables! Literally!!!
I have to stop now and make a list of foods he can and can’t eat. One can only hope that he’ll read it and follow it. But it’s been nice having internet and computer access again (I didn’t bring a laptop with me), and I should have some pictures to share once I get back home.
Also, what does it say about me that I’m SUSPICIOUS that my step-brother is being nice to me?