Monday, July 16, 2007

Just Say No

I've returned from a very crazy weekend! I'd love to tell you every detail but I'm not sure I can sqeeze them all in!

First let me thank you for your comments and emails. Reading them always makes me smile but I was having a particularly bad time and you made it much better.


Right when I got home on Friday, my other J friend picked me up and drove me to Idaho. Yes, Nevada, Idaho and Utah in three days. We went there to give her Aunt a pick me up. She's been down and needed some attention.

I had never met this woman before and J wanted to give me prior warnings so, right before we got there, she told me things like, "she can be kind of crazy", "her house might be really dirty", "her husband is very strange". I had an idea but was in no way prepared for what would really be. (that's why she didn't tell me before we left!) Right? :)

So we drive for hours and then pull up to Idaho Falls. I say "pull up" like it's a drive through but it's a bit larger than that. We drive for a minute and I see out of the corner of my eye...a SKINHEAD! A Real one! Lots of them! And they're having a party and flying their flags and dancing and drinking. It was so awful that I made J turn around so I could see it again! We drove by twice and I managed to call my mom and Cristy to tell them all about it before we made our final drive by. It was like a movie! Cr-azy! My mom

So then we get to the Aunts house. First let me say that I am not making fun of this woman. She is, indeed, lovely. You can tell she's lived a very long 60 years and she's been a wonderful person to my dear friend and that's (mostly) all that matters to me. We pull down this beautifully tree lined street. You can smell the pine cones and hear the crickets. We pull into the back of their house and the lot is large and green. It looked like someone either moved in ten years ago and didn't bring in their stuff or that they meant to move out and forgot all their leftovers. There were many, many house plants on the lid of a very old hot tub. There were dressers, chests, bins, almost anything you can think of. Rusted out things that I can't even explain.

We go to the back door - because that's the only door they use. (Later, I'll tell you they hadn't seen the front of their own house in over two years...) We knock. We knock again. We can see a dog. We see a few dogs. J leans over and reminds me that they love animals more than humans. I begin to think this is a bad thing. Finally a man answers the door but seems to have no idea he might receive visitors. He lets us in. It's so dark, I can't see anything. I follow J to the window and she's making small talk. 'how are you? why aren't the lights on? where's (aunt)?

It was crazy. No lights. Four very dirty dogs. Filthy, overly friendly cats. And this amazing house that you can only see through the light of the sun and under layers and layers of stuff. Dust so thick on the railing that you could tell no one had touched it in years. It was like walking into a home that had been left behind in the fifties.

It turns out, he inherited it from his parents who died over a decade ago. So basically, it was cared for by very aged humans and then left to a man who won't let anyone touch a thing. He's lived there for over 10 years! Books everywhere with dust so thick it's greasy. The kitchen? oh, I can barely go there. The floor looks like a dirt floor. You think I'm kidding because that sounds unbelievable. It's true. I urged everyone to the kitched because it had the most light but when I went to pull the chair from the table, it stuck to the floor. Really. It seems odd to say it's not partly the aunts fault but this guy is kind of whacko. Supposedly she tried to clean it a couple of years ago and he totally freaked! I'm sure his dead parents are still walking the halls. And if not, who can blame them? Even a ghost would have to Mr Clean themselves after only seconds.

So we sit down at the table and the aunt begins a story that starts out something like ... she's known well at the county jail. She's famous in Utah for her criminal record, etc. What? She's a felon? And the stories went on. J knew many of them but even she was shocked at a few. I felt like such a prude - just begging my face not to show what I felt. I was like that long blond haired girl in Grease that kept gasping with her hand over her mouth! I've never heard so many stories of drugs, alcohol, jail and strippers. It was very entertaining. We joked that they should be on Oprah or write a book but really, it was frightening and there is so much pain - even death - because of all the addiction history. It was very sad.

They took us to the brand new Olive Garden for dinner and then we lied about having a free hotel room so we wouldn't have to go back to that house. I think we both felt bad about it but I promise you, we wouldn't have made it out alive. Or without disease, at least.

The trip was memorable. I would be willing to go back and be more helpful if there was more we could do. I love cleaning houses that are that awful but they would have to be gone and I would have to have full discretion on what stays and what goes. ewwe.

J and I had some good conversations about Gracie and ex's and new love and sustaining love. We talked at length about our friendship and how important it is to keep it up. That conversation alone was worth the trip. I'm hopeful.

& I'm grateful for my parents!! Can I just tell you that I've never been so grateful that my parents gave me rules and were entirely too strict and bothered me about what I was doing and who I was doing it with? & even though my mom has a peotye story that makes me blush and they may have had far too many hippie parties & pot in the frige when I was young, I am happy to death that they eventually became grown ups and didn't just raise us as their friends.

To hear a sixty year old woman talk about using meth...breaks my heart.