Did you know I have a great great Aunt Ruth? She is seriously the most bomb old lady. She's currently in a nursing home called the Blumpkin home forgetting things and giving her young visiting relatives 20 dollar bills despite pleas from their parents not to. Ahh.. Aunt Ruth. She tells it like it is, even in her ripening, she is still so... surprising to my taste. pleasantly. She gave me a gold key chain that looks kinda like a sombrero. Yes... Aunt Ruth. An actually kinda distant relative whom I hold real close. Isn't that fun? I have a lot of those. She is my grammie nancy's aunt, but she's one of the Aunts that helped raised my Grammie Nancy, so some instinctual sense deep in me feels that I wouldn't exist without her efforts. Like in Anthro 101 when we learned about how family structures, and who is supposed to live in A House, differ based on societal structures. All these eccentric, important Aunts raised my lil Grammie on up to becoming herself, and all that classic strength she has become. I love me some Aunts (Auntie Joy, Aunt Cindy, Aunt Marla, Aunt Beth.... (do do do do do you remember me (inside joke song w/ Auntie Joy)) hi Aunts)
Anyway, family is such a thing.
I didn't live with any of my Aunts, but I do hold them so close. There is something about Judaism and family and strength that I want to touch on in this thesis.
Okay well, enough about them. Jk, kinda. Today was super hard for me. And that nuclear fam is so many miles away. The CYM family came to the rescue though. And mom sent good texts. We all talked about self care. We talked about suggestions. We talked about facades and truth and complexity. We talked about decisions and difficulty and home within one another.
I like how when we fall enough in love with someone we get to select them to become the next layer of our family. And then, if able, we get to build a little nuclear unit of cute babes out of our faces. But sometimes it is less storybook than that. And sometimes the babymaking doesn't actually make babies, but instead makes stress and schedules for contraceptive pills popped out of silver oyster shell packages and instead makes hormones and makes partners prone to cry post-coitus. And makes almost impossible conversations to overcome on Sundays. And makes holding hands desperate instead of special like it was in middle school before sex ed ruined everything.
A House will be a familiar space. A space to walk through with eyes closed, that won't stub your toes, even though you've changed shape since before puberty. I want A House now. A House, even if it's in a gallery or a video studio. A House with yarn EVERYWHERE and audio recordings about various grandmas SOMEWHERE and confused folks PLACES. YEAH.
w/ paper maché bulbous, lumpy mask heads painted completely white
w/ giant, but dainty lady hands pretending to rip and sew through the linen walls
w/ old artifacts that have altered significances like Grammie Sylvia/Sophie's thick oil paintings of youthful blondes frolicking (actually made by Mathew Wiesman's Grandma... mmm that disconnect... see weird red and green photoshopped abstraction)
w/ smells that don't smell like Anthropologie's version of home, but instead smell like somebody else's real life version of home... one that you've never smelt before
w/ skin that isn't skin
w/ the essence of bathing but without the faucet's end goal (orgasm)
w/ long hugs and no neck pain
w/ blankets, blankets, blankets , FORTS
w/ a jukebox to climb on during tornado warnings and a closet full of pristinely well kept and expensive/nepotistic discounted American Girl dolls called "the doll closet", painted with the leftover paint colors from your brother's bedroom, and a random brick structure with a space underneath it that reminds you of boy scouts dying
w/ 5 relatives stuffed onto a twin bed
w/ rotating shadow lights that should be made of fish shaped silhouettes, like the one from the scholastic raffle, but probably won't have fish shapes... instead, some other weird sentimental shapes!
w/ a floral pattern that matches in several un-discussed places in conversation with one another (baby cradle, headboard, piano bench, back of the liquor cabinet)
w/ golden hour, un-bothersome dust floating through the dining room
w/ a large cardboard box filled with newborn puppies on a weekend morning, w/ disgust and disregard for the texture of mom dog's amniotic fluid
w/ cold wood floors in the morning that make it difficult to exit bed and a statue-of-liberty colored book compartment on the floor made especially for toe stubbing
w/ mirrors, fucking everywhere that won't leave you alone no matter how much you tell them you hate them directly to their faces
w/ musical chairs and cake walks on the talent show stage @ elementary school
w/ pianos that play themselves, like at the mall or in that strange fruit piece by Sanford Biggers (near opposites, haha)
w/ robin egg blue things that represent the mini van mom wanted, mentioned in THIS CLOSE
w/ silicone covered fisherman's netting, like the one they covered your little bedroom walls with and stuck flowers in the night before you got your tonsils out, but this time made of yarn
w/ blacktops and safety patrol whistles wrapping around sixth grade pointer fingers after school
w/ light switches that turn on sound, defy and fux w/ expectation
w/ pornographic sex noises coming from inside the closet
w/ knock knock and blown jokes and blow dryers coming from inside the closet
w/ well dressed clowns that are childlike and entertaining, not scary or murderous or in the news
w/ yucky, colorful latex condoms with lots of holes poked
w/ days of the week underwear as a scheduling method
w/ terrifying walk in closets
w/ bathtub outdoors inside sukkah type structure w/ fabric walls blowing in the wind
w/ silhouettes stuck in uncomfortable positions at the entrance
w/ motion sensed greetings that don't just say "hello"
w/ choreographed goodnights and choreographed exits w/ pulling away and hesitation