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California Time: December 30, 2018 Sunday 9:15 PM
New York Time: December 31, 2018 Monday 12:15 AM
I was thinking, I haven't got much desire to write, but I think I should—before I forget everything good. I think about how much I've changed sometimes, and I wonder if it is permanent or just a consequence of mood. But I don't wonder too hard, I guess, or I'd probably have some kind of conclusion. I'm too distracted by the things around me (arguably: a good thing).
After our last exams on Wednesday (and both of our shifts at work) I went to Maria's suite and we drank vodka and ate pizza while she packed. And she left the next morning around 5 or 6 in the morning and I stuck around her suite until noon that day. And then I worked a lot, like a double shift and the day after a triple shift and then I went home on Saturday. Home was nice. We watched In Bruge at some point—maybe on my mom's birthday, Dec. 23.
Same day, earlier: I spent time with Alexis and felt very worried for her. She steals stuff and I don't want her to get into trouble. It just seems like—an unnecessary risk. She gave me this stolen ring and I don't know what to do with it. I didn't want to disrespect her by saying "no thanks," and I don't necessarily think less of her for stealing it, but generally I am opposed to the act unless some circumstance necessitates it. You can be a good person and still do shitty things, and that's what I think this is. And also she spends all of her time with these friends that smoke weed and drink a lot. I think about how in high school once she told me she was glad she stopped smoking weed everyday because it made her feel sad overall, and now she's doing it every day again, and is in environments where it is encouraged to facilitate relaxation and fun. I am not against smoking weed, but I am sort of opposed to it as a common practice (feel free to change my mind—I know my own personal feelings towards weed support my opinion in a way that makes me very biased. Weed makes me pretty anxious and depressed after the fact, and I don't like the way it interferes with my mental capacity while under the influence).
In other words, I kind of think weed should be consumed about as regularly and moderately as alcohol, except for occasionally. That's another thing—Alexis is drinking a lot, and often. But whatever, maybe that's okay. I'll just try and keep an eye on her best as I can from wherever I am.
Liv is also a whole thing, but I don't even want to discuss that right now. She's having school troubles and I just want to roll her up in a blanket and put her to bed: so she can relax and calm down and stop being angry, and together we can work on a way to fix the issue.
Mom had to stay home while we flew to California because her sister is in governmental custody (asylum, technically) in an attempt to immigrate to the country (legally). Shits goin' down in Nicaragua and she was part of an anti-government group. Another thing that—deserves more explanation that I can't give right now (honestly it kind of stresses me out to write so I'd rather not).
We've been in California for?????????????????????? like 6 days now. As usual, Grandma is old and half-limp. Grandpa is odd and vaguely Russian. Dad, for once, seems the most reasonable person around. Hippie Aunt is kind of a pain (although she mellows out every year and this time around I felt much better equipped to be in her company, so our conversations were much more pleasant than I anticipated). I've had much more wine than I have had in probably my whole life, lmao. At a family Christmas party, I most definitely got drunk, but it faded fast and it wasn't obvious. I hope. I think I drank various wines: red, mulled, cabernet, rose, some other pink of (moscato?). The next day my grandpa offered me some Irish liqueur (he is always forgetting I'm underage, since 18 used to be the legal age) and I had a couple cups of that: delicious. Like eggnog, a bit, but more chocolate-y. I did not get drunk. We also had some red wine at dinner sometime last week, and today my Hippie Aunt took us to an organic vineyard and we drank, between the four of us, two bottles of blush wine. I really only had two or three glasses, but the last two were in succession so I was a bit dizzy after that. As usual, faded quickly.
I've been helping my grandma as much as I can. Buttering her toast, supporting her as we go places, holding the hymnal between us in church, that kind of thing. I feel pretty fulfilled doing these things. It's not much, really, it's just some stuff she has required after her stroke. But she is crying much less than last time, sleeping less, is generally more willing to be active. Less depressed, in other words. I remember last visit she'd grab my mom's hand and say, "Vicki, I'm depressed," and she's done that to none of us this time so—good sign? And she keeps saying, this was the best Christmas ever for her!
I was also very happy with Christmas. I think I got about 4 gifts, 2 from my friends at school and 1 from Alexis, but generally I don't care much for holiday gifts anyway (if I'm gonna get a gift, I tend to prefer it coming out of ~nowhere~). The family time was actually what I found most entertaining, which has pretty much never been the case with me. I think I was just always too depressed to enjoy the holidays, and compounding that I'd feel guilt for not wanting to be around anyone. But I'm not like that this year and I am both glad and terrified for that fact.
You know, with every living year, I'm pretty sure I begin to speak more and more like my soliloquizing grandma. At the Christmas party, she started talking about something or other, after making us grip hands for prayer or whatever (dunno—not religious), and then during that she had some thought of death and began crying with her mouth wide open and I had to do everything in my soul not to burst out laughing.
Which, I don't know what that says about me. I don't think I'll every tell anyone that, because I feel so bad. But it was just so absurd. There was my grandmother, seated with the rest of us on our feet holding hands in a circle around my second cousins' suburban dining room, and she is weeping over her lap. Now I wish I could remember what she had been saying that I found so funny. I guess it was overly sentimental and deeply sad, in the way that my grandmother is overly sentimental and deeply sad: just by being herself, or own noble and well-meaning self, who is half-confined now in her own body and probably doesn't even sweat anymore and has to carry around kleenex because she can't keep the spit inside her mouth. None of this is gross to me—just kind of sad, in the way old age is sad.
And again I fail to explain. Because it's not REALLY sad. I'm not sad /about/ it. I just think objectively it is sort of pathetic and hilarious, and that, to me, is very wonderful. Very charming. Life is pretty pathetic and funny and I see it there very acutely in those kinds of helpless moments. One day I'll get better at talking about it, maybe. I don't think I'm heartless. Sometimes I wonder if my grandma is mine or if she is just a stranger, and if I take care of her the best I can because I love her or if it's because I'd do it for anyone. I really think I'd do the same for anyone. But I also don't think I'm tooooo nice anyway, I could be nicer, I could do more. I just don't know how to be. If I knew I'd try. And it's not out of love, or if it is, it's indiscriminate.
But I do love her in some way and I hope she stays alive for a while. I want to examine those hopes—the why of them. But I'm tired and it's nearly 10. God, I am a grandmother. But only in the most ideal sense, because I am able-bodied.
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