Home, Family and Extended Family

Hello. It’s Sunday, the 10th of January, 7:04 pm. The air outside is cool, crisp and artificial. I’ve been home for a while now. Sometimes, I feel guilty even though I’ve done absolutely nothing wrong. As of late, this has been happening more frequently. Maybe it’s just more noticeable due to the stark contrast that Uncle Trevor has been providing ever since he arrived last week.

Uncle Trevor is one of those men who go about their lives with the utmost assurance that what they’re doing is right and what they’re saying is the irrefutable truth. Like any other man with a liberal arts degree Uncle Trevor has several friends similar to him all from different walks of life. I made that up. I don’t really know if all people with liberal arts degrees or even most of them are like that. However, if you state an observation most people will agree. Uncle Trevor is tall, lean, impulsive, decisive and as you might have gathered, slightly arrogant. He also wears his heart on his sleeve and is very, very clever. That again might have to do with the liberal arts degree. I have more in common with Uncle Trevor than with any other living member of my family.

While he’s staying here, Uncle Trevor will be sharing my room. This isn’t as much of an inconvenience as it seems to be. He keeps to himself. I keep to myself. The few interactions I’ve had with him have been fairly engaging. Uncle Trevor is a passionate man and knows a lot about the several topics that have caught his interest at some point or other.

“I need to go shopping tomorrow. Didn’t really carry much luggage here.”
That’s a good idea, Uncle Trevor. I’ll go with you. I need to buy a pair of black loafers.
“That what you call them now? I guess your generation always has been more liberal.”
Oh, Uncle Trevor. You and your casually racist wit.
“What do you want black loafers for, anyway? You wanna look like an alcoholic cop?”
I own three pairs of footwear, Uncle Trevor. They’re all different kinds for different occasions. My mother owns lots of shoes and I’ve seen her head out wearing mismatched pairs at least four times.
“Maybe we should go downstairs for dinner now.”

Family dinners, unless a regular thing, tend to be painfully awkward. When your idea of conversation is asking someone to pass the salt, not only is that a source of discomfort, but also of some degree of parental disappointment. However, with Uncle Trevor around, conversation flows more freely than you’d want it to.

“Well, boy. Have you thought anything about the future? What do you wanna do?”
No, Uncle Trevor. I have not yet given it a thought.
“That’s good. That’s very good.”
“Oh, Trev. Don’t encourage him in your ways. A young man should have definite goals.”
“But he’s just a boy.”
I’m not a boy, Uncle Trevor. I’m old enough to drive.
“Yeah, in dog years maybe.”
I’m not sure if annoyance flashed across my face, but the only sounds for the next few moments were those of metal striking against porcelain. If anything, it was more annoying than being called a boy.

Say, Uncle Trevor, you look better than you did last time. Healthier.
“Yeah, well. I haven’t had a needle in my arm in over a year.” he grunted through a mouthful of chicken.
“Trevor, we will not have that kind of conversation at the dinner table.”
Why not, dad? Is it because of me? I think I’m old enough.
“See? The boy thinks he can handle this kind of conversation. Anyway, as I was saying, rehab worked wonders for me.”
I’m very glad to hear that, Uncle Trevor. Are you satisfied with how things are?
“Satisfaction? Gratification is what you should aim for, boy.”
Neither of my parents seemed to approve of any piece of advice Uncle Trevor had dispensed so far.

“I can’t believe you guys still sit and have dinner together!”
“Yeah, well, I believe a family that spends some time toget-”
We don’t, Uncle Trevor.
“Well, go eat in your room, boy. Hurry along, now.”
Thank you, Uncle Trevor.
“Hey, we’ll get your black loafers tomorrow.”
Goodnight, Uncle Trevor.

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