To Make a Short Story Long…

If you’ve read any of the short stories I’ve posted up here, you know I’m a big fan of the back story. If you’re telling me a story I’ll interrupt you to gather information that’s honestly not pertinent to the story but it’s information I feel I need to know to get an exact mental picture in my head (wait, did this happen in your car before or after your CD player broke?). In fact, this whole paragraph could easily be deleted as it adds nothing to the blog you’re about to read except to re-affirm my affinity for rambling. And, just to warn you, this blog will have rambling.
Some names have been changed to protect the guilty.

My story starts back in high school. There was a guy named Chazz (not his real name) who was always kind of a goofball. I never minded him much. I’d say hi in the halls and what have you, but we never really hung out; he was just a guy in most of my honors English classes.

After high school he was in some sort of accident, I forget what exactly, but I know that he conked his head and since then has been a little nuts. He emailed me back in the early 90s trying to get me to convert to communism. He showed up at our 10-year high school anniversary with these huge copies of a thesis he wrote on communism that he wanted to use as literature to get all of us to join his ranks en masse. The weird thing is, he wrote a thesis on Communism and he wasn’t even in school. So you know, stuff like that. Just a general weird guy.

At some point, I heard about him marrying some girl from Mexico. I don’t know what the deal was, if she was a mail order bride or just looking for a green card, but I remember it was something like that and he wasn’t trying to hide the fact that the whole situation was a little hinky. They had like 5 kids (maybe she already had a couple before they met, I’m not sure).

Because she is Mexican and so is my Dad’s side of the family (partnered with the fact that my family lives in a really small town) it wasn’t long before this girl (I’ll call her Isabella…not her real name) met one of my relatives. She started hanging out with my Aunt Ella (again, not her real name) and they became inseparable.

I met Isabella a few times at family reunions and such, but I know I couldn’t point her out in a lineup. I don’t think it was the fact that I was married and I never had a wandering eye, I just don’t think she made that much of an impression on me. I remember the last time I was home my Aunt Ella telling me that Chazz was being mean to Isabella and they were probably going to split up. I also remember a mini-reunion and Isabella was there and, since I was a married man at the time, I thought she was being a little too eager and friendly. There’s flirting and then there’s desperation, and she was opting for the latter.And yet, I still don’t even remember what she looks like. Now that’s leaving an impression.

Fast forward a few years. Isabella and Chazz get divorced. I get divorced. I move back to town.

And the first time my aunt Ella sees me, she starts singing the praises of Isabella and I know exactly where it’s going. “Oh, Eddie, I took my son to meet Isabella and he said ‘Oh mom, she’s so cute’ and ‘Oh mom, she’s such a good cook.'” I didn’t even try to mask my disinterest. I changed the subject without asking any follow-up questions and life went on.

A few days later I got an email from Isabella telling me she wants to have me over to her house for a “welcome home” dinner. She also tells me that if I need to find a place to stay in town, I can live with her. I politely let her know I’ve already got a place to stay.

When I moved to town I brought Homer the cat with me and have been having a heckuva time finding a place for him to stay while I find an apartment. In the meantime, he was staying in the basement at the house where my dad, Aunt Ella, and my grandmother live. Then one day I get a call from Ella. She said Isabella was over at the house and wanted to know if she could take Homer home with her and take care of him until I find a place. I said sure, whatever, that’s great. It’ll help me out and get the cat out of my dad’s hair. Because I don’t have a car, I was giving my brother Ray some money each week to go over and make sure Homer had food and his litter box was cleaned out. Ella told me Isabella was bringing the cat home that night, so I sent Ray an email letting me know he didn’t need to clean out the box any more.

A week later I get a call from Ella to complain that Homer is going to the bathroom outside of his litter box. I was a little thrown off. “He’s still there? I thought Isabella was going to take him home.”

“Well she was going to, but he didn’t seem like he wanted to go and we didn’t know if we had his permisison to put him in his carrier.”

You don’t need his permission, he’s a freaking cat! I screamed in my head. So now my cat is crapping in my grandmother’s basement. GREAT. Ella then went on to inform me that I should probably take the cat over to Isabella’s house myself. They could come and get me and then I could stay at Isabella’s house for a few days “so the cat could get used to being in a new place.” Or so Isabella can rape me I added to myself. Stop trying to set me up with her! I did some fast talking and told her I would have Ray swing by there, put the cat in his carrier, and Isabella can take him home.

“Just a minute,” Ella said.

Don’t put Isabella on the phone, don’t put Isabella on the phone.

“Hi Eddie!”

I assumed it was Isabella.

And it was.

“Hi.”

“You can live with me if you want to.”

“Thanks, but I’m already staying here at my Uncle’s”…you know, the place where you called me.

“Oh, OK. Well I can come and get you and you can bring the cat over. I have a trampoline. You can come over and we can play.”

I might sound a little immature when I say this, but I don’t want to play with you, Isabella! I’m sorry, but I’m not interested. I wasn’t interested in you when I was married, and now I’m not interested in you when I’m not married. I don’t want to support you. I don’t want to be your American Dream and pick up where your crazy brain-damaged husband left off, and I’m certainly not looking to go from no kids to five kids. I’m not a bellhop, and you have a little too much baggage for me to handle.

I told her there’s no need for me to go over, as Ray is packing up the cat for her and he’ll be all ready to go. I forgot to mention that the more she and my aunt try to push her on me, the more I want to put drywall nails in my eyes.

Yesterday I received an email from her (I have to be sure to thank my aunt for giving her my email address) and here’s a little portion for your enjoyment:

“Maybe you don’t know too much about mexicans*, we are very hospitality people and I say this because when I offer you my home is an real offer**. And listen, any time you need a ride let me know, I will be very happy taking you any place you need to***, I will have somebody to talk while driving.”

* You’re right, maybe I don’t. Growing up with a Mexican Dad and his 12 Mexican brothers and sisters and all of their kids and my grandparents and what have you….I don’t know a thing about Mexicans. PS: Your best friend (you know, my Aunt) is Mexcian.

** To rape me.

*** Like your bed

She then goes on:

“I don’t want you to feel I am buging you* is just the way mexicans are**. And the memory I have of you is… A guy playing with the family having a good time***. That’s the reason I told you last night we could play on the trampolin we have, I enjoy jumping there like a little girl****… he, he, he you most see us jumping he, he, he…***** ”

* Too late. You are.

** Speak for yourself.

*** Um…I know you and my aunt are bosom buddies, but you’re not my family.

**** What’s that supposed to mean? What is it about me that makes you think I’m into little girls on trampolines, you sick [bleep].

***** He he, you’re psychotic. Leave me alone, he he he he.

Now let’s remember, none of this is my fault! I didn’t go out with this girl and have sex with her and then disappear the next morning. I didn’t date her and then dump her. I didn’t even ask for her number. I have no relationship with her whatsoever. This all came about because my aunt decided to play matchmaker.

Maybe I’m being unnecessarily cold. Maybe I’m being thoughtless and I’m just not realizing it. Maybe I should placate her and just go out with her once to get her off my back.

Nah. I’m staying the freak away.

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