First, a brief (yeah, right!) recap of the high point of my day. We had an extremely funny substitute today for my Calculus teacher during first block. It was this old black man who was the most scatterbrained person I have ever met (he could even beat Mrs. Serb, for those who know her). He liked to just come up with random things to say to random people, like, “So, do you think you’ll ever be on that millionaire show?” (leading to confusion between which millionaire show he was talking about.) The thing is, my class is about 65% juniors (and friggin’ immature juniors at that, but today that was to my amusement), and this joker had a laugh like Spongebob. Yes, that machine-gun repetitive, loud Spongebob Squarepants laugh coming out of this nice elderly man with nothing but the best intentions. But the immature juniors in my class (and some of the seniors) felt it would be great to make a little fun of him (harmlessly). So he’s standing there, talking with about half the class in a conversation prone to jump randomly (because of both his scatterbrained-ness and the students laughing too hard to keep up their trains of thought), and he tells a little joke that isn’t really funny, then starts laughing. But that whole group of folks start laughing… just like he laughs. And as anyone who knows me will know, at his second laugh I’m already red in the face, tearing up, and practically lying on the floor from laughter (and I’m all the way across the room). He wandered around the room for about an hour, talking with most of the people, all of whom imitated him and quietly made fun of him. And he never caught on. I would have felt bad for him (Michael did) if it hadn’t been so friggin’ funny. My stomach was hurting at the end of Calc and I laughed randomly through the next class’ test. Then I had another dose of Mr. Giggley during my Statistics class (same missing teacher). That is definitely the highlight of my week thus far, despite the fact that I eyes are gritty from a lack of sleep (which only contributes to my silliness and the ease with which I lose control). And it’s only Wednesday of the first week back from a long break. Dare I say, “oy”?

A more serious set of thoughts that has been plaguing me over the past few days deals in part with the rat, my little sister. She’s three, an age that I have vivid memories of (but then, I have a memory like an elephant anyway). It’s no secret that my father and I treat her like crap. Neither of us are the children type, and have the tendency to like to play with things that can be “put away” when we don’t want them to bother us. While I almost never play with her, my father does more often. But he also works at home often, and his desk is in the living room, making it easily accessible. Much of the time when he’s home, he’s not really here. A couple of days ago, I overheard him telling the rat when he got home (around 7:00 maybe) that he would play with her in a little while. Well, a little while came and went, and the rat has to go to bed around 8 o’clock or so. He wanted to play around 7:50. When my mother made the “lights out” call, the rat pitched a fit. I have rarely seen her so upset, unless after a bad dream when our mother isn’t there. She tantrumed, she screamed, she cried. She stayed in bed crying until about 9:00.

This reminded me so much of my younger days, because I do have vivid memories of such times. My father would come home after I’ve already been put to bed, and he would come in and tell me he would be in to give me a hug “in a minute”, as in after his shower. I would lie awake for hours, watching the clock, and he would take a shower, go eat dinner, mess around on his PC, watch some TV, etc., and never come see me. I was no older than 3, maybe 4 at the oldest, because I wasn’t in school yet. I used to stay in bed and cry quietly, because I hated pissing off my parents, fearing they might spank me.

My memories of things like this color my everyday interactions (rare as they are) with my father. I almost never trust him to keep a promise, and rely on him for very little other than the basic survival stuff. That may seem harsh, given that the stuff mentioned above happened about 15 years ago, but it happened repeatedly, and with so many different things. My father has the selective memory of a bratty teenager, barely remembering his own anniversary or appointments to do things with his family, yet has learned (and can use with no reference guides) several programming languages and always remembers things like when he gets to get out of the house and be free.

So will the rat’s life be a repetition of mine? It’s possible. My parents were already middle aged when they had her (my mother was 40, and father was 44), and how often do middle-aged adults radically change their ways? They’re set in being as free as they have been since I was six and could stay home by myself. They still go to movies every weekend (often twice), leaving me (with what nonexistant patience I have) with a nightmare-prone three year old. I never learned how to really change diapers; that’s how close I am to her. Maybe she’ll learn to forgive and forget better than I ever did.

I’m going back to where I came from
So far away, but not so far from home
Where I lay my head down by the sea
I’m going back to where’d go
So far away, but not so far from home
Where I’d rest, where I’d lay so peacefully

But by the way,
I want a break, and want to put this stress aside
But above all things I want to lay by the Oceanside
The ocean waves, no other way, get away
Well I’m finding!
Oh no, my daily worries want to drift away, Fine!
Dying and trying just to find some sort of piece of mind
Now’s the time, to get away, I’m going away!

No other place to go, I’ve got to get away, let’s get away! Away…
So far away, and dowdy on the beach
I want to clear my head and bake it in the warm sunshine
Want to relay relaxation […]. (“One More Minute”, Authority Zero)