Saturday, December 7, 2013

No One Ever Tells Me Anything

Wow. It's taken me a long time to get around to writing this. I'm sorry about that, but I do have an excuse.

It starts Thursday, about two weeks ago. Thursday is laundry day, when I clean my collection of drab grey shirts. It was a rainy morning and I was angrily scribbling in one of my notebooks. I was watching an episode of The Prisoner at the same time, So I was already in a distrustful mood.

There was a knock on the door as my grandma sorted groceries in the kitchen since Thursday is also grocery day. At first I thought it was a salesman, but suddenly I heard her screaming. There was another scream and before I knew it the whole house is echoing with shrill voices.

I thought we were being robbed.

I remember peaking out of the hallway and watching my grandma jumping up and down, unable to process what I was seeing. There were two other people with her, a blur of color from where I was standing. But slowly I started to piece together the familiar shapes. And almost immediately I found myself thinking "Oh my god, what is Mom doing here?" Mom and Lou were standing in the doorway. And suddenly, everything started to make sense. My sister staying home that day. My grandpa insisting on vacuuming the house without any explanation. The evasive glances. The phony headache used as an excuse to stay home. It all made sense.

They knew. They knew this would happen and they kept this secret from me for weeks. Months even.

I spent the next several minutes in a daze as everyone greeted each other. Apparently, they had been planning this surprise visit for three months and had driven all the way here from Texas. Only my sister and grandpa knew and had been instrumental in making sure no one found out. Luggage was already making it's way through the door as I slowly started to grasp the sheer scale of what was happening here. My mind was already running through all the things they successfully kept secret from me.

What else were people not tell me about? Suddenly I became very aware of how easy it would be for my family to poison food I was about to eat.

But I started to get over it when I realized, 'Hey, Mom and Lou are here'. They started telling us about what a huge ordeal it was planning this trip and the difficulty of keeping it secret. My sister was gloating, because she was able to keep this information from me for so long. More luggage made it's way inside. Lou's collection of remote-controlled helicopters passes by me. But suddenly, everyone's ushered outside to see an "early graduation present" for my sister.

I was already stunned by this point and thought I couldn't be surprised by anything else. I go out into the rain and see a large, silvery grey shape waiting in the driveway.

A 2001 Jeep Cherokee. They bought her an entire car.

The smug expression left her face and she immediately ran inside the car to cry. It turns out they didn't tell her that little part of their plan, so she was surprised by at least one thing that day.

Almost immediately after that, they piled into the Jeep and sped away to the mall, leaving Lou, my grandpa and myself to try and make sense of what had just happened. We talked about antique trucks to try and lull ourselves back into a sense of normalcy and my thoughts drifted back to my laundry.

When everyone came back in the Jeep we spent the rest of the day exchanging news and recovering from the shock. But mostly, we all trying to wrap our heads around the fact that oh man, my sister suddenly has a car.

Mom and Lou spent a week here, which we used to go shopping and driving around town. Part of the reason why they kept their trip a secret was because they didn't want it dragged down by overly-ambitious plans like going to Disneyland. By surprising us, they ensured we had nothing planned to keep them occupied, which means most of their time was spent here at home. This is good, because we all had a considerably better time going out to breakfast and coming home to watch movies than we would making huge plans.

This brings me back to why I haven't written in so long; practically 83% of my family was staying here last week and that's practically my entire readership. I figured if I wanted to tell them about rabbits or foreign cuisine it would be easier to just walk into the other room and tell them. So that's why there haven't been any posts lately.

But anyway, by the end of the week my sister had amassed a huge collection of tapes for her car. It doesn't have a CD player you see. And that's just fine because we were able to find some of The Cure, Depeche Mode, Love and Rockets and even The Art of Noise. True, we had to scour every local antique store to find even these, but that doesn't make it any less impressive. Mom was especially pleased by what we were able to find, because it's exactly the sort of thing she would listen to in high school (with the exception of The Art of Noise). So of course she started having flash backs to when she first started driving, realizing it's now my sister's turn to face that part of her life.

Later that week, my aunt came to visit. Like my grandma and myself, she had no idea Mom or Lou was here, so she was surprised too. She was only able to stay for the afternoon though, so the full brunt of this conspiracy probably didn't hit her. Although she was here long enough to give her own seal of approval to my sister's growing tape collection.

All in all, it was a nice, unexpected visit and I was happy to see them again after so much time away.

And yet, I'm still very upset.

This is because 2013 has seen a huge dip in the number of blog posts I've made, a measly 30 entries as of this writing. I have no idea why this has happened. I still like blogging. I think the quality of my writing has greatly benefited from it. And yet there it is, a huge gap where there normally wouldn't be. Is it because I'm not writing about maps anymore? Is it because Lost Highways has been so obviously postponed and I'm avoiding writing about it?

That might be it. There's a void that map-related posts have left behind that no amount of nasty exotic delicacies will be able to fill, which means I need to find more subjects to write about before I start losing readers.

Things like celebrity gossip.


mom said...

my dear son. the planning and plotting was delicious for me. I went thru spurts of wanting to tell you and not wanting to tell you. I stuck with not telling you, not because I thought you wouldn't keep the secret but for the simple fact I would be able to say to you " I don't tell you anything " I was tempted to say " google it " but that doesn't fit quite right.
my heart is filled right back up from seeing you and everyone else. I cant wait for May!
your blog made me laugh AND cry so your job is done. that was a fantastic read :-)
I love you

Shadgrimgrvy said...

The best part is that I *know* you'll be coming in May. For once I KNOW something...

...unless that was a lie to distract me from something else entirely.

mom said...

actually your misinformed *again*
were coming in June.
come on man.
* shifty eyes*

Shadgrimgrvy said...

...Or is that just what you want me to think?

Post a Comment