Thursday, September 29, 2011

Every Time I Visit Home

Dad: How are you doing these days?
Me: Actually recently...not too hot. I was sick for a few days and then I got a cough that's lasted almost two weeks. I think I might have whooping cough or something.
Dad: You don't have whooping cough.
Me: I don't?
Dad: No. In my village people would die in droves of whooping cough.
Me: Maybe it wasn't whooping cough. Its not always the same severity. I bet these were children.
Dad: Men. Soldiers. You don't have whooping cough. You would be coughing all day.
Me: I do. It gets worse--
Dad: You're breathing aren't you? You know what people died from when they got it? Their lungs would rip apart into two pieces. Sometimes more!
*he rips apart the orange he is eating and lets the pieces fall to the floor "dramatically" (its not dramatic because falling pieces of orange is never dramatic) *
Me: Can we change the subject?
Mom: Well I was meaning to ask. Do you want to go spear fishing with dad and Brian when it gets warm again?
Me: I've been home three times in the last 2 months. Every single time you ask me this. And I answer. But this time let me emphasize the inanity of your question. You're asking me if I would want to go fishing in like 8 months? Like actually three seasons from now.
Mom: Why can't we talk like a normal family? You always shut us out.
Me: Because its utter dejavu every time I am here. First I say something. Then dad starts making beyond absurd statements - queue flashback to communist Hungary. Meanwhile you sit in silence totally spaced out. And I see in your eyes that  you are running through a list of insipid questions to ask searching for the least dumb of the bunch. Which is mind boggling because you end up asking a question that merits entry into a sitcom script, and 90% of the time its a question you've asked at least a dozen times before. I don't even know if I can comprehend what the questions you don't deem worthy of asking are. Are they just a stream of random words followed by a question mark? Either way that's the reason we can't talk like a "normal" family. Cuz its just absurd statements followed by absurd questions.
Dad: I have never told a lie in my entire life. Mother would cut off a finger for a lie. And look! 10 fingers!
Mom: Why can't you just answer my questions without me asking them then?
Me: ....Am I the only one getting the irony here?
Dad: You're too young to know what irony is. Irony is standing on a muddy street with Soviet tanks rolling by splashing the dirty water in your face. That's irony!
* two minutes of awkward silence. She has that look in her eyes and then...*
Mom:  But listen! I was meaning to ask. I saw a movie the other day. It had that lady who's in a lot of films. She moves to LA to write or something...I can't remember. But then at the end she goes home, but her father is still angry about stuff. Have you seen that one?
Me: I....I have to go.

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