The problem with writing about vacation is that it’s hard to organize little vignettes when you’re still processing the trip overall. I think we should start with the bad stuff and get that outta the way.
We had “beautiful weather.” I mean, that’s how people would see it. It was unbearably hot and sunny most of the time. Temperatures ranged from 80’s overnight to highs in the low 100’s. At no point were our plans ruined by bad weather.
Except on the drive Tuesday. I think it was Tuesday.
You can’t possibly think I kept the days straight. Even one day, I thought there might be a magical extra day in June, squeezed in between the 29th and the 30th. Days sneak by on vacation.
But on the day I think was Tuesday, we hit an awful storm. This particular thunderstorm followed us all night. The gusts of wind blowin Bonnie Blue all over the road, the sheets of rain hitting her windshield, dodging the debris in the road while thunder shook us — all metaphorical imagery for the turbulence in the car.
You see, we spent time with The Mister’s ex. The ex and I can actually get along quite well, going back decades. Obviously The Mister doesn’t get on with his ex very well, but they can be amicable for a considerable amount of time. We’re family. We share a lot of people, experiences, and goals. Also, we all share a common enemy, and as everyone knows the enemy of your enemy is your friend. I told you I can’t explain how tightly my ball is wound, hm? Tip of the iceberg.
It’s been a long time since we had conflicts. But while we were on vacation, conflicts were thrown at us.
Not all of us have gone to therapy and fetched a psychological toolbox for dealing with this sorta conflict, but I have. Unfortunately, my toolbox is useless against a team of people who are determined to revert to their old patterns when they’re together too long. When two brick walls are pushed together, they create tension until one of them crumbles. Been 24 years and ain’t nobody crumbled yet, but the bricks on the top are pretty loose.
I thought we were having a discussion. I was having a discussion. It would take a few hours to realize that for once, I was the sane one.
I said things.
They argued with me.
Then they argued with one another.
I said more things.
Then they argued with themselves.
The Mister continued to argue with me, and himself, across the panhandle, as the storms raged on. It was super pleasant. As a person who feels everything around me, I cannot tell you how frickin pleasant that was.
“Baggage goes in the trunk! Who told you you can keep your baggage in a carry-on? If you can’t keep your negative aura in the passenger seat, I will hafta roll down my window and my hair will get crazy and you don’t want my hair to get crazy!”
Their crazy brought out my crazy. I got this pretty little china shop, where all the fragile tchotchkes are lined up all neatly and I keep the doors closed real tight so everything stays shiny and I can’t be havin bulls runnin through it! Do you see how fucking poetic and ethereal I am? I’m not a delicate fucking flower, but I feel like one when the bull runs wild. I spent Tuesday night picking up pieces of broken china, and nicking away at The Mister until he bled half as much as I.
On the day I think was Wednesday, the skies had cleared. The bull had slept and fed by the seashore, and his aura kept close to his skin. My nerves were unfettered, my drive, free and easy. By the time my mother put the wine in my hand, The Mister was telling my parents how I was right. Like, he said it. Aloud. Where other people could hear him.
Another storm rolled in. The skies sent lightning and hail, but by then we were sheltered.