Everyone has a relative who passes out naked in the yard or falls into the pool. In my family, I am that relative.
Jamie's embarrassing relative is her cousin Trish. Last night, Trish had an Independence Day party. Not only was it the 4th of July, but this week the State Board of Pardons and Paroles decided that her ex-boyfriend should serve the duration of his sentence behind bars. Trish thought that the two should be celebrated as the ultimate expression of her Independence as a single American woman.
We stopped at a convenience store to buy Trish a gift. I found a card that I felt summed up my sentiments nicely. The front read, "Congratulations on your break up..." and the inside message was, "I still think we should have drowned him in the river like we did them puppies when we was kids." Jamie bought her carton of cigarettes. We didn't mean to smoke a pack of her cigarettes but, it was a long drive. Jamie cleverly filled the space in the carton with wadded up receipts and crap that she found in the backseat of her car. She neatly resealed the carton with gum. Jamie should have been a surgeon.
We followed the trail of shotgun shells to Trish's house. The front lawn was tastefully landscaped with dirt. Trish threw open the door and we all screamed and hugged. Jamie handed Trish the carton of cigarettes. Trish smiled for a second and then said, "it feels light." She hollered, "Lil' Man, git the Hell up off that floor and git these girls a beer." Moments later, Lil' Man, her six year old son delivered two ice cold beers. I asked him if he'd light my cigarette. Jamie frowned at me, so I told him to light one for his momma too and hurry the Hell up. I told Trish that I thought it was really creative how she had used sheets as curtains. I wondered if she had curtains or vertical blinds on her bed.
Trish went into the kitchen and returned with her special drunken watermelon. I don't like watermelon, but Trish adds so much liquor that I couldn't detect even a hint of fruit. We decided to finish the watermelon while floating in the pool. With the watermelon bobbing in the water, we drifted on our rafts in the pool. Lil' Man did a cannonball and pool water splashed over us and the melon. Trish, showing tremendous restraint, threatened to hold Lil' Man under the water 'til he turned blue again and then calmly told us not to worry about the water splashing on the fruit. She hadn't used chlorine in the pool, so we didn't have to worry about all those chemicals. I decided that this was not the appropriate time to ask for a show of hands who had peed in the pool.
Trish rested her head on her piece of the watermelon and dozed peacefully in the dirt. Lil' Man lovingly brushed the ants from her face. Trish is peaceful when she is sleeping but, she is an entirely different person when abruptly awakened by the sound of fireworks. It must have triggered some kind of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome response. The way she woke up reminded me of the time that I tried to give my cat a bath. Her her was matted from watermelon juice and liquor, her claws sliced at the air, and she hissed menacingly. Quickly, Lil' Man handed Trish her shotgun. Where Trish lives, everyone is a gun owner. Jamie and I hadn't even had the good sense to bring a switchblade or brass knuckles.
We decided that this was a good time to leave.