At My Parents’
I am in Florida with my parents. It’s my first outing away from Michigan since Barry’s been gone.
Today, we went to this big cat show (the show was small but the cats were among the largest on earth). One of the tigers was even named Barry! How funny is that? Part of why I went was to enjoy cats in a way that Barry would hate. Now I have a T-shirt with this Siberian tiger’s face on it, with Barry’s name! Too funny. His mate’s name was Mia and she is a liger (lion/tiger combo).
I love/hate the world my parents live in. It is so…manufactured. They live in a world of their own making. It is very quiet and restful (in some ways exactly what I need). They do exactly what they want to do when they want to do it. They are rednecks, surrounded by other rednecks and they are enjoying every minute of it. My parents are so good to me, but part of me just wants to escape. They do not live in the real world. When you can pick and choose the people that you see and deal with, you are not living in the real world. Period. This trailer park is filled with other people exactly like them: white, Midwestern, blue collar retirees. I haven’t seen a black, Hispanic, or Asian person yet where they live. My dad calls it “God’s waiting room.” That’s about it.
It’s a little creepy living in such an artificial world. My dad even defended keeping the Confederate statues without any sort of modern real-world commentary. Basically a defense of the KKK. Wow. He said they were part of history, with zero acknowledgment of what they mean to others and how much they have always been a slap in the face of blacks and a never-ending reminder of white supremacy. He said they were part of history, with no awareness that raping, pillaging, and plundering are also part of that very same exalted history. Every fiber of my being said, “Eeeeuuuwww.”
Every conversation is simply a reminder that I cannot be myself here. At all.
I just remind myself of what I am here for: to rest and recover from Barry’s death and to just get the blankety-blank out of the snowbound state I call home, Michigan. Just about any day outside of Michigan is a good day.