A little recap for those who didn’t tune in yesterday: Mama’s former father-in-law passed away. (Former as in, she divorced the man’s son 20 years ago.) While Mama has been unable to take herself to a funeral since my sister passed, she simply HAD to go pay her last respects. (IE: the chance for drama was high, so of course she was there.) In attendance were her alcoholic ex-husband, his elderly schizophrenic common law wife, and an ex-mother-in-law who has always hated Mama and now suffers from dementia. A recipe for disaster, no doubt.
And Mama naturally did not disappoint.
She called around 8:30 last night, clearly drunk, high, or pilled up. “I’m lost!” she wailed. Although she had simply driven past her exit (some 20-odd miles past it) on the interstate, it never occurred to her to simply take the next exit and turn around. She’d already called Kenny to report she was lost, and now hoped I might “get on the computer” and help her find her way home.
“You aren’t lost. Just take the next exit and turn around.”
“Im at Green Sulphur Springs exit, way past Hinton. Where do I go from here?”
“Take the next exit. Turn left. Then turn left again.” I sighed.
“There’s the signs to Beckley! Thank God! Oh thank you!”
After the hysterical joy of turning around had subsided, she reported that my uncle and his wife had “left her alone at the funeral home.”
Any reasonable person realizes that my aunt and uncle, normal people, simply left after paying their respects. And anyone who knows Mama knows that she doubtless stayed well past the point where she was making everyone uncomfortable.
“I tole Mary she didn’t have no reason not to like me.” (Mary, the schizophrenic octogenarian my former stepfather has spent the last decade with, hates Mama with every one of her multiple personalities.)
“Why did you even speak to her?” I demanded, having advised mere hours before that she should avoid her at all costs.
“Because I’m polite. I’m polite and I’ve got couth.”
“The polite thing would have been to just ignore her.”
“No, I’ve got manners.”
“And now Kenny’s mad at me. Fer gettin’ lost. I guess he thinks I banged David right there at the funeral home.” (David, the alcoholic ex husband whose father was being remembered.)
“You weren’t lost!”
“I always did like to just drive. They had all these pictures up there at the service of your sister. I just needed to drive.”
“Then why didn’t you just tell him that?” She didn’t answer, but we all know that “being lost” just sounds so much more dramatic than needing to take a drive.
“He acts like they was something goin on with me and David just cause we smoked two bowls in the parkin lot.”
“Jesus Christ. I can’t blame him. You’d be upset if the roles were reversed.”
“Well me and David did have some good times. Yep, sure did, some good times. I bout fell and busted my ass. Broke a fingernail but David caught me in his arms while he’s walkin’ me to my car. You reckon they can put on a fake one? I’m getting my nails and toes did in the morning, cause I caint get in to see the podiatrist til March.”
“That’s who usually cuts my toenails.”
“Why?” My blood starts boiling at the thought that myself and every other taxpayer are footing the bill for this woman to get her toenails cut by the podiatrist.
“I cain’t bend over like I used to.”
“They was so many people there!” Clearly, the social scene is alive and well at the Rose and Quesenberry Funeral Parlor. She went on to tell me who had gotten fat. Who had dyed their hair. And how one man had asked if she was Mary, and then “looked her from head to toe” when she told him no, she was David’s first wife.
“Ain’t so-and-so a lesbian?” So and so is a former step-cousin in her mid twenties. She is, in fact, a lesbian, but I doubt very much that she is out of the closet to her family.
“I believe so…”
“I thought so. She kept lookin’ at me and lickin’ her lips.”
“Mmmm…kay.” Yes, the charms of a nearly sixty year old woman unable to bend to cut her own toenails are too much for a young lesbian to pass up.
“Well I better get off here before I get lost again. I’ll call and let ya know I made it home ok.”