I am lying on a foldout couch bed in my sister’s apartment in Santa Cruz, CA, having just driven from Los Angeles on the barren, post-apocalyptic surface of Mercury known as Interstate 5. The winds over the Grapevine (the tortuous path through the mountains that leads out of Southern California) had blasts of 70mph winds that asked, quite powerfully, if the car and I would like to be tossed 14,000 feet into the troposphere. I am feeling my age; there was a time when I would think nothing of 21-day jaunts across the country in a shitty car, and now my lower back wants revenge.
My family is all gathering here for Michelle and Jon’s wedding on Saturday, one of those rare occasions when all of us, both my parents, everyone who grew up together in the 1970s and 80s is together again. It makes for the occasional odd dynamic, to be sure, but mostly we have the kind of rapport reserved for those who served on the same ship back in the War of 1812.
We have our mythologies, the so-called defining aspects of our character, that still haunt us like an old injury, even if it hasn’t been true in decades. But what fun would it be if suddenly all of us were all completely self-actualized and utterly self-contented? BO-RING! Gimme old resentments and quick-fuse frustrations ANY DAY OF THE WEEK over pleasantries and demurring!
Do you have a mythology placed on you in your family, and what is it?