Monday, July 25, 2016

An Open Birthday Card to my Cousin

My cousin's and I
I remember a cute, diapered little girl who would isolate herself in a room of photographs, just staring at pictures of her family. Anytime we would come in to talk to you, your fiendish little hands would grab ours, and escort us back out the door. Sharlene, Granny, and I would hide around the corner and marvel at the weird little psychopath who was enamored with the pictures of all of her family, yet wouldn’t walk into the next room to see them. It was pretty obvious from an early age you were either destined for great things, or would end up atop a watchtower with a rifle, wailing about the numerous sins of man. Although the winds are currently blowing the direction of the former, I still keep a wary eye for signs of mental degradation. After all, we can sense our own.

My Mother and I were so smitten by what a strange creature you were that we flew down to Florida just to hang with you. We didn’t go to Disney, Universal, or Sea World, we sat in front of your TV with you and watched Arthur for hours at a time. When we packed up to drive to Key West, we stopped after two hours and decided we didn’t want to continue unless your mother and you came with, so we parked at a strange attraction called Monkey Jungle as we waited for your Father to drop you off. We sat there for four hours in the dark, listening to the horrific sounds of monkeys either mating or killing one another until 2am just to spend an extra few days with you. When the vacation was over, we would still watch Arthur and talk about returning.

Angry from a
young age
As the years went by you slowly became more fun. You and I first smoked weed when people your age were playing with Barbie dolls. At thirteen years old, you and I were attending theatrical screenings of literary documentaries while your friends were likely watching (lame) cartoons. I vividly remember you choking on my Jack and Coke at your parents’ house in Florida when they went out on a date and if I’m not mistaken, I believe we even snuck you into your first bar at 17 years old. I won’t even go into your exploits atop the trailers in Hicksville as you ran wild with the local lesbian population while I was forced to tune out the shrieks and get some writing done. It’s been a wild, weird road we’ve shared.

Thanks to your parents I’ve had the opportunity to travel the US with you. We’ve spent time in Ohio, Florida, Washington, California, and more. Hell, after spending two weeks with each other in Hawaii, we decided that wasn’t enough and you came back to Los Angeles with me for two more. As if at that point it still wasn’t enough, I then boarded a plane with you and hung out at your house in Florida for another week. Even when you were a child I was in awe of your mind. You’ve always demonstrated an uncanny ability to cut through adult’s bullshit and have since maintained a precise radar for avoiding the idiots of this world.
Hicksville 2015

We come from hearty stock. We’ve got Ireland coursing through our hearts and brains. We’re fighters, and the only enemy that can come between us and any task in the goddamn world is ourselves. I won’t be around to see the great mark you leave upon the Earth by the time your body gives out, but I’m sure the path to it will be decorated with the mutilated corpses of your enemies. You’re destined for greatness, and if anyone speaks to the contrary, send them directly to me for a violent and speedy indoctrination.

My sister.
It’s good that you live so far away, I truly worry that if we were to live in the same city we may attempt a Coup d'├ętat and institute a sympathy-free marshal law. You’re my family. You’re my cousin, but I feel like that isn’t a precious enough word for it. You’re my sister. I’ll always be here to bail you out. I’ll always be here to hurt boys. I’ll always be here to dig holes in the desert if hurting boys isn’t enough. You’re an old-soul who takes no prisoners. You’re a badass and even though you get really fucking annoying on occasion, I’m lucky to have you around.

Thank god I can finally stop making you fake ID's. Happy 21st birthday.

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