I brought in the New Year alone. I sat in the room I sleep in, drunk, watching the Sci Fi Channel's Twilight Zone marathon, CSI episodes, and a DVD of the ballet of Romeo and Juliet. I had, and have, no desire to be around people. Hell, even my mother and baby sister had something to do to bring in the New Year. My mother has met a new friend, if you know what I mean. This makes me so very happy. Mostly because it leaves me hopeful that when I leave again she won't be alone, but will in fact have a special someone to be with. Hell, someone in this family should be happy. For once. I learned of my mother's new friend last weekend. My baby sister didn't take it very well. I found her in my mother's room, sitting in the dark in front of the TV, some obnoxious teenybopper show reflected in her glasses, a single tear falling down her cheek. I sat next to her and asked her why she was upset with the fact that our mother had made a new friend. My sister broke down, leaned her had on my shoulder and said, "It's always just been me and Mom. I want it to be that way." I held her hand in mine and tried my best to explain to her that nothing or no one would ever weaken the bond they had. I wouldn't allow it. Now, this is not easy for me to say. You see, my mother once left me with my grandmother to be with a man. We had lived in a battered women's shelter for over a year and even after all of that, she went back to him. I was twelve. I told her very directly that I would not be accompanying her back to an abusive lover. So, she left me with my grandmother. I never really got over it. Being older and having done dumb things for love, I guess I understand a little more; but truthfully, I still believe she made the wrong decision. I was her child and she left me for a man. A man whose love came in the form of a bleeding head wound and drunken tirades. I still remember being nine years old and having him call me a whore. It was a most frightening experience. His lips were covered in beer-caked spittle, his uneven, yellow teeth were all I could see, and his voice was so loud. My mother left me for this.
I won't let something like that happen to my baby sister. And well, I spoke to my mother and made her promise me that she would use her head. I told her the truth, and the truth is that I am happy she has made a new friend. I don't want her to be like me--alone. Even so, I expressed the need for her to remember that her daughter needs her more than any man. I hope she will listen. Anyway, they spent the New Year with my mother's new friend. He invited them to the movies and then to his place for food. Good. And I stayed alone in the room. All I can say is that my New Year's celebrations have been good indications as to the forthcoming year, and well, 2009 looks to be as shitty (if not more so) than 2008. I'm used to it.
I fell asleep at 4am watching Aston Villa and Arsenal on Fox Soccer Channel. I don't know who won. I didn't wake up until 2pm on New Year's Day. I awoke to the sound of a cousin sitting in the living room with my sister. I stayed in the room. I hid there for over two hours until one of my aunts finally came in to use my sister's computer, discovered me lying on the bed, and forced me to interact with her. I was terrified. Let me explain why.
I rarely, if ever, interact with my extended family. I grew up with them, but truth be told, feel like a stranger amongst them. For one thing, we have nothing in common. Not one thing. My extended family's idea of a good conversation involves gossiping about who's gotten fatter over the last few months, what was the result of last week's America's Next Top Model, and how many times anyone's been to the doctor in the last year. On the few occasions I have been forced to interact with them I do my best to pretend to be interested. It never works. Most of them find me aloof, odd, and unapproachable. I have even heard it said that I believe I am "better than them." On the contrary, I simply find that I am unable to be around them because I can't seem to meet their standards. They see me--college graduate, without a husband, no home, no car--and smirk. They judge me for lacking material goods. They judge me for having cerebral interests and aspirations. They judge me. As a result, I avoid them.
I used to consider myself a people person. But I am realizing that I prefer to be alone, with my thoughts. Being a deficient human is fine so long as I only have myself to deal with.