SPIRALING
3:00 p.m. on March 30, 2007


My 20 year old second cousin from North Carolina is coming to visit this weekend. The first and last time she visited was 5 years ago for a whole week when she was barely a teenager. I had only really found out she existed a few years before that and had only met her once for part of a day the year before her visit.

When she visited last time it was a bit nerve wracking. I am the youngest child and live far away from my niece & nephews, so I did not have much experience with people of the younger age variety. She is an intelligent, mature, talented artist, but 15 years old is 15 years old.

I planned the week out to the fullest maximum entertainment value (the best I could muster) that I thought would be fun for a young girl. This involved meals at cool and exciting places where she proceeded to eat nothing but tortilla chips.

I lost points right away when I got horribly lost immediately after picking her up at the airport. I gained those points back after taking her to a cool, all ages venue where multiple bands were scheduled to play, including the band Spoon and Carissa’s Wierd. The venue was an old movie theater that smelled of mold and vomit. It was pretty awesome.

When hanging at the house, she showed me some of her favorite Japan Imation videos. I reciprocated and showed her my favored films like My Own Private Idaho (forgetting the drawn out blow job scene in the beginning may not be suitable) and Train Spotting (ditto on the gratuitous penis shots).

Sasha got on great with her. He has a natural rapport with children, so it was kind of nice to let them run off and play when we spent a day at Gameworks, a video game entertainment zone. My mother’s advice was to have plenty of alcohol on hand: “Not for her, for YOU!” She was right, by day 3, I needed a drink! Luckily Gameworks has a nice bar for the adult entertainment portion.

The hardest part about her visit was paying for EVERYTHING. I mean, I know when I was young and visited my older brother or sister, they would pay for a lot of things for me, but I also know my mother would give them a stipend to help cover the costs of having a kid with them. I never once heard from her parents and it just seemed presumptuous of her to expect a second cousin she barely knows to pick up the tab each day, but she never once offered to pony up some cash.

It was also worrisome that the entire time she ate nothing but chips and skittles, sweet tea and coffee!

On the last day, my plan was to take her to see the film Ghost World that just opened, to one last “nice” meal and then back to the airport we go. This plan almost worked. We saw the film, although my mood was seriously dampened after I proceeded to spill my popcorn all over myself and the lady in front of me. When we went back to the car to go get food, my car was nowhere to be seen. Somehow I parked in a no parking zone and the city bloody well TOWED me! All cool points gained that week were immediately lost.

We walked about a half mile to the nearest pay phone to call Sasha. He was working, but he needed to get us so I could get my car out of impound so we could get to the airport on time. It cost $200 bucks to get my car out (ARG!) and now we did not have time to get food before we needed to be at the airport. I thought we could stop at one of the airport concession stands, but they were all already closed, so the best I could do was buy her a bag of chips from the vending machine and send her on her way. I guess she was sick for a week after that.

This time should prove to be different. She will only officially be spending 3 days with us. She is now 20 years old, no longer a teenager, and should have her own money (hope hope). The cool plan this time is to spend the night in Vancouver, BC since she has never been to Canada, stay in an art hotel and go on a sculpture tour.

Hopefully I won’t be strip searched at the border.





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