Monday, December 24, 2007

Jingle Bells

Jingle Bells, everybody. It's 8:02 PM Central time and in most places that means the stores are closed and you've either got your shopping done or you're buying gifts at the 24-hour gas station. Me? I got caught up on all but two writing assignments by Friday and figure no editor is going to care over the holiday so for once I got shopping done on time. Not early, but done by today at 4 PM. Hell, I even got some wrapping done yesterday and finished that an hour ago. What that tells you is that I haven't got a life, but this blog has already made that clear over the last year.
I came in from wrapping and opened a bottle of Old Grand Dad. Good Bourbon. The fellows at the liquor store saw me looking at the bottles (I never buy anything but a few minis at a time as a rule, which keeps me pretty sober since the store is a 23 mile drive each way) and asked what was up. I told them I was looking to treat myself like a king tonight and was going to buy a bottle of bourbon. They told me to pick one out and they'd give it to me. Hey, I was tempted to switch to a good private reserve Scotch for $300 but kept my cool and took the Old Grand Dad. Thanks, fellas.
Anyway, took a sip and asked who was going to be here for dinner. Got resounding "yesses" from everyone. Put on rice and a nice chicken. Two minutes later Italo, Marco and Madeleina were in the fridge looking for leftovers. I told them I'd just started dinner. They said they were going out to Chepa's and didn't want dinner.
"You just told me to make it," I said.
"Yeah. Make it for you, dad, not for us," deadpanned Marco, glomming some chicken wings I'd made last night.
Fortunately I was still sipping my first sip of Old Grand Dad and so was able to take it in stride. I told them there would be fresh rice and chicken--with beans and veggies--when they got back.
It's good they're going, actually, or Santa wouldn't have the time and space to do the santa stuff. Stockings, special presents, those things that I need to bring from the little outbuilding I use as an office into the house. I've done it at 3 AM but even in Texas waking up to start walking around outside at 3 AM on Christmas is cold.
So they're off for a couple of hours. The party on Christmas eve is a Peruvian thing. The sisters--with Chepa there are four in the Fort Worth area--get together and have a ball on Christmas Eve. When I first brought her to the states in 1994 she was very surprised that our party happened on Christmas morning, to the smell of sizzling bacon and fresh banana bread in the oven.
This time around there's something special to celebrate. Chepa's new baby, Alexis, was born Saturday morning near noon. Over 7 lbs, a bit of a scare because she stopped breathing a couple of times, but the docs, I'm told, are now satisfied she'll breathe on her own and will be allowed to go home to Chepa on Wednesday. Chepa's been sick with worry but we all rooted for her baby and I hope she turns out as fantastic as the other babies Chepa has made.
There was a funny moment or two involved here. Remember that this isn't my baby, though Chepa and I never divorced. So her boyfriend came into town just a few hours before she want into labor. And Madeleina and Italo and Italo's girl Sarah were in the delivery room with the boyfriend and Chepa and the doctor and the nurse and from what Sarah said, Madeleina, probably in an effort to deal with the graphic situation of a birth--what with mom pooping while she's pushing and the water spilling out and the blood and the purple/yellow umbilical cord and so forth--decided to pretend she was newscasting the event.
"So, doctor, is it normal that this room would smell this bad while a baby is being born?" was one question Sarah remembered Madeleina asking as she interviewed the doc while he was prompting Alexis out of the womb and into the world. And then to Chepa: "So, while you're screaming, does it really hurt or are you acting a little?"
The worst, unfortunately, was my fault. Entirely. When little Alexis came out and joy was all around, I guess the boyfriend said something like "Our beautiful little Alexis" or something like that, to which Madeleina evidently responded that she would never call her baby sister that name because "That's a stripper's name."
You see, even though the baby isn't mine I felt slighted at not being asked, at least in a cursory way, my opinion as to a name. It was just announced to me a couple of weeks ago and in my ego/hurt/awareness that I'm not even in the equasion anymore, I blurted out: "Alexis? Who the fuck names their baby Alexis? That's a stripper name. That's probably the most popular stripper name in the world."
Of course it's a beautiful name, but I just felt left out--Clue to Gorman: When she starts having babies with other people, you're no longer the center of her universe, okay?--and so said that stupid and hurtful thing and then there, in the delivery room, my beautiful Madeleina evidently repeated it. Sorry god. Sorry universe, sorry Chepa and the boyfriend, My fault 100 percent.
I hope Alexis is a joy.
And me, I'm good with it all. I've got wonderful--if occasionally difficult-- kids, I've got work. I've got presents for everybody. I've got a bunch of sisters and a brother and neices and nephews and me and the kids got a tree that's dressed to the nine's and though I don't have many friends her in Texas, I do have one very good one and lots of friends all over the place, and I didn't die this year despite coming close a few times and none of my close friends did either and Alexis looks like she's going to be alright and Chepa came out of it all healthy so my kids have their mom and what the heck, it ain't perfect by a long shot but there are more good days than bad by a mile so mostly I'm smiling and I hope you all are too.
Merry Christmas to all,
And to all a good night!


Arbol said...

Welcome Alexis. ((((PETER))))
Have a Great Holiblazed!
Love Light

schapper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
schapper said...

Merry Christmas, Brother! And thanks for making me feel more Human and not so alone in my own crazy family situation.

I really admire you and your attitude, man.


Morgan said...

Thankyou Peter, for all the stories and all the places.

All the best to you and your family.