I can’t quit smoking now, I got things to do, meaning to find. This week I am searching for meaning by building a scale model of an Apatosaurus skeleton using peanut butter and jelly sandwich crusts. Attempting to construct meaning through this process requires cigarettes. Meaning usually best perceived through a cloud of smoke and a glass (half full) of Jim Beam.
My mom is worried about how much I smoke. Some people smoke less around family, not me, I am honest. Maybe too honest, as I often announce “I am gonna go upsairs and jack off, no one bug me.” and “Mom, can I have some of these pain pills? I am bored.” I smoke more around my mom, because I know she loves me and accepts me, and if she gives me a hard time about smoking I can always dangle the “well, maybe I won’t come home for Christmas” threat in front of her. It’s easier that way.
My family is not like other families, my family is awesome. Not “own a boat awesome,” but awesome “like friends awesome.” Generally a supportive environment, except when my mom accuses my brother and me of taking too big of bong hits, “That’s too much, you boys don’t need to do that, Jesus, that was huge!” One Christmas her boyfriend (ex-boy friend now) gave us hallucinogenic mushrooms. My mom lets us open his gift early, something she is usually opposed to—opening Christmas gifts early. She said she didn’t want us acting “weird” on Christmas, drunk is okay, but not “weird.”
She has often warned us against, “showing up all fucked up” to family events. It’s like, please mother I am 28, I will get as fucked up as I want before I visit great Aunt Ester. Great Aunt Ester is 90 percent deaf anyway, so during visits I occasionally say fuck or shit just to see my moms eyes bug out. I’m an adult, so don’t fuck with me, I love you Mom, and I stole those muscle relaxers you needed for your back.
One New Years Eve day, my mom claimed that the following year she had drank a case of champagne. Oh yeah, real fast, don’t go thinking my mom is some fat, low energy drunk, my mom is a fox, she is 56 years old and has a six-pack, I bet your girl or boy friend doesn’t even have a six-pack. My mom works at a job she hates 10 hours a day, works out 5 times a week and eats cottage cheese like it doesn’t cause constipation. She has got an awesome attitude and makes Christmas ornaments like a fucking elf on adderall.
Okay, but she claims to have drank a whole case of champagne last new years eve—bullshit! My brother and I called bullshit, and then proved her wrong by attempting to drink a case of champagne each. We were drunk, very drunk, by 4:00 pm and still had about 16 bottles of champagne to finish. We punched each other bloody that night and laughed our asses off the whole time. My mom warned us about “getting all fucked up” but we didn’t puke in her car, so she was very happy. I am glad I never follow through with my New Years resolutions, because earlier that night I announced that my New Years resolution was to “barf all over the fuckin’ place.”
My brother has high blood pressure. Maybe high blood pressure runs in my family, my mom says it does (on my dad’s side of the family, the Irish side, the drunk side). Maybe my brother has high blood pressure because he does 400 dollars worth of cocaine a month. Maybe it is because he is a diesel mechanic in Fairbanks, Alaska. Maybe he has high blood pressure because he finds meaning and purpose by driving things too fast, breaking those things and then spending the week fixing that thing so it goes even faster, helping him approach death 20 mph faster. Maybe he is too good at arm wrestling. Maybe his food pyramid is in the shape of a 7-11 sign, which is more like a compressed burrito. Which is most like his large intestine. Maybe.
High blood pressure is a problem that runs in my family, but I run from family problems.
So I think it is safe to assume that I am immune to high blood pressure.