15 May 2024

Busy busy day.

Carrie nixed the morning ticket because she doesn’t get back from visiting Corey’s until 6pm-ish. She is fully aware we’re pretty much going to be turning around and going right back out the door, and is fine with that. So, good thing I didn’t buy the tickets yet. I’m making a lot of good calls lately. I can’t decide if those are offsetting my insanity in picking up and going to California, but I don’t really want an answer to that question yet.

Went with Carrie to her appointment, and Brenda went along (she seems better). Carrie watched her true crime and I fucked off on my phone. Nice to do it without Silently Judging sitting next to me like sitting and glaring at the waiting room would have been the superior course of action.

After that, we went to the post office on Bertrand. Bless their hearts, I went into the place four times with packages stacked on my little wheelie cart. There were two clerks at the counter and each got two runs. The only real hitch was that the two so-called “large flat rate” boxes I got from the Iota post office… were not flat-rate. So one of them cost me seventy bucks. There were a few others I could have wished were cheaper, but nothing catastrophic. I was hoping for a $300 run, I gave myself a mental cushion to $500 because I’d made $2000 off the car and could allow for it, and I think I got to $570ish? I can’t remember. Definitely over five hundred. When you consider it would have cost me more than $1800 to rent the smallest U-Haul truck because they don’t let you take their vans out of town, I got off light. The boxes (and one big envelope — and that was surprisingly cheap) are all numbered and I’ve listed them. We’ll see what comes in when I get to Crescent City. The only additional snag I might have to worry about besides something not getting to its destination is if it stresses L out, especially if there’s something she can’t quite lift. I hope not. I am not going to disturb that ant’s nest. I have bugged her enough and we will just have to wait and see. But mad props to the Bertrand post office in Lafayette for their professionalism. The woman in particular was very kind. I’m so tired of random idiots ragging on the USPS. I still feel the good far outweighs the bad.

(If you ever have to ship fifteen boxes — actually fourteen boxes and one big envelope — do what I did and use a little wheelie cart like you use for luggage, and then go in with a few boxes at a time and go to the end of the line every new time you walk in. It dilutes the work for the poor sod behind the counter to something more manageable and you don’t hog the line. Did not hear one grumble behind me the whole time I was there.)

After the post office we went to Sonic and got gigantic drinks because by then we were all dried out. Carrie also got fried cheese sticks. I have been very good the past few weeks, but I could eat three cheese sticks and not have a huge problem. So I did. Never had the Sonic ones. The seasoning they use is just [chef’s kiss]. I need to figure out a keto version that I can like. I have always had problems with using cheese sticks in frying and baking. The cheese wants to melt into everything. How do you do this. HOW.

While all this is going on, we’re all gabbing in the SUV. More stuff about my dad. The fact of his not driving came up in conversation and I mentioned what he’d told me, that he couldn’t mentally focus well anymore and that was why he’d given up his license. Guess what. From what Carrie understands, the man has had at least one DWI. She told me that in the last little while that he was still driving, she got in the car with him and noticed he had to breathe into something to start the car. She queried him about it — Carrie doesn’t have much of a filter — and he said something about having stopped at a bar on the way home from work and the cops had pulled him over as soon as he started driving again. Couched it like it was some kind of trap. I pointed out that they have to breathalyze you to bust you for DWI. They can’t just assume. People drive home from the fucking bars all the fucking time without having to get breathalyzed to start a fucking car. But, y’know, he lies. She knows he lies. She said as much. I want to say she mentioned him having had an accident at some point too, but don’t quote me on that. I did share with her about the time I was a teenager and Reba was going through her abuse recovery shit and suddenly felt the overwhelming need to talk with her sister about it, so nothing would do but that we alllllll had to go to where Linda lived, and we were in the Memphis area at the time and I want to say Linda was in St. Louis. Worst-case, Chicago. Anyway this was at night and we were bopping along up Interstate 55 with Dad steadily drinking and Reba not sober herself and bottles of various alcoholic beverages rolling around at my feet. Here comes a cop and pulls Dad over. He chatted with Dad a bit and probably noticed his breath and demeanor and suggested, “Mr. Seilhan, how about you let your wife drive.” And THAT WASN’T ANY BETTER, but I suspect the main reason he didn’t just bring Dad up on charges right there was he noticed us kids in the back seat and didn’t want to scare the shit out of us or get social services involved. That’s my theory. Dude’s probably long dead by now (he was middle-aged then) and I can’t prove anything. I could tell this was the first Carrie had heard of this incident, but it is testimony to how badly Dad has fucked everything up that she wasn’t surprised, either.

But everyone else’s gonna tell themselves I left because I’m lazy. Sure, Jan.

Then we stopped at Walmart on the way back. Carrie got gas and I got some more Atkins shakes (I have been living on those things, with varying degrees of whatever, for the past couple weeks) and a twelve-pack of Diet Dr. Pepper because I’ve been drinking up Carrie’s. I tried to use up the last of my gift cards but I just happened to wind up at a checkout that had a faulty hand-scanner. Well, I need to check my balances. Could be I used it all up already and didn’t know. I did have some balance, but not as much as I’d expected.

Carrie stopped at some random house in the Iota area after that and dropped off $20 because a former student of hers lives there and just graduated high school. It is this particular class and she got particularly attached to them and so she’s been giving each of the students $20 for a bit now as graduation gifts. And that is just the sort of person she is.

She got us all back to the house and I checked the mail and my carry-on bag’s here. It’ll do. I could wish for it to be slightly larger but it has a shoulder strap which will probably function as a cross-body, and it’s small enough I should be able to handle it easily.

Corey came over when he was done with his whatever, we exchanged greetings and hugs (damn, I don’t think I have seen him since he was in grade school and now he’s a husband and father???), and he and Carrie took off. Carrie told me before she left to call Brenda if I needed anything and texted me Brenda’s number. Brenda for her part looked in on me and reminded me to let her know if I needed anything. I think we’ve got that much sorted.

After they were gone, I finally pulled the trigger and bought the tickets. I am wowed by the technological advances in taking bus transit. I have both tickets on my phone AND in my email inbox and it’s basically scan the barcode the whole way, every time I change buses.

And now we wait. I feel a bit of a fanny staying here this many days waiting for Sunday, but if I use the time wisely then I can prepare properly. I don’t know if I will get all the prep done well, BUT, I’ll get some of it. I feel fairly confident about that. If I have to leave a few things here, oh fucking well. I’ll make sure they’re absolutely replaceable. Someone will find a use for them. Fair trade for the checked bag and wallet, I think.