Monday, August 31, 2009

146.59 Miles

On Friday, I'll be packing my three favorite R.E.M. t-shirts and tearing up I-77 toward my hometown to visit my wonderful parents and their nasty little dog. Not only will I get to sleep under the watchful eye of the Springsteen poster I tacked up one seventh grade summer and eat things that weren't dumped out of dented cans, I'll also get to see my sister, Runtie, for the first time in forever.

Until last August, we just lived four or five Cracker Barrels away from each other and hung out at least once a month, gorging ourselves on pepperoni-encrusted mistakes and watching direct-to-DVD horror movies, only peeling ourselves off the sofa long enough to get another Diet Coke or shoot fireworks off my balcony. Then--almost exactly a year ago--she moved to the midwest and now going to see her requires boarding and deplaning more than one regional jet or spending half a day on various unspectacular interstates. Either way, it's a supersized bowl of Suck.

Runtie and I couldn't be more different but we also couldn't be closer. We share a love for animals dressed as humans, Oreo Cakesters and Christopher Meloni's one facial expression, but that's where the similarities end. She is a nurse who is engaged to a doctor. My romantic prospects are limited to my building's recently-paroled maintenance man who told me that I could be a real catch if I grew some tits.1

Runtie and Dr. Fiancé recently bought a house and will be closing on it later this week. Yesterday I purchased two boxes of Food Lion brand fish sticks. She graduated from nursing school with honors and has held a steady job ever since. I'm a semi-employed blogger whose recent accomplishments are limited to illegally downloading the first season of Family Ties and being able to recall Roger Clemens' 1986 ERA in conversation.2

Runtie is Gallant. I am Goofus.

We're both descending on the only real home address we've ever had to celebrate our mother's birthday. Runtie will no doubt present her with a thoughtful, quite possibly handcrafted gift that reflects what an unbelievable mom she has been, one that appropriately thanks her for subletting her uterus to the two of us for a combined 18 months. I'll be giving her either a framed copy of my latest dental X-rays or a somewhat unevenly wrapped box of Sour Patch Kids, although I will take the time to remove the shitty flavors.3

The last time our entire family got together, Bea Arthur died.4 As the same three clips from Maude aired on the evening news, Runtie and I stood in the kitchen passing a bowl of brownie batter across the counter to each other, scooping out oversized spoonfuls and shoving them into our faces.

Runtie was retelling a story from the previous week, something about making crucial adjustments to a patient's medications. "And then I had to consult with a phlebotomist," she said, "To ensure that the levels would be acceptable."

"Uh, yeah, I have no idea what that is," I told her, licking a glob of chocolate off my forearm. "But there are probably terms from my job that you wouldn't understand."

"Really?" she asked. "Like what?"

"Like sweatpants. And poverty."

Four more days. Sha la la la.

1 I also had a brief makeout sesh with a picture of Hugh Laurie I cut out of Parade magazine.
2 2.46.
3 Orange and yellow, obviously.
4 I'm pretty sure the two events are unrelated but I'd appreciate if one of you would keep an eye on Rue McClanahan until Sunday evening.
Oh! Here's a thing! I recently had the opportunity to chat with singer Justin Townes Earle, the 27 year old son of Nashville legend Steve Earle. Our conversation was wide ranging, covering everything from his somewhat unexpected influences to his [excellent] new album to what makes a good drug dealer.

Part 1 and Part 2 of the interview have been posted at my other hangout, BitchBuzz, a site that you should probably be reading, like, all the time.

Photo Credit: Joshua Black Wilkins


Belle said...

She probably understands sweatpants, because she gets to wear scrubs everyday, and that is what I call My Dream Job. :)

basilexposition said...

Have a great time at home with the family, J-Money!

Tara Shleser said...

Please tell me that you dry humped his leg (boxerbeast style) before the interview?!

lifestudent said...

Ah, my sis and I have much the same dynamic. One difference though... I am like your sister, and my sister is the gay version of you.

But we both do love us some raw brownie batter.

Kitty said...

I'm convinced that the love of brownie batter is a trait common to the human species. Don't argue with me! I said I'm convinced! Besides, if you disagree, you are obviously some kind of overgrown meerkat.

emmysuh said...

I love how you traveling anywhere always warrants a blog post starting with what type of screen printed T-shirt you're going to pack.

And, yeah, maybe you're not soon to be employed at the Firm of Dr. and Nurse New House, but you do run, regularly. So...that's something. That's all I'm saying.

Justin Town Earles (did I put the S in the wrong place? I can't remember) is great. If you ever come to the Nashville area, I would like to come visit you. Please and thanks. Bye.

PS. My word verifcation is "Wicul" which I think is a contraction for "wicked cool."

emmysuh said...

Oh, and PS. Have a great trip home. Man, I'm self centered. Is this your blog or mine? I get confused sometimes!

PS. This time the word verification was "cinester" which is like a bad omen from a trailer park slasher film. said...

You killed Bea Aurthur?

Drew said...

Oh my God. References to Highlights magazine. I can't believe somebody else reads that! I loved it when I was in drug rehab because that magazine actually made me feel smart.