Marbach am Neckar “It was great meeting you, even though it took til now.”
“Yeah, well, that’s life sometimes.”
“Yes, but you’re family.”
My Father’s Day was such a mindfuck on multiple different levels. I’ve already blogged about taking my brother to a sex shop (See: A Good Start). What I haven’t talked about, though, is the cookout we went to before I happened to push my brother a step or two more towards sexual freedom.
I learned about the Father’s Day cookout about two days before I attended it. My brother mentioned it over text, seeking out my company and a ride. I said yes because…well, I’m a good daughter. I figured I’d just suck it up and deal, even though I knew it would be awkward.
And awkward it was.
It was held at (wait for it) my step-cousin’s house. My step mother’s (still feels weird to say that) nephew’s house.
The home was gorgeous. He obviously was well-to-do, with a two car garage, back patio, wood deck above it, and an in-ground pool, as well as enough lawn on the side of the house for a badminton net. Yet looking past the extravagance of the home, our cousin was quite welcoming, only pausing for a moment in our introduction.
As my brother and I found our father, made our plates, sat and ate, I looked around at all the faces I didn’t know. Children, parents, grandparents. Drinking, swimming, laughing. It was…odd.
My brother, though, was completely at ease, having grown up knowing some of the folks in attendance, casually slipping into conversation with our step mother.
I just sat there, not knowing what to say or do, slowly eating my barbecue.
As people chatted, our step-cousin again came over. He and my brother some how stumbled upon the subject of cigars. They casually left to partake of their tobacco, leaving me alone to sink or swim as I would.
I sat, smiling, trying to not feel as awkward as I felt. When conversation didn’t come, I found myself playing on my iPhone, reading political blogs.
Finally I couldn’t take the long slow crawl towards an acceptable time to leave anymore. I got up to find my brother. He was, along with our cousin, just above my head, smoking their cigars on the wooden deck above.
As I crept out, I saw them relaxed and chatting. My cousin offered me one of his sticks and encouraged me to smoke with them. I accepted his cigar, but said I wouldn’t smoke it then. Instead I wanted to save it for my upcoming camping trip.
I sat with them, finally able to slip into a conversation, finally relaxed. When my brother’s cigar started forming a racetrack, I helped him fix it. When he wanted to save the last half of his smoke, I instructed him in the proper way to expel the gas and cut the cherry off.
Our father soon joined us. As we sat, our Dad began taking pictures of us. I’m sure it was a good moment for him.
And then, finally, it was time to go. Dad can’t drive when it’s dark and his exit was my hard limit for us staying.
As we departed, our cousin hugged me, gave me his phone number, and asked me to keep in touch.
“It was great meeting you, even though it took til now.”
“Yeah, well, that’s life sometimes,” I quipped.
“Yes, but you’re family.”
His words struck me, because we were not related, at least not by blood, and he hadn’t even known I existed a day ago. My brother later explained our cousin had grown up with both our older half brother and our half sister who died before we were born.
My brother suspected I looked like her.
Categorised as: Family
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