Today has not been a good day. Aside from going into month three of unemployment, which actually has not been that bad, other than the being broke part, David and Cameron once again spent the entire day hurling insults and objects at each other. When David wasn’t around Cameron spent every waking minute talking me through the line-ups of each of his fantasy football teams.
David wigged out on me this afternoon because I wouldn’t go to Target to buy him a new calculator for school. I had the audacity to suggest he look for his old one. He called me two quite disrespectful names, and I locked myself in my room like a child for the rest of the afternoon and refused to speak to him. In between ransacking the kitchen in an feeding frenzy, Cameron served as his spokesman, insisting that David was remorseful. I was forced to break my silence when Barry called my cell phone and asked me to help David find his mouth guard for football practice so he’d stop calling his office every other minute.
Later I picked up Justin and Alex. All was fine until Justin started beating on Cameron. I told Cameron about five times to leave and put his stuff away in his room, but he didn’t, and just kept letting Justin kick him. The fight culminated with Cameron’s dramatic exit, which resulted in Justin tossing a board at him as an exclamatory parting shot. Meanwhile Alex was crying about too many things to mention, and I locked myself in the bathroom at one point to stop him from hanging on my leg.
After dropping David off at football practice, Barry went out to mow the lawn and Justin was eagerly ready to go “lawnmower” behind him until they got into some dispute about gum. So Justin cried for a good ten minutes. Cameron continued to badger me about downloading a song on his iPod. Alex started doing “twirls” in the living room and was momentarily happy.
I was going to stop by Target for some personal items on my way to picking David up and didn’t plan on taking Alex because every trip to the store with him turns into a demand for another princess toy (which is a whole story in itself). However you have to be a cat burglar to get out of the house without him noticing. He insisted he would not ask for a princess, which he naturally reneged on halfway to the store. Despite my warnings that we were not going to look at princesses or buy princesses, he did not listen, and I ended up dragging him out screaming, and then wrestling him into his car seat, and then stopping and buckling him three times before getting out of the parking lot because he kept undoing his seat belt as a retaliatory strike.
By the time I got home after picking up David I’d had enough. I got Alex into the house, managed to sneak out with my camera bag, and escaped. There were some beautiful clouds, and I thought I could get a few nice sunset pictures. I called home, and both Barry and Cameron answered. Barry hung up, thinking Cameron was messing with the phone. I had a frustrating five-minute conversation with Cameron telling him to put his dad on the phone, and him asking me where I was. He eventually hung up on me. I called back. Barry was not surprised I’d left. He asked me to bring him home some candy. What kind, I asked. “Something as sweet as you,” he said in a thinly disguised attempt to ensure that I would actually return home again.
I drove west, chasing my sunset, trying to find a spot unobstructed by trees and power lines. The heavens were a brilliant crimson and gray, the “red skies at night, sailors delight” kind of sky. I made a turn onto what I thought was a through street that would lead to the country, but got caught up in the twisted, curving streets of a residential neighborhood with no outlet. By the time I would my way back to the highway, the red was gone. I never did manage to get even a shot of the rest of the faded sun. This is why Kansas sunsets are far superior. Five minutes any direction from my parents’ house and I have a wide open space to view the horizon.
I stopped at the convenience store to get Barry’s candy. There was a guy on stilts. Stilts. Inside the store. Walking around. For a moment I thought I was in a weird dream. But he kept walking, and resumed touching up some paint on the walls. Of course when I came home, the tennis match that I wanted to just settle in and watch before I had my meltdown was well underway. I missed a tightly contested first set that ended with a tiebreaker. It’s been that kind of day.
The good news is I checked out a book at the library today called Murder City: Ciudad Juárez and the Global Economy’s New Killing Fields. I’m excited to get started on it. Should be a nice pick-me-up.