“No alcohol! No drinks, no alcohol!” My mom announced after my little sister suggested we buy some wine to liven up Christmas eve. My little sister made extensive plans that night to visit the family of other friends, leaving me with my aunt and Mom. They sat on the couch and spouted about their miserable lives and how my little sister would be late for midnight tamales. “Yes all of these kids make other plans and just leave us here, that’s why Kevin moved to New York,” my mom said as I sat on the couch. “Well it’s not like you two are a barrel of laughs,” I replied, though they didn’t understand it, or chose not to.
While I visited Los Angeles for Christmas I grew several zits on my face; one of which grew to a small giant and exploded in a volcano of puss. Above this zit my left eye swam in a tiny sea of red, that’s how I had arrived. I had eaten pancake covered in syrup which resulted in a sore developing in my lower left lip. I had accidentally bitten down on that sore during lunch at In-N-Out causing my mouth to bleed.
While I cleaned pus and blood I thought to myself that this was the first year in my life that I wondered why I even bothered with trips to Los Angeles every Christmas. A small part of me felt guilty, as in if I don’t go back to that arid nasty place, then I would betray my family. Another part of me doesn’t give a shit, I was bleeding from the mouth for chrissakes.
My little sister showed up in time for midnight tamales to many frowns. “Dude, save me,” she said. I wish I could say to her some words of wisdom about the enduring and rewarding love of blood family, but then they started praying to plastic figurines in front of a Christmas tree.
Dude save me.