All in the Family

I have been causing trouble since before I was born. Once, when I was but a wee embryo, my mother, Kara, went to the gynecologist for a routine ultrasound. She lay down and the doctor put that gooey stuff that slides around and is like "ew" except you can't say ew because you're already paying a lot of money for this and also you're kind of depending on the person slathering copious amounts of grey ooze onto your stomach to deliver your baby into this world safe and sound so you can't exactly say "hey, maybe not this," because a) what if the grey stuff is vital to the health of your baby and if you don't do it your child will come into the world looking like the frog baby that was all over the news in like 2012 except with slightly less arms and b) you do not want to make the gyno angry because once again you have to rely on this person for your child's health and safety and if they get angry who knows what could happen? Maybe they'll put agent orange in the goo next time and then you'll have a conehead baby and I bet that hurts like a bitch when you push it out of your vagina, just like I did because I was a very large child. But this is before that, so my mom's getting ready to see my naked little butt on the weird black and white screen when the gyno says that she can't see me. My mom asks "what" and the gyno says that no matter how hard they try, I just turn around and around so that no matter what my butt is always facing the monitor thingamajig. Which goes to show, I have a penchant for mooning people that has been around since I was a fetus, so if I moon you I'm sorry. I can't help it. It's part of my nature.

Luckily, causing this sort of mischief is not in my brother's nature. What is, however,is being the well-behaved one so that when I fuck up, my parents can take a big long sigh and look at Solomon and say well, at least he's not like that. Then they can go have coffee mixed with very strong wine and rest assured that at least they didn't mess up one of their kids and at least I don't get it from their side of the family. Afterwards they can set up my psych appointments and go put in a prescription for more Adderall because I used the last batch up taking the maximum FDA approved adult dose at age fifteen. While this is all happening I'm probably off getting some sort of virus on my computer [1] so they'll have another thing to deal with upon their return from wine-coffee-psychologists-Adderall land, which in all honesty sounds like a pretty damn good place to spend time in, and which my parents would not be able to experience if not for me and my mental illnesses. You're welcome, parents.

The weird thing is that I'm not the only one with a serious debilitating mental illness or five in my family. My mother and father have both had struggles of their own with issues that I share and issues I don't. My mother, especially, has been waging a war against anxiety and OCD since before I was born. This is most apparent in her and my father's differing views of how the house should look. My dad is fine if he knows where things are, and if he had his way our two-room apartment would be on one of those shows where they cut a hoarder's house in half and then slowly remove their desiccated corpse, still posed where they died like a Pompeii plaster cast seated at a computer between a pile of street signs and a blue Ikea bag filled with Bell jars.

My mom balances him out, though. Her ideal house would be "a place for everything and everything in its place" taken to an extreme that's some terrible mixture of Willy Wonka-esque insanity and Tumblr-level minimalism. Our bedrooms wouldn't have beds, they'd have slots in the walls like in that one Junji Ito comic that would perfectly fit around our bodies and every night we'd climb into them standing up to sleep because the feng shui is better like that or some other hippy-dippy bullshit my mom made up so that she wouldn't have to admit to having anxiety and tear down the wall of competence and organization she's built up over the 40-odd years she's been alive.

This tends to grate on my nerve somewhat, seeing as if I had my way it would be very similar to my father's dream house, except with more books and slightly less coffee. With this discrepancy in organizational aspirations, cleanliness is a bit of a touchy subject around my mom and me. If I so much as leave a stack of only two or three books in the bathroom, she'll go berserk, and if she dares touch one of my precariously tilting piles of things I can't be bothered to clean up [2] I'll flip out immediately and make an effort to leave things even more messy than they already are just to spite her. This, of course, backfires enormously onto me, seeing as she's my mother and although when I have a house of my own I can be perfectly content to live in squalor, for now I'm living in her domain and I must do as she says. (In actuality, I'm at a residential treatment center at the time of this writing [3], but the point still stands.)

1 This is a lie. It's my parents who get viruses on their computer and then I have to clean it out. In reality I'm probably dicking around writing code that will fuck up my computer beyond all repair until I magically figure out which line to edit that will turn it into the calculator it was supposed to be in the first place and not the hideous technological death machine it has inadvertently become.

2 These are her words. In my words it would be one of my deposits, and I would insist that I definitely know where everything is so there's absolutely no need for an organizational system of any kind, now is there.

3 More on this later. Believe me, it's a fun topic.