The Legendary Patio Burger

America, Charles at Granite Falls is the best waiter ever.

No, seriously, hands down the best waiter ever. And I’m going to tell you why.

Every time I go into Granite Falls, I make some sad comment about how there’s no longer the Patio Burger on the menu. Today was no exception. I was telling the Queen and Ms. B. about how it’s not something I would ever intentionally eat on a burger–pepper, sour cream, onions, and baby spinach–but that I ate one by accident and have loved them ever since. Then, I complained because they’d taken them off the menu and though their regular burgers are still fine, they are no Patio Burger.

And do you know what that cool ass motherfucker did?!

America, he brought us out three specially made for us Patio Burgers.

No, I am not kidding.

I tipped that dude 50%, let me tell you.

And for the record, they were as awesome as I remember and I savored every bite knowing I might never have it again.

Granite Falls, Revisited

I’m about to go have lunch with the Queen and the Divine Miss B. at Granite Falls. I cannot wait. I am, of course, going to have a burger. I am also, of course, going to bitch about the fact that they no longer have the Patio Burger.

Then, I’m going to take Miss B. and Mrs. Wigglebottom to the park. It will be a tad warmer than Mrs. Wigglebottom prefers, so we may have to make it a park with a puddle for splashing.

Then, later tonight, if I can stay awake that long, I will get drunk with my friends and sing for them all a little Charlie Daniels about poor girls and rich girls and college and work. They won’t get it, but it’ll make me happy.

Resurrecting Memories that I Thought were Dead and Gone

This is how I spent 80% of my childhood–like I did last night–caught up in the malignant chaos that is the real spiritual center of our family.

That was bad enough–that malignant chaos–like any storm, there were little lightning strikes–fat, stupid, ugly, faggy, incompetent, etc. bullshit that hit us all the time, but you got used to it, kind of, and you learned to live with it, mostly, because my god, you did not want that chaos to find something to organize around. Best if it just discharged regularly in small ways.

Because, when there was something, something to give it shape, it was going to tear through the house until someone got beat or someone left or someone was hysterically crying–mostly the beating and crying together, but sometimes all three.

The Butcher has never really forgiven my dad for all the times he left and swore he was never coming back to his shitty, shitty family. I have never really forgiven him for not keeping his word.

I love my parents, but I don’t know why they decided to have children. They waited five years. I think to convince themselves that they wouldn’t do to their kids what my dad’s father did to his. Well, thanks for that small favor. I’d have died if you ever beat my friends up. Still, none of my childhood friends like you, so it’s not like you made up any points there.

My dad would knock the recalcitrant brother around clear into high school. It didn’t keep him off drugs. It didn’t keep him from knocking random women he hardly knew up. It didn’t make him a better man. And it didn’t rid my dad of his demons.

I don’t know how long things went on with the Butcher, because I left for college. Somehow, I don’t think it was like it was for the recalcitrant brother, because the Butcher does not remind my dad of himself.

I don’t remember being beat very often. Because I am a girl* and I’ll start crying long before there’s physical violence. Still, I managed to stop crying at fifteen, because that was the year I spent devising ways to kill myself that wouldn’t hurt anyone’s feelings. It was nice to have an out. My mood improved.

Y’all. I just want to be happy. I just want to have a life full of smart, interesting people who are funny and who love me. I want there to be only joyful chaos. I want the people I love to have peace and happiness. I want them to know they deserve that. But most of all, I want to know that I deserve that.**

And I don’t know how you do that, except to live the life you hope you deserve.

So, that’s what I choose. Even if being happy has to mean that I have to be open to experiences, even ones that hurt me. Even if it means that I have to be alone in order to feel safe. Even if it means we set up some new rules about when and how often they can show up here.

Even if I don’t believe I deserve it, I’m going to live the life I hope I deserve.

* It occurs to me that those of you who are already convinced that my opinion of men must surely be based on my constant exposure to killer hobos will read this and say “Aha, this is why she’s a feminist.” Maybe so. It doesn’t negate the fact that I’m right.

** I hope you all know me well enough to know that I’m telling you all this for my own self, so I can try to understand some shit, and not because I’m looking for sympathy. When the day comes that I’m looking for sympathy, I promise to start a LiveJournal with the rest of the miserable. (I kid, I kid!)

The Seven Haiku of My Evening

“Your Dad is so mean.”
“Your Mom drives like she’s insane.”
“But now we are here.”

The dark dog secret
She once bit my cousin, hard.
Play careful, nephew.

“God damn it, I said
be careful with that damn dog.
Listen to Grandpa!”

They erupt in here
Like a volcano you know
But still you’re surprised.

Keep my mind on beer.
Golden warm in my stomach.
Beer will save me.

Get your son and leave.
I’ll drink until I don’t care.
(That thought turns bitter.)

The rot leaves a stink.
Even beer’s no salvation.
You ruin it all.

The Vacation Never Ends

I’ll give y’all three guesses who’re sitting in my living room right now and the first two don’t count.

And this day started out so nice, with Led Zeppelin and everything…