The skies opened up after lunch yesterday canceling me and Rosa's grand plans for the day. Great crashing booms lumbered in the sky with bright flashes of lightning that made you jerk and cringe with every bolt. We had a torrential downpour for over two hours flooding the streets.
"It's the heat," I told Rosa. "My grandfather would call these heat storms."
One of the last big flashes of lightning and subsequent booms of thunder knocked out my cable TV and the Internet. Even though I wasn't using the Internet at the time, I felt lost. I listen to all my radio programs online these days.
"I think you are addicted," Rosa told me as I whined about it being down.
"No I am not," I said defensively.
Rosa laughed and then told me I was in denial as I curled up on the couch with my most recent book.
I will tell you what I am addicted to and that is World of Warcraft. I haven't had a game suck me in and be such a time sink since I was married many years ago. God knows, I needed a diversion then, but really don't need one now. Thankfully, Rosa isn't rabidly jealous of the game like my ex-wife was of my past time and online friends. I finally gave up gaming due to Rachel because I got tired of the continual fights. Rachel knew when she married me that I liked to game and then wanted me to change after the honeymoon. It was exasperating.
Mom and dad came over last night bearing a supper of meat loaf, field peas, glazed carrots, creamed potatoes, and cornbread. We all sat around my kitchen table talking. I have to act ignorant and subservient to my father.
"I washed my sheets and comforters today," I told him like a child showing him my report card.
"Good," he said, "I am proud of you. You need to do the little things that keep life going."
I realize I live two lives. The quiet, mousy life I portray for my parents, and the adventurous life I share with Rosa with our jaunts to the shopping center and around town. I would find it interesting to hear how many other mentally ill people have to play certain roles within their families to keep the peace.
"Have you had any symptoms lately?" my father then asked.
"I keep wanting to go live in my car down by the river."
My father raised an eyebrow. I said it just to jerk his chain. I was feeling devilishly mischievous.
"Well, just don't act on that urge," he said.
I sat musing over who was actually in control here. I don't do it very much, but if my family gets to being too overbearing then I feign symptoms and craziness. They will lay off of me then. It is a way I have found to protect myself from their constant meddling and manipulation of my life. Nothing scares my father more than when I start talking about living homeless again - the epitome of self imposed craziness.