How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Hello Darling Ones,

Last week, for the first time in a very, very, very, even before Wendell came to live here, long time I slept some place that wasn’t Supergenius HQ.

It sucked & I hated it. Kind of.

The details of why my sisters, Ben, and I ended up at an AirBNB on Lake Wissota in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin are boring. And as I type, I realize that writing about my family is always complicated and feels like it always requires tons of backstory. This is a little apropos because while we were together, Sister #2, Sister #4, and I discussed how we refer to Sister #3 and what we say when people ask about siblings.

Sister #4 and I both say we have three sisters and leave it at that. Sister #2 says she has three sisters but one is estranged. I like that she’s actual and factual, but I’m of the belief that nobody cares about the details of any given situation. Except for you, Darling Ones, you care about all the details.

The trip was not great for me. I enjoyed the food (cheese curds for days) and reminiscing/catching up with Sister #4’s childhood BFF, Angel, who we’ve known for thirty years. Unlike my sisters who consider themselves having grown up in Chippewa Falls, I do not. My memories of that time and place are not happy ones. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that until I was already at the ridiculously decorated lake house.

Chippewa Falls to me is just loneliness, betrayal, hunger, and fear. So much fear. This is the place my parents moved to right before my senior and moved out of right before Sister #2’s senior year. It’s where we were homeless for about four months. It’s where I learned my mom did not put down the deposit to secure my place in the freshman class at UWEC, a fact she conveniently forgot to mention until I called up the school to find out when orientation was only to learn I’d missed it. It’s where Sister #2 and I basically survived off food we stole from our jobs. It’s where I was sexually assaulted for the first time.

I have a few small, happy memories, but for the most part the place it holds in my memory is just three years of suck. It should not be surprising that going back was not a lot of fun for me, and yet it still surprised me. I’d been back a few times since leaving in the fall of 1993 but it never hit me quite the same way it did last week. Maybe it was all the time I spent quietly staring out at the lake while my sisters and Angel reminisced.

Or maybe it was because I was fucking tired. The sleeping was not a good time. I’m a giant and sleeping on a double or maybe it was a queen sized bed was zero fun. I got very little sleep because I was convinced I was one flinch away from falling off the bed, crashing onto the floor, and suffering a traumatic brain injury from the “Good morning, Gorgeous” word art falling on my head. Lack of sleep makes me a little bit dramatic. I starfished in the middle of that bed made for ants and my arm after my elbows and my legs well before my feet were hanging off of it.

Anyway, that’s how I spent my summer vacation. Very good food and company, very bad memories of the past.

Verily yours,

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