jumping jacks and bunk beds
this weekend my cousins and i all went out on a boat, so that we could be dragged around the bay in a huge tube. my experience with toobing (sp. intentional) is limited to lazily floating down a river and consuming copious amounts of lone star, so this was pretty new to me.
the damn thing is awful huge, and no one explained that you're supposed to kind of lay in a supine position across it, so i ended up trapped along the bottom as it skipped along the wake of salt water. this was nearly a week ago and my arms are still sore from hanging on (i really thought that i was going to die); i'm covered in bruises and the whole time i thought why on earth would
anyone want to do this?
but i sucked it up and went back out, figured out how to kind of perch on the side and had a blast with my cousins. i think i'm more sore from laughing (abs, you know) than from the huge ass bruises that cover the front of my legs.
monday morning we all got up around 4AM to go running in houston. except most of us backed out on account of being A) too sore B) still drunk C) hungover
or a combination of the above. we stayed up late, drinking beer and telling shaggy dog and old coy stories on the dock. it was just "the kids" (the youngest of us being 18 and all) and uncle pat, who very aptly demonstrated the lack of peril in handling jumping jack fireworks. we had been lighting them and throwing them at one another for some time and i was just a tad shy about the whole thing, so he held one in his hand, lit it and let it spritz out right there. see? no problem!
then ian threw one at his feet and it jumped right up the leg of his shorts and burned the hell out of his ass. there was a hole the size of new jersey right on the butt of his patriotic red white and blue attire!
for the rest of the evening our stories and laughter were punctuated by the drunken uncle sutra "my ass still hurts!"
we all went upstairs to crash around 2 but karl and i got tickled and laughed (guffawed, really) for about an hour before passing out -- sunburned and shinered, sore and silly. i don't think i'll ever forget the over a/c'd air, tucked into the bottom bunk while he hung his head over the top bunk, his hair in his eyes while we traded college anecdotes and spent a good ten minutes in pure laughter.
it was so good to be with family. about fifty people showed up. we caught crabs and caught up on each others lives, ate incredible amounts of food and consumed much beer. i love the stories they all tell, over and over -- the way each aunt or uncle remembers it just a tad differently. this is a storytelling family. they hold their history close and share it through spoken word, narratives spilling out when we come together in this odd joyous beautiful manner that i've never experienced elsewhere.
i caught a slice of identity this weekend, remembered things i didn't know. these people know me, held me as an infant, a toddler, built drip castles on the beach and drizzled sand on sunbleached porches, scrached my name in concrete... and held me up as i suffered in adolescence.
there is an oral history that i can't put down in words. i can tell you our stories, but i can't share the laughter of six siblings and several cousins, the embellishments and play-arguments mid-anecdote.
some stories can only be told right among the people who share them.