Might as well write off today, too

So I have this cousin, whom I loved, who ran away and joined some freaky religious cult a few years ago. She had a normal life; gorgeous, educated, great husband (high-school sweetheart), beautiful little boy — fucking fairy-tale life.

I remember when she split from her husband, my innocence died that day. I mean it — she was my idol, back then. I wanted so very much to be her when I grew up. And I believed that if THEIR love couldn’t last, well, the rest of us probably didn’t stand a chance.

So then she meets this loon. I mean, Jesus freak and just all-around oddball who left you feeling creeped out. I was in my teens at the time, so yeah, I didn’t want to be left alone with him. Anyway, she married him, and had an adorable daughter. (The daughter looks like her, thank God.)

So anyway, they were trying, one by one, to brainwash us into their way of thinking. I don’t know — instead of knocking on your door and talking your ear off, they invited you to them for a nice lunch and great talks about this weird little sect they’d just joined. Bizarre.

Anyway, I don’t remember the whole story, but my cousin decided to cut connections with all of us. Whatever — in my family, disowning someone is pretty regular, so nobody really thinks about it. But her sister and best friend was at the top of the list to be booted out of her life, and on down to her niece and nephew and finally her ex and her son. Strange.

Then, they evaporated from town. I vaguely remember the people in their neighborhood accusing the loon, who was a stay-at-home type, of looking in people’s windows and in particular spying on all the women of the street. I could believe that, but I think some more serious allegations were made, which I really didn’t buy — I think that was just suburbia being suburbia.

So they upped and left. *poof* No forwarding address, no contact, nothing. Rumors abounded that they left the state (Pennsylvania) and joined some sort of group in some mountains somewhere. (This was 15 years ago — I really don’t remember.)

So my mom calls me and said she heard from the cousin’s sister, who never really wants anything to do with anybody. Minus my mom and my grandfather, this is not an affectionate family — we immerse ourselves in our heads and do our damndest to hold the world at arm’s length. So that my cousin V. wasn’t interested in having a relationship with any of us, it was fine. At least she didn’t fall off the earth like her sister D.

Mom called me yesterday, to say V. had finally, finally reached out to her. She just wanted to know her sister wasn’t dead, that goofball hadn’t killed her. Goofball did surface recently — the grapevine passed it along that D. left him recently. So he called V. to say if he hears from her, tell her to come back to him.

So she tells my mom all of this and says she doesn’t know how to find her. She doesn’t even want to talk to her — she just wants to have some peace that her sister is OK. So Mom calls me because, by necessity, I know a thing or 20 about finding people in their little foxholes.

And my little tricks basically went to no use. I found her on the first try.

And she’s only two towns over. Maybe a 30-mile drive, if that. That’s as far as she got.

I did find her based on what I thought she was doing for a living. I kid you not — powerful career, which is how I found her — at work. No wonder goofball stayed at home. He never needed to leave the house, not with what she was capable of doing in the workforce.

So Mom called the number I gave her. She answered, and Mom hung up. It was her voice, no doubt.

I know Mom was going to call V. to tell her. I mean, there’s no real hiding in the Internet world, but it’s not something they know thing one about.

Anyway, I just tell this story to illustrate the bizarro week around these parts. This doesn’t even scratch the surface of the chaos that has reigned in my world this week.

For me, I’m happy knowing she’s alive and well and that she left him. Good for her. I’m also proud that she managed to rise to the top of her game, despite whatever brainwashing that fool was trying to do to her. I guess I tie everything back to how fragile life is, and how the decision to associate with someone can really, if not put your life in danger, really fuck up the other good things that you have going for you. Who you marry, what college you go to, who you befriend — everything’s a decision. Do it wisely, I guess is what I take away from all of this.

Comments closed.