strategems for squatting; "let’s get a taco"

Days ago I pushed for an upstairs “living room” despite an initially uncooperative family (P.S. it worked out well enough, and my brother apologized for his reticence over moving his possessions, which I thought was very sweet of him, and I apologized that our move-in even happened, goddamnit, because I have not enjoyed displacing other people for our own needs). But as many Kelly Plans end up proving, my push for this space was a very smart move. No longer are we living in a two-room hotel situation – we have a whole wing of a house. In the mornings I have a rule that they are not allowed downstairs until I can go with them; I don’t need them all up in the Grampen’s business first thing in the morning. I also ask that we do some room and personal cleanup: making beds, toothbrushing, and (usually) getting dressed – before we descend.

So this morning we go downstairs and as they eat their breakfast I wash the dishes and clean the kitchen counters. Then I send the children upstairs to play while I do “computer stuff”. I know it probably doesn’t make sense to you, dear reader, but writing about my life has become an addiction. I wish I did it more, I wish I did it better. But the point is, it has become important to my own integrity, peace of mind, and whatever “body of work” I am creating to do it as often as I can. And without a space of our own upstairs, I wouldn’t have that ability. They’d be downstairs running amock and my father would be pissed, or maybe that’s just the way he always looks (thirty years and I’m still not sure!).

The children love having their toys here, love having bedrooms and “a living room”, and love having exact places to put our things and it really is possible for me to feel a sense of order and a lack of “cooped up”. Which makes all the difference in the world. P.S. No one except Ralph has truly acknowledged that his work is up and swimming the way it was expected to, and my work is a big cock-up. By “no one” I mean specifically my mom, who considers St. Ralph the most important in the family re: happiness, because he’s a man and because he throws bigger tantrums than me when he’s unhappy so must be mollified at all costs. I’m glad she dotes on him, honestly I am. She only dotes on me less because she thinks I don’t need coddling.

Boring, boring. In other news: today, our first visit to one of the many, many Mexican restaurants here. Guess what HQX has PT didn’t? Fucking chicken tamales. OK, yes PT friends, Rosa’s Mexi-Cart had amazing tamales. Where the fuck was she, ever? And why did they sell out by 10:30 AM every Saturday at the Farmer’s Market? Could you buy a bigger truck? Because all you’re doing, Rosa, is making me get my hopes up for tamales, and then – no tamale.

The food was good at this place and of course, reasonably priced. Even: we ordered just after two tables of four, but got our order first, and I believe this is because it was myself and two ninos. How sweet! My children ate their weight in authentic pinkish refried beans and rice and I grudgingly even let them have some tamale, although the relleno was mine, all mine.

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