Saturday, February 26, 2011

Aunt Michelle

I haven't been around to post for a little while, and I suppose that's my fault. I've had kind of an eventful two weeks.

Firstly, Angel has finally flipped shit about me. A couple of days after my last post, a completely unrelated annoyance (and a completely ridiculous one; I may tell you if you ask nicely, but it's not important) set her off, and she just kept on going until she got to me.

The thing about Angel is that it's not just what she says; it's her tone, her movements, her entire body language that seems to scream a warning like a snake's rattle. I knew this was a long time coming; despite being all comfort and support on the outside, her passive-aggressive nature couldn't be hidden, and she was leaning less and less toward Oh, my stepdaughter has been severely traumatized, so I should back off, and more and more toward This little bitch needs to get over that shit.

I mean, she doesn't know about Christmas. Or about Zero or Ulryc. Or Zeke. And I don't want her to. I would never trust her with that information. And she grew up do I put this lightly? Oh, fuck it -- she's white trash. She was raised around drug dealers and criminals; she wouldn't even let Sheriff Thomson or Detective Goldman in the house if she didn't think it was useful to have a cop friend. She blames me for bringing the FBI around, and thinks that I've been lying and that Vi and I are involved in some sort of shady underground criminality.

So when she was through with me, she stormed right out the door and over to the neighbor's driveway, where the car with the Virginia tags was parked. She got the driver out of the car -- surprise, surprise, it was an agent after all, albeit a younger-looking one than Keaton or de Vries -- and proceeded to tear him a new one. He threatened to call the local police to have her arrested. She threatened to call her boot to go on an important mission in his ass.

Sometimes, having a crazy, cop-paranoid stepmother comes in handy; I don't think I'm going to be followed as closely now. I mean, they'll probably still keep tabs on me, but not car-in-neighbor's-driveway close.

When she got back from doing that, she opened up on me again for lying about Violet and my "online fucking psychopath boyfriend -- what, you think I haven't told that Keaton about all that time you spend on the computer?!" Honestly, I let that slide. Yes, I have been lying to them -- it's not what they think I'm lying about, but thinking I deal drugs with my partner-in-crime Vi and I'm obsessed with a felon isn't nearly as bad as knowing the truth. I don't think they'd be able to handle it.

On a sadder of the reasons I haven't posted is because of my Aunt Michelle.

Michelle Flynn is my aunt on my mother's side, and for a long time in my childhood, she was my favorite person in the world. She's my mom's youngest sister (Ma's the very middle of seven), and she's forty-seven years old now. Until recently, she had gingery, aurburny hair, just like me. I have her eyes, too, the ones that can't decide whether to be blue or green.

When I was going through my big bout of depression in the beginning of high school, she would call me every night just to talk and get things out. She knew how much I'd loved living by the ocean as a kid, and how I felt about boys and school and writing and theater. I say she'd call on the phone because more often than not, she was out jetsetting -- Aunt Michelle made a killing buying, fixing up, and selling houses, or sometimes, renting them out instead. It's a hard field, she'd always say to me. You have to be on your toes, or you'll go under faster than an anemic on Novocain. She could always turn a phrase when she wanted to.

And she wouldn't sell all of her houses; she kept the ones she truly loved. To my knowledge, she had houses in London, New York, Rome, and Los Angeles. But her favorite was her house in Paris; she spent most of her time there, she said, now that she'd established herself in the business and made enough to take breaks. She'd always tell me how I should come and see her there. We sort of grew apart in the last few years, just sort of calling each other every few months to check in, and she came to visit around the holidays a lot.

My Aunt Michelle is dying.

She didn't tell us when she'd first been diagnosed with ovarian cancer a year and a half ago. It took us a few months to find out, and when we did, I saw just how good Irish families can be at circling the wagons. She's been given six weeks to live for the last six months, but we all know that this can only keep up for so long. She came back to Baltimore last Monday and has been staying at her apartment here. Different members of the family have been in at different times, and I've tried to get down as much as I can, too.

Her hair is mostly gone, only withered strands sticking around, and she covers them with a hat that I got her for Christmas the year I turned fourteen. Her eyes are glazed and it looks like she's about to cry all the time. I feel bad for not calling her more over the past few years. She was so amazing to me, but I just got all caught up in my own life. I feel guilty for not pressuring her to spend this Christmas with us, but she seemed so sure that she'd be able to make it to next year that she refused. Now she says she's not feeling so sure, but that it's okay because she never liked Christmas much anyway. I feel guilty for being caught up in this shit and not even giving her a mention in this blog before now, when it's not going to make any difference. I feel guilty for living so selfishly when she's been selfless to her family her entire life, and she's dying.

It's not fair. It's not fair that people like Angel and Keaton and Practical fucking Cat can do so much harm, and they're alive and well, but Michelle Flynn -- who probably never even dreamed of anything as evil as what we're trying to fight -- isn't able to make it to fifty.

It's just. Not. Fair.


  1. I know, Celeste. It's not fair, and nothing I or anyone else can say could possibly make it any better.

    But don't lose faith, don't lose hope.

  2. Nothing is, but she's going to somewhere where you won't have to worry about her being placed on the board, and where she's certainly free of the ravages of cancer. Take heart in that, as trite and cliche a cinema line as it may be.

  3. ...that's what my grandma had. I'm so sorry...

    But going along the lines of what Thage said, she won't be hurting anymore. And they won't ever be able to get her.

    So she'll be free.

    ~ Branwen

  4. I'm so sorry Celie. I'd give you a hug if I could.

    Feel free to mail me any time:


  5. Cancer.

    It is ironic that the first post of your's I can comment on is on something so very close to my heart.

    You...don't know me, but Cancer is...let's say a sticking point with my family.

    I wish you luck and strength.

  6. I'm sorry to hear about your Aunt. Try and visit her often, make the most of your time with her as much as you can. :/