20 Mar 2012

Rent Boy

(This post made Éditor's Pick' on Open Salon on 21 March, 2012. Don't believe me? See for yourself!)

"I'll just hang my PhD next to Black Sabbath." 
Seems I'm not the only late-20-something moving back in with parents. Most of them have reasons more logical than mine - redundancy, or a bad divorce, or cancer- but it's happening. It's a thing. More 28-year olds than ever are moving back home. As always, I'm at the cusp of something borrowed, something new. So contemporary and with it, me.

In other news, my parents still don't know I've moved back in. I suspect they suspect that something's afoot -I should never have bought that bedside lamp- but I think they think I'm just gathering up enough courage to make some sort of life-changing Announcement, and then leave.

I first got this impression when I overheard Dad's side of a phone conversation with Uncle Psy. They almost always compare notes on their offspring, because you know how women in prison supposedly synchronize their menstrual cycles? Well, Uncle Psy's boy and I almost always get in trouble at the same time. It's a thing.

We always outdo each other too. He gets caught with porn, I get caught with pot. He flunks a year, I crash a car. He joins a Satanic church, I quit my job and move back in with my parents at the grand old age of 28. So Uncle Psy is now justifiably worried if my showing up at home after seven long years spells some sort of repercussion at his end.


Uncle Psy isn't thrilled about the Church of St. Ronnie Dio.
"He just sits around," says Dad into the phone.
"Yesterday, I was reading the paper and he came down and sat across from me for two hours. No, didn't say anything."
"I'm telling you, he just sits. When I look at him, he smiles this dopey smile. Even makes conversation."
"Oh, who knows? Probably wants some money or something. Yeah, call the terrible twin, he'll know."

Then, there was this little vignette from Mom, on the phone to my sister: "I don't know, honey. Honest. We don't think it's drugs or anything, he's way too lucid to be on anything serious. Your father thinks it might be a ... you know ... sexual ... thing." (That's when my jaw dropped and shattered on the floor. Luckily, that doesn't make as much noise as you'd think.)

I didn't stay to hear the rest of that conversation. It was clear what I had to: man up, and allay my parent's fears. I would have to lie. I've decided to make a Big Announcement, it's just the kind of thing my family would do. We actually have a code of conduct too: if any of us is suspected of carrying an announcement-baby, everybody shuts the hell up and makes nice and gives him/her all the time and convenience in the world.    

They once waited seven days for me to announce that I had indeed failed to wean my goldfish off water. Poor Goldie's earthly remains waited three days in my drawer for a respectful burial, before they were carted away by a team of rowdy red ants. Watching their unholy procession over my chair and across the floor to their lair under my bed, I cried my hear out. But I couldn't tell my family yet, I wasn't ready. And they respect that where I come from.

My mom nearly cracked on the fifth day. She handed me Goldie's daily ration of fish food pellets, and seeing something broken in my face, lunged forward to fix me. She was about to burst, tell me it was over, that they knew, that I could mourn in peace. But Dad salvaged status quo, rushing to her rescue. "Here, let me get that for you buddy," he said and calmly took Mom in his hands. My sister started a slow clap, quickly joined in by Grammy. It was family drama gold.

All of which leads me to conclude I better be gay or terminally ill. After supporting me through addiction and depression and -most traumatically- an emo phase, no other announcement will be quite Big enough. I'm tempted to go with the man-love because Dad will probably want to see medical reports if I claim illness. But Uncle Psy's boy points out the danger of Dad calling my bluff - he may want proof that I'm gay.

Knowing my family, I may well end up playing out the charade of bringing home my 'boyfriend', pretending to be madly in love, never taking my eyes off Dad, both of us waiting for the other to blink. I'll have to cuddle with a man on my childhood couch, or fly a spoon-aeroplane loaded with Mom's apple custard pie into his mouth just to fool my Dad into thinking I'm gay. *Shudder*

Dad will no doubt raise the stakes, ask to meet the poor man's parents. And so on and so forth till I impale  myself on a strange man's cock on the living room floor, to the careful scrutiny of my Dad and rapturous applause from Grammy, all just to weasel free lodging and food out of my parents. I can just imagine my Dad consulting some sort of manual to make sure we're doing it right, and Grammy retrieving her dentures to congratulate us on a job well done.

The other option would be to saw off a toe, and announce I've caught a bout of leprosy.
Hmm.

Dear Twinky, I kind of have an Announcement to make....  

 

It didn't help that Twinky was also stinky. 


Neon Lights - Black Sabbath (The Ronnie James Dio years)

28 comments:

Workingdan said...

I never in my adult life had to move back in with my parents. They wouldn't allow it anyways.

There was this phase in my life where I was "somewhat" homeless but I knew not to try to move back home. I actually had to sleep on the streets a few times but I didn't dare go running back to mommy.

Hope all goes well and you are accepted by your parents!

goatman said...

"He's way too lucid to be on anything serious"
The title of your new book of short stories and encounters that you are writing under the protection and encouragement of the folks there at home.

You leave me laughing . . .

icyhighs said...

Hey Dan, "go running back to mommy" huh. Ouch!
I don't blame you, I guess its pretty pathetic but I'm no working class hero. I needed a break after a soul-sucking, depressing corporate life, and I needed to reassess my life.
Unfortunately, I was never a big saver, so I'll have to reassess at home.

icyhighs said...

Hey Goatman, I actually heard my mom say that though I think I may have been more lucid when I was tripping regularly. (I think we all say that though.) Glad you're laughing!

Sarge said...

Icy,
I did that when I first retired from the Air Force - Had to get my own place soon after. Once you are an adult you have to be your own man - you are no longer their kid.
I moved away up to Indianapolis for business reasons - and now I am moving back home - But, to my own two bedroom.
I think you have two soul mates here in our family - my younger brother and his son. My brother is a hard juicer and his kid is into something - I suspect pot or even meth. That extra bedroom may become a target of opportunity for these two assholes once I move (37 days). I do architectural art and that room is going to be my studio.
However, they are welcomed in my home - but not more than a overnight visit.
Years ago, booze had me. I was nailing a 750 of Tanqueray a day.
That ceased and I got myself focused. Do your mind and your body a favor and do a self imposed detox. I do them all of the time -
last weekend was alcohol free. Eat and get active. Get laid. There isn't anything better for refocusing than some hot Asian ass.

But, do this - Tell Mom and Dad what is going on with you. Unless they know; they can't help.

Hang in there...


Bests,

Sarge

Windsmoke. said...

Wandered over to say thank you for your Bonza yarn on Bizarre Scribble and i hope to hear from you in the future. R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio he still rocks in my book :-).

red dirt girl said...

I think goatman has the right idea. These vignettes are going to start adding up into a book of short stories. I love the airplane spoon of custard ....!

xxx

deviousdiv said...

Fucking A- i snorted tea up my nose reading this- and it hurt like a bitch.

Damn you for making me laugh at the wrong time!!!! ;)

You know- you could go all "I've just missed you". Blame Singapore for this state of mind- you could tell them how most single (and some married) Singaporeans still live with their parents because they are that close to their families.

Of course- the simple fact that most are too broke to live alone need not be raised in that conversation at all.

And the best part- you'd have beaten your cousin to hell- because nothing baffles the parents more than a bad boy turned good. ;)

That cognitive dissonance alone will buy you some time... until you can come up with a better excuse.

In short- good luck.

~deviousDiv

icyhighs said...

Haha Sarge, I can't believe you just said you know a methhead and a vino who may just be my soulmates!

I do see your point though - about getting laid. Unfortunately, my parents live in a Muslim-state type corner of India because of work.

This is my first time here since they moved, and man I had no idea there existed places like this in India. The women all wear burkhas, I'm yet to see a woman's face in this town.

So the chances of getting some lady- love is about as good as winning the lottery.
Which is of course a fantastic incentive to get the hell out of here, and sort my shit out.

icyhighs said...

Hey Windsmoke, in Dio we trust. Amen.

Red! You gotta stop saying these things, I'm too much of a dreamer as it is. You say short stories and I'm imagining movie deals and private idahos. Need to start getting real, me.

icyhighs said...

DeviousDiv, tea up your nose eh? I've done some crazy shit in my time, but tea? Calm down, sistah!

You've got a point - SG really is crazily parent-child symbiotic. Sorry I took off like that, the last few days there are a blur.

the only proper goodbye I said was to the barkeep, ha! I actually passed out and spent my last night at SG on the couch at Lot Stock.Will get around to replying to emails, and thanks, I'll need all the luck I can get.

Workingdan said...

Nothing intended by that comment. I guess I could've rephrased that. Sorry! What I meant by that was that I was too proud to even consider going home. And I am by no means, implying anything by that comment.

Nothing pathetic about doing what you got to do. No shame in going back home. If it's for the best then by all means, do so. I wouldn't think any less of you or anyone if you did. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do to find the right path!

icyhighs said...

Dan, hey man, no worries I didn't think you were implying anything personal. I quite like your forthright commentary.

To be honest, its the first time I've looked at it from an outsider's perspective - till now, it was all "ooh its going to be sop difficult to adjust etc".

Now I'm thinking bloody hell, my folks are not going to be crazy happy about what others are going to think. Which is important too, I can't just inconvenience other ppl.

Al Penwasser said...

You mean they might come back?
There goes the man cave and walk-in beer cooler.

abhilasha said...

But u Indian know!!! It's abnormal not to stay wid ur parents at any age for that matter... Even a sixty ur old stays wid 85 yr old dad... The way I look at it is far its absolutely normal... Ghar hi to aaye ho...
And to found more dramatic.. Let me add... Panchhi kahin bhi ude, fir apne gharonde mein aa hi jata hai.... Wah!! Wat a line.. :)

abhilasha said...

But u Indian know!!! It's abnormal not to stay wid ur parents at any age for that matter... Even a sixty ur old stays wid 85 yr old dad... The way I look at it is far its absolutely normal... Ghar hi to aaye ho...
And to found more dramatic.. Let me add... Panchhi kahin bhi ude, fir apne gharonde mein aa hi jata hai.... Wah!! Wat a line.. :)

icyhighs said...

It's like Rocky. There's always another sequel, and they're never as charming as they were the first time round.
If you're going to put in a man-cave and a beer cooler, you're just asking for it really!

icyhighs said...

Hi Abhilasha, yes I am Indian but I'm afraid I don't speak/understand Hindi *hangs head in shame*
I should say I live down South and I don't know anybody who's 60 and lives with their parents unless its to take care of them!

abhilasha said...

It's a different India u stay in.. Though I m very much convinced wid the idea of having ur own Pad.. Anyways I am sure u ll cope up wid this back-to-home phase Coz if u r 28, I am sure atleast 20 u have spent here... Best wishes ....

icyhighs said...

You know what they say man, there's a 100 different Indias in India! (Though I suspect we're not really that dissimilar.)
Thanks, and yeah I lived in India till I was 21 - so no culture shocks or anything, just the thought of not being independent you know?

abhilasha said...

I am sure this struggle for independence ll be much more thrilling... U know it's like for example all of 26 and 17 in my head.. Everytime I have to go out.. I deliberately ask my mom.. Can I go?? Plz!? And ofcourse she loves to say no... And I love to hear it.. And then I rebel.. I fight.. Shout and scream.. And den leave the house... Trust me.. It's do much fun.., i enjoy more after dat.. And I always tell her.. Dat ma.. Be a more strict.. I love it wen u say no.. :)

icyhighs said...

Yeah, I don't think I can hack that. I meant financially independent, more than "can I stay up late" independent.
It's nice that you're that attached to your parents though. I can't say I'd be comfortable with anybody having that much control over me.

abhilasha said...

Yeah u r right!! I got it all wrong I guess... Still studying do don't know about financial independence.. N I really don't care!! My mOney.. My this... My that.. Nah! Not for me.. Wats thrs is mine.. N wats mine is mine.., :)

Lori said...

I loved this piece. I am living it, lol. My sis-in-law, Tina and roommate has a 21 year old son. First it was college, than the military, now he is working at a convienence store. We figure he will be moved out at 50. I have 2 sons, 21, and 27. Now that we have a bigger house they both keep hinting at how "helpful" it might be for them to move back in, to get on their feet. In the States adult children moving home is an epidemic. The economy doesn't have much for them in this world. Plus, us moms have a hard time telling our baby boys no...you made me laugh reading this. Great writing....

icyHighs said...

Hi Lori, thanks for reading and glad I made you laugh! Lots of family and friends in the USA, so I've been hearing about this a lot - hopefully, things will start looking up soon on the job front. But till then, hey families great to have around aren't they? I spent a good part of my life running away from mine, so though I feel sheepish about coming back home I'm so glad for the time I'm now able to make up for.
:)

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