Cont. from Part II: The Wrath of Greyhound
Ain’t no ocean, ain’t no sea. Makidada. Keep my sister away from me.
– Nettie & Celie
When I got to Albany, I was greeted by my father and his girlfriend Renni. I was kind of surprised because my father looked old(er) and I had no idea that Renni was a large white woman. LOL. We hugged, loaded my bag into the car and went for dinner. Good thing too, I was starved. Due to my hectic day and crazy bus trip from Philly to Albany, I hadn’t eaten for 12 hours before I got there. At dinner, my father asks me if I would be willing to go to Ohio. Since my sister and her family couldn’t make it to NY and this was the first time in 20 years she has come to this country, we should just say fuck it and go to where she was. That was fine by me. I had blocked out the entire weekend and wanted to see her. So, early the next morning we got on the road and headed to Akron, OH. 8 hour drive!
The 8 hours did give me a chance to chat with my father. It wasn’t really awkward except for a few moments scattered here and there, but that’s to be expected. Whenever my father was out of earshot, Renni would tell me things about him like how he was nervous the night before about seeing my sister and I. I thought that was kind of funny. There was a weird moment for me in the car when my father said that the reason I lived with my grandmother/mom was because he thought I was happy there and it was where I was in school and all that jazz. I guess I get that, but it still doesn’t account for not coming through to visit and shit, feel me? I honestly don’t know how I feel about all of that. I don’t think I’m bitter about it, I just thought that his reasoning was pretty simple.
Right as we pulled into Akron, I got nervous. I thought I was wearing the wrong clothes and started wondering if she’d like me. I also started wondering why the hell they were in Akron, which sucks for all intents and purposes. Her brother Kevin lives there and they came to see his new baby. The new baby whose name is LaDanian. The new baby who is white as hell. I laughed for a good while about that and it helped ease my nerves.
Sarah didn’t even know we were coming. She was upset she couldn’t make it to NY, so her brother and my father conspired to bring us all to OH. When we got there, they were totally surprised so that was fun. The weird part was how we sat down and had to try and figure out what to say. It’s like “Okay… here’s your family! Ready, set, go!” We talked about how our father had sent us pictures of one another. Now we were in the midst of the real thing. Since our arrival was a surprise, they didn’t really know what to do. Combined with the fact that Akron is garbage, we didn’t immediately know where to go. In an effort to avoid awkward silences and to get everyone feeling good, I suggested we go bowling. There’s a bowling alley in even the lamest of towns. I googled one (thanks Sidekick!) and off we went.
It was SUPER fun. It was the best way to get everyone active and talking. The group was an odd bunch: Me, my dad, his girlfriend, my sister, her mom, her stepdad, her brother, his girlfriend and their baby. Bowling, Foosball, Madden, pizza. English and German flying back and forth. Cameras flashing. It was a good day.
We were all tired as shit, though from traveling but we didn’t really want the night to end. This was a rare opportunity, right? After much discussion, we decided against going out because we needed to get an early start on the morning. My sister didn’t want to separate just yet so we decided to have a “sleepover” of sorts in my hotel room.
That was initially awkward in itself. Sarah’s a mama’s girl and it was odd for her to not be with her mother that night, in a new country, with a new sister. It’s sort of like meeting a stranger on the street and then sleeping with them that night (not that this doesn’t happen all the time for some people). We are family, but essentially strangers. It was cool, though. We stayed up and talked. Looked at pictures online and she showed me pictures on Lokalisten (aka the German MySpace).
In the morning, the crew all met up for breakfast then we bullshitted in the hotel until it was time for my father and his girl to head back to Western NY. When they left, my German fam and I hung out some more and they took me to the bus station. We all exchanged info and talked about having Sarah come back some time within the next couple of years. I’m seriously considering going to Germany after I take the Bar. It will be a nice vacay and now I have family there. They were so fun and kept repeating, “you’re family now” over and over again. That accent is still ringing in my ears.
I wanted to write this really detailed and introspective entry about the whole experience but at this point I am just really tired. I can’t do anything but ramble on. Thanks if you’ve made it this far in reading.
I’m happy that it all went well with minor glitches along the way. I think my father was happy about it. Yesterday was his birthday, so what better present than to have your two oldest daughters together with you for the first time? Sarah was happy. She didn’t think she would get the chance to see us at all while in America. I liked finding out that we had lots of things in common. It was also funny seeing that my father and I have similar mannerisms, little things like that most people take for granted. But when you haven’t grown up with a parent and then as an adult you see pieces of them inside of things you do, it’s kind of freaky. Like, wow, I am a part of this person.
That’s all I can think of right now. Feel free to ask me questions about the trip. My f’book pals can peep the pics!