I am sitting at an IHOP some three-hundred or so miles from my so called home in South San Francisco. I am in Los Angeles, about a mile from LAX, and patiently awaiting the arrival of my little brother and my mother from the Philippines.
Just finished consuming an order of IHOP’s Chicken & Waffles. It wasn’t bad. The waffles with their old fashioned syrup definitely overpowered the taste of the chicken fingers. It was interesting, but I can imagine that is a combo I will never eat again.
The drive down was both nerve racking and boring. Interstate 5 is a straight line of asphalt and barren, empty, tanned lan surrounding it. Thankfully I brought some audio entertainment along for the trip.
Aside from a small pitstop just south of Bakersfield, I spent those hours on the road listening to some of Henry Rollins spoken word shows. In my mid twenties I was rather captivated by his writing, poetry, and spoken word acts. Black Coffee Blues in particular was-Well-It was/is a good read for sure-But an event transpired in my life while reading it that was both pathetic and hilarious. I’ll have to find an old journal entry I wrote on those events. Oh! Just thinking about it makes me both cringe and smile.
Anyway, the reason I am here, as I stated above is to greet my mother and brother. The last I had seen my brother was at my sister’s wedding last April; My Mother I have not seen in some four years. Not since I left to take care of my grandfather. Shortly after our move, mom went to live with my sister in Washington D.C. – Unfortunately with her ailing condition, my sister just couldn’t realistically take care of both her, and commit to her professional life. So my mother decided to move with her family in the Philippines.
To make a long story short, there must have been a falling out. My mother was moved to various places, and it all came to a head with the last caretaker who threw her out. That happened just a week ago. My siblings and I had had enough, it was time she came home to America so we could keep an eye on her, and also properly ready her (financially, etc.) to return to the Philippines if that is decided.
My sister fronted the plane tickets, a round trip for my brother (he has a passport), and single for my mother. As you may well know, booking a plane ticket just days in advance is rather expensive. It was good of my sister to do so, and my brother to do the retrieval.
I admit, I didn’t really want to make this drive. I dislike Los Angeles very much, and was reminded so as soon as I merged off Interstate 5 onto the 405. It’s Saturday, not even a workday and it was wall to wall traffic in both directions. The air is terrible, harder to breath, blah-blah-blah. And yet…
It really doesn’t matter what I think, or how irritated I may be. It really is petty. My brother and sister are the ones to be commended for doing what they are doing. Me, virtually penniless, thus far a miserable failure-The least I can do is greet my mother and brother with open arms.
I will be spending at least the next few days here in Los Angeles with them, and attempt to take care of some paperwork for my mother. This trip is not about fun. It’s about responsibility. It is about family.