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2002-08-05 | 2:22 a.m.

Think I'm hitting this drug a little too hard. Need to scale back. Feeling twitchy, nervous, jumpy. Doing laundry in the basement, I was quaking like Clarice Starling at the end of Silence of the Lambs. (Remember how that damn house seemed to have five billion rooms?)

Go to bed. Get up in the morning and write. There's nothing going on for a change. Write down a little something about the kids. There's so much I wish I could remember for more than a few minutes. The way Jasper, stuffed to the brim with a sense of entitlement, commands, "Let's play Carmen San-di-EGG-O, hell-lo-oo!" The way Felony sings "Kiss Me" in her hilariously breathy stage voice. The way Criminy suddenly starts dancing, gyrating like a possessed stripper trained by Isadora Duncan, in the unlikeliest of places (Costco; left field).

I want to write down all the stories my Mom tells me. As soon as she tells them they're gone. As much as I want to, I can't hold on to them. It's been that way all my life. I need to write them down. At least some of them. The other day she told me that her mother's brother Denny was friends with my grandfather before he married my grandmother. And that their family called my grandfather 'Brick,' because of his red hair.

I never met my grandfather. He died the year before I was born. I had another grandfather, of course, but I never met him either. I don't even know when he died, though I'm sure it was also before I was born. He had separated from my grandmother after they'd had--what--eight or nine or ten kids (let's see, there were five girls and four boys, plus a firstborn son that died at birth), and shacked up with a girlfriend. Scandalous. My Mom told me that the first time she met him, he put his hand on her knee in a too-familiar way and she took pains to avoid being alone with him after that. She never told my Dad, either. Was afraid of what he might do. I wish I could just see a picture of the old man. Don't think I ever have. Nobody ever talked about him much. Because he was a jerk, I guess. One of the girls was close to him, but I forget which one. Probably the oldest. Yeah, I think that's right. Of all the sibs in that family, she is the most country. And out of them all, only she and two other sisters are still alive. The youngest, Bonnie, the one people always said I resembled, has become very secretive and paranoid over the years. Doesn't talk to anyone in the family.

Okay, enough of this. I've got to get some rest.

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