Thursday, December 29, 2005

Accusation of the year

Pav called to tell me J.Lass's funeral was planned for yesterday. I replied to M. Biologique's email knowing he's more acquainted with members of that circle than I am: "... so anyone wanting to pay their respects now will be shit out of luck."

I ended it asking him if it's weird I'm not grieving the way everyone else seems to be reacting to the news a week after her death. I've given up hope of its arrival: the truth is, she had long slipped out of my life to have left a void large enough to make a difference.

***

My father accused me of being a bobo: a bourgeois bohemian. He said I, unlike him, do not obsess over money because I've never lived without it. (True.) He said I, unlike him, am so "above" it all -- meaning the "establishment" -- that I would never be caught gossiping over someone's salary because it's "tacky", nouveau riche-behaviour. (Not true. I can be tacky if I want to be.)

"Oh no, Lily," he mocked. "Money isn't something you talk about because it's all about the art, right?"

I feel like he's paying my way through university so I could be further removed from him. Counterproductive, I'm sure. But what the hell? I wanted to say. You're a communist! What the fuck are you doing asking me how much the kid from That's So Raven! makes? It pisses me off whenever he starts and ends a conversation on the green stuff. Who has it, who doesn't, who deserves it, who shouldn't, where he can find more. It's so gratingly irritating considering our solid middle-class income and relatively comfortable lifestyle. When I confront him about his gauche remarks, he turns it into an issue of status distinction and class conduct. In reality, it's blindingly clear that he's become a miserly curmudgeon.

He changed the lightbulbs to make everything dim. He wastes much of his time figuring out ways to save energy that are both time-wasting and impractical.

"Let's buy a hydrogen cell car," he's been suggesting. "Go on the Internet and find me pictures."

Why not keep the cash for the car and continue driving the Honda gas guzzlers we already own? It's not as if he's even seriously thinking of shelling out moolah for these bright ideas of his. My dad's a tech-whore without the know-how: he's flirted with installing solar panels on our roof, wind energy windmills in our backyard, hot air balloons for travel, folding bicycles for work, the list goes on. We have an 18-foot satellite we never use. We have an incomplete playground apparatus built outside like a deserted cabin in a Bjork video. Oh, and his spending sprees at second-hand shops are legendary. Glow-in-the-dark portraits of Christ, cracked yogourt machines, treadmills that jiggle, clocks that wiggle, dancing non-denominational holiday figures, his crap has filled our entire garage and three-quarters of the basement. Lately, he's been hiding new purchases in the minivan. I feel like he's acting out in his own subversive way. Trapped in a suburban hell with a still-ambitious wife. He isn't happy; isn't doing anything about it either. Blames it on the kids; reminds us as he loves us. Reverts to his childish nature when he's not revering his past. He reminds me of some grotesque version of seasoned banality, a listless bore with a bone to pick.

I might be a boho, but he's just become old.

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