...maybe a move to TN would be a monumental mistake.
I called Stu for information so I could refine my various searches. One of his "jokes" was that his wife is looking forward to my moving in, solely for the fact that I will pay rent, thereby adding an income to their household. (All together, in monotone: "Ha. Ha. Ha.") Overall, because Stu is out of work, they'll take any money they can. For the low, low price of $350 a month, I will get...a bedroom. Sure, I will have access to the rest of the house, but my space will be my bedroom. And if I don't pull a miracle out of my butt and quit smoking by the time I move there, I will have to exit the house every time I need a fix, no matter what the weather is like.
This whole idea of moving to TN is under the concept of being closer to people who care. Unfortunately, Stu...doesn't. Care, that is. About anything.
Here are the basics of the end of our conversation that stretched over an hour:
Me: Stu, there are a few things I just remembered that I need to talk about. One of them is the fact that I've had to take a lot of shortcuts over the last few years in terms of my diet. While I may not have to live under such constraints while living with you, old habits die hard. The modern view of the diabetic diet is that as long as I take enough insulin to cover what I'm eating, I can have what I want. If I want a chocolate cake...as long as I take enough insulin for it, more power to me. Please...No speeches. Okay.
Stu: Oooookay? (It's as though he has no idea what I'm talking about.)
Me: Also...Are, ummmm...Are you prepared for what's probably going to happen to me?
Stu: What's going to happen to you?
Me: Like when I lose my feet. There's no "if" in the equation anymore, Stu. I have Charcot's feet, and that means -
Stu: I don't know what you want me to say. It's not like I'm going to be able to install a lift in the house for -
Me: No, Stu. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about emotionally.
Stu: Emotionally? Rob, you're forgetting that you're talking to the guy who still doesn't emotionally acknowledge what happened to him last year.
Me: Yeah...I don't think you'll ever get that one, will you.
Stu: Probably not.
Me: Well, look...Whatever happens...I mean, you can ride my ass about the smoking thing all you want. I expect that. But if you can't talk to me...If people would rather yell at me, and not talk to me, then I'll just pack my things and walk. The whole reason I'm supposed to be moving to Tennessee is because I'm so mentally damaged.
Stu: Rob, we WANT you to move in with us.
Me: Ah, yes...So your wife can squeeze rent out of me -
Stu: (He cuts me off because it's total explosion time.) WOULD YOU LET THAT GO ALREADY?!? IT WAS A JOKE!!! I LAUGHED WHEN I SAID IT!!! YOU SHOULD TAKE THAT AS A HINT THAT IT WAS A JOKE!!!
Me: Yes...And I laughed very hard when you made the joke, didn't I?
Stu: (Silence from him. In the background, my nephew is having an all new fit because he's being made to clean up his toys.)
Me: Look, Stu...I think it's time for you to go beat your kid. Right?
Stu: (Now he's very distant.) Yeah.
Me: I'll talk to you.
And the call ends.
Seconds after I insist that I be spoken to instead of yelled at, he's yelling at me. I should have mentally slapped him with, "Wow...I'm not talking to my brother. I'm speaking to my biological mother."
He also made it infinitely clear to me that he doesn't understand that I am mentally ill. Earlier in the conversation...
Stu: We want you here. And don't start with that "being a burden" garbage. You're not being a burden.
Me: You don't get it at all, do you? I'm mentally ill. What? Do you think I said to myself, "Gee, scribbling severe recurring depression would look good on my disability forms"? You can tell me all you want that I'm not a burden, and I'll STILL believe that's exactly what I am. Hell, look at this month. I feel like I've been a burden to the world, and everyone has insisted that I'm not.
Stu: Wait...On the forms...Do they pay you extra for being mentally ill?
Stu: Well, they should.
Me: Dear G-d...No one gets it. I can explain until I'm blue in the face, and everyone thinks it's just something for me to say. It's not. It's real. I. Am. Mentally. Ill.
So here's my predictions for my move to TN:
1. I will pack what few possessions I plan on my move to TN. I will ship my Computer, my television, and perhaps a box of books and DVDs to Stu's house.
2. My father will shell out a plane ticket to TN, paying a little extra so I can bring Nike.
3. Within the first week, Nike will escape my room and run through the house. This will upset Nikki, Stu's wife. Instead of her talking to me, she will send Stu, who will "give me a talking to" about my cat.
4. Inside of the next two weeks, my nephew's fits will have me on the verge of skinning the kid alive. I will go from one and a half Xanax per day to one every six hours, as prescribed. Only a self-induced coma will be keeping me sane.
5. Kristie, Nikki's niece, (around age 19 or 20), will do something so incredibly stupid that I will corner her with a speech: "Let's be clear about something...I have been judged SMI...That's severely mentally ill. That means that when you finally cause me to snap, and I end up giggling on the front lawn as I rearrange your body parts, I'll arrive in court and point to the numerous files that document how emotionally fragile I am. Off I go to a loony bin for three to six months, after which they'll let me go because 'I got better.' Meanwhile, you'll still be dead...So grow a brain before I rip your empty head from your shoulders." Mind you, this speech will be coming from a guy that's a pacifist, so it's not a threat at all...but she won't know that.
6. Somewhere in the first three months, Stu will buy a box of Cracker-Jax and find a medical degree inside. With said medical degree, he will declare that I'm not disabled. Lengthy talks about how I should get a job will ensue.
7. Six months, tops, there will be a major blowout between me, the over-emotional schmuck, and my brother, the apathetic schmuck. He will, as he's fond of saying, "Put me on notice." This will probably mean I have until the end of whatever month it is to find my own place. It will not be enough time, and I will end up homeless in TN...
8. ...OR, number seven occurs, and friends from GitP leap to my aid. I will then, once again, become what I deem to be a massive burden for people whom I should not be a burden to. Shame and guilt will drive me to do very bad things to myself.
9. Finally - as though it were even a vague possibility - before I can move to TN, I will be abducted by aliens. In exchange for letting them run a few harmless experiments, I will be permitted to live in their Utopian world. They will not only cure me of all ailments along the way, but also provide me with every hedonistic pleasure that might come to mind, from living on nothing but junk food to rooms full of wild and willing women. (I was going to go with a revelation that Krypton did NOT explode, but Earth's yellow sun has yet to provide me with anything but sun burns.)
Stu says he wants me to move into his house, but he acts otherwise. I'm just one more pain in the ass family member to him.
That said, I certainly can't stay in AZ. I can't afford NY. And TN is looking more and more like the place where the book of my life reaches its final chapters.