Henry was gone all day on Saturday, helping out at Castle Blood. I thought, “Oh, this will be OK. Chooch and I can go off and have a cute little photo shoot, celebrate our independence, etc. etc.” But before Henry left, I called him back in the house to have him fetch the wheelchair and put it in the car for me. Independence could wait a few minutes.
“Do you think we can do this successfully?” I asked Chooch when we were on our way to the (damned) location.
He answered quite matter-of-factly, “By ourselves? No.” That kid knows what’s up.
Everything was great. We sang “Call Me Maybe” loudly and repeatedly en route. I even stopped at a gas station and bought him a drink! Look at me! Taking care of my kid’s needs! But then we rolled up on the designated site (Coulterville, an area where many of my photo shoots are located), and that was when I realized I had to lug a wheelchair; a unicorn mask; the camera bag; and a plastic bag filled with clowns, doll heads, an empty bottle of Old Crow and a jack in the box all on my own because my goddamn son is a fucking divo.
This is where Henry’s blue-collar arms would have come in handy.
Originally, I wanted to cross the train tracks and walk toward the river, because there are some really cool spots back there. But then I realized, “Holy shit, I can’t lift this wheelchair up to the tracks” so I started swearing and crying. We were going to take the pictures at the nearby cemetery and abandoned church after that, but Chooch was being totally uncooperative and we screamed, “I HATE YOU!” at each other with enough fury to raise the dead, and then not one but TWO trains passed us and we were both shook to the core because OMG WE ALMOST TRIED TO CROSS THOSE TRACKS AND WE COULD HAVE BEEN KILLED.
That made me flip out even harder, and then Chooch started crying because he lost his (broken) sunglasses and I wouldn’t help him look for them because the trains were freaking me out so bad and all I wanted to do was push the fucking wheelchair back to the car (IT WAS ALL UPHILL, THANKS).
There are people who live around there. I sure hope they heard our histrionics. Especially when I threatened to orphan him and he snarled, “NOT IF I GO TO THE ORPHANGE FIRST.”
I was NOT going home. Not after driving all the way out there. So we stopped at McDonald’s (after I flipped out for the 79879876th time because the gas light was on and I couldn’t find a gas station and then when I did, I had to make an illegal turn to reach it) and I said out loud, “Fuck this. I’m getting a frappe. I goddamn earned it.” But first we had to wait for the oldest woman alive to send back all of her food and then proceed to sit there in her dumb minivan even after she got the right stuff, and I started yelling at her which made Chooch laugh to the point of tears, but then seriously say, “Mommy, she’s just an old lady.”
AND THEN THEY GAVE ME MY FRAPPE WITHOUT A MOTHERFUCKING STRAW. I didn’t want to park and go inside to get one, because I couldn’t leave Chooch alone in the car (I checked the manual real quick for that one) and he didn’t have his shoes on plus I was all sweaty and tear-soaked and had dirt all over me from god only knows what. So I drank that bitch without a straw and had chocolate syrup all over my face; I can assure you I didn’t really care at that point. I had accepted my new role as the poster woman for Defeat.
Did I leave out the part where I called Henry 87 times while he was trying to cut doors in walls at Castle Blood, screaming at him because I didn’t know how to fold the wheelchair and it was THE WORST DAY EVER and I might as well just KILL MYSELF? Oh, well that totally didn’t happen.
We ended up going to the place where the Easter pictures happened. (Click that link if you haven’t seen those photos; Henry has on makeup in them!) At first glance, I thought the abandoned structures had been demolished, but really it was just because the area was so overgrown with frondescence that it was no longer visible from the road. Where was my machete when I really needed it?
I think I lost 10 pounds that day from crying, sweating, raging & hiking thru weeds and mud with a wheelchair. And we both have cuts and scrapes all over us from trampling through walls of jagger bushes, with Chooch wailing, “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU’RE MAKING ME DO THISSSSSS” and me screaming, “IT’S FOR ART, STFU!!”
By the time Henry came home, Chooch and I were both languid on the couch, eyes glazed over, looking extremely pathetic. “Can we go out to eat?” Henry asked. “I worked so hard today and I’m starving.” With my eyes, I mentally castrated him.
Later that night, Chooch was telling Henry something unrelated to the photo shoot, and added, “I think that was when Mommy was in the car, crying.”