This is a picture of the answering machine at the old house my mom and dad and brother and I lived at in Sacramento. This picture was taken right before I moved in with Natasha and my parents moved back to Phoenix. My brother had a nag of a girlfriend named Dawn. They broke up and got back together something like thirty times in the few years that they were together and she would call Joe constantly, so much so that our answering machine would be flooded with calls that always started with "Jose, are you there?" So I started collecting them. This is the result, 32 "Jose, are you there?" calls, all from Dawn, all annoying.
Speaking of Joe, speaking of marriage, speaking of having a baby, there's a story we don't talk about, a story that hardly anybody knows but something that's been on my mind a lot lately, especially since I'm about to have a child. This is a story that brings a lot of pain and sadness and heartbreak to my family and it's a story that might get me seriously in the doghouse but I still want to tell it.
So basically read it now before my parents bitch at me to delete it.
My brother got married on October 25th, 1998 to a high maintenance but pretty cool girl named Heather. This was back in my Arizona days. They were married in the Elvis Wedding Chapel on the Las Vegas Strip coincidentally during the same weekend that "WCW Halloween Havoc" was at the MGM Grand casino, so all weekend we were bumping inro wrestler after wrestler. My dad met Diamond Dallas Page in an elevator and had a conversation with the guy, my brother met Juventude in a hotel lobby and Juvie posed for the picture by standing on a chair so that he wouldn't seem so small, and Big Poppa Pump pushed me aside on a moveable sidewalk. It was awesome, all the wrestlers and the booze and the strippers and the gambling. It was the Galindo family and various relatives, all assaulting Vegas in a hazy all weekend massive drunk party, capped off by my brother marrying Heather. I still have the video. It was incredible.
Shortly after the marriage, Heather became pregnant. Joe couldn't believe that he was going to be a father and my parents, who, since Joe's the first born male, love Joe more than they love me, showered a ton of love and affection on Joe and Heather and the soon-to-be baby. Me? I was afraid of children. Hell, I didn't want fucking kids. I spent most of my time drunk with Tom, trying not to think of the new Galindo that would soon be in our house.
Heather had that baby. It was a girl. Joe loved that baby and so did the rest of the family. I was weary of it, frightened, and as such I found myself spending most of my time playing video games, watching Ed Wood movies, drinking, popping pills and staying as far away as I could from Joe's baby. Joe was happy. Our parents were thrilled. Everything was good.
Heather, though, wasn't happy. In retrospect I guess she had a case of Post Pardumb WhateverYouCallIt, the Brooke Shields disease. She became loud, erratic, bitchy, and she complained about not getting enough sleep. That was her tune like a broken record. She needed sleep, more sleep, wasn't getting enough sleep, wasn't getting ANY sleep, and if only she could get more sleep ... so she started breast feeding the baby while she was asleep. Which the rest of the family didn't approve of.
I mean, not to knock the guy but my brother snores like thirty-three chainsaws cutting down the biggest tree in Treesville. The dude snores like rap music rattling your windows from some near deaf gansta's stupid niggamobile. And the way we saw it is that if Heather had gotten used to sleeping next to the mount saint helens of snoring, she could inflict serious pain on that baby. Not to mention Heather rolls around in her sleep like a spastic seventh grader with A.D.D. doing interpetive dance in the church's rec hall.
And that's how the cards were set up. We were worried, Joe was happy, and Heather didn't give a shit.
One day the baby was crying and Heather took her to the hospital. The baby had internal bruises all over her body, including some that were a month or two old. Instantly, Child Protetive Services were called and launched a half-assed investigation on my brother. Do you want to know HOW half-assed it was? The baby lived in a house with Heather, Joe, me, my girlfriend at the time, my mother and my father. And CPS's investigation interviewed only two people ... Heather and her racist mother who always hated Joe.
I will not go into any further details. They are all too painful. But I can tell you the results. Heather, after being brainwashed by her parents, began to agree with them. Things got bad, hearts were broken, and now here we are. Joe is single, brave, and has moved on with his life. He doesn't talk to Heather at all. She still stupidly believes that Joe hurt the baby and made all of Joe's old friends in Phoenix believe so too. It hurt to see Joe's lifelong friends turn on him. It hurt to hear Heather's blind acusations. Everything hurt back then. Shortly after that Joe set out to Sactown to start life anew and he's done an amazing job with it. He's been here something like five years now and things have never been better for him. His smiles are real. It's incredible. And yet, somewhere in the back of his mind, he has to be thinking about the daughter that he will never see again.
And now I'm having a baby. I am so incredibly excited. I am going to be a father. I have been a "daddy" to Emerald for almost three years now but I couldn't be a father to her. Now I am going to be a father and I just can't believe it. But things are different. I assume my brother is excited for me but he doesn't show it. It must hurt him. And my parents, who are an entire state away, haven't even seen Natasha or I this entire pregnancy. They barely call us, barely check on us, send us almost no money, and offer almost no support. They say they'll be here next week to be with us but a part of me doesn't believe them.
And there's this small little part of me that thinks about the Galindo that nobody talks about. Like all good Mexican families, instead of discussing our feelings we just don't talk about them. If something bad happens, our family just locks it in a closet and doesn't discuss it. She is the Galindo that nobody talks about and she's been tugging at my mind these long late nights and early mornings. I feel so bad. I never held her. I never spent any time with her in the small period of time that she was in our lives before that dumb whore took her away from us. I don't know how old she would be now. Five, I think, probably going to school.
Hell, I don't even remenber her name.
I don't think there's a happy ending I can pull out of this story. I feel bad for what happened. I wish things had gone differently. I wish I had fed her and held her and played with her and rocked her to sleep. Having this baby must really frighten the rest of my family.
But at least this time I have a woman who will never leave my side. My wife. My wonderful wife. She holds my hand and tells me she is not a Heather. SHE isn't having a baby ... WE are having a baby. I try to do everything I can for her and she tries to do everything she can to let me know that everything is going to be alright. And despite the bitchwhore Heather, despite the Galindo nobody talks about, despite the heartbreak and the tears and the loss, I am absolutely positive that this time things are going to be alright. Things are going to be just fine. This time.
Wish me luck. Less than one week away!