Monday, November 19, 2007

The Life and Adventures of Randy Mesmer


Randy’s family was forbearing, resigned, or too drunk to notice. Certainly they were not shocked. Addiction was the family talent. Between the lot of them, they’d managed to work up a dazzling variety of addictions. Gin and tonics, far-right politics, fishing, beer. Oxycontin, dieting, crosswords, tomato sandwiches made- just- so.

Together they suffered depression, mania, insomnia, nightmares, lethargy, panic attacks. They were either too shy to speak or couldn’t shut up. Everything Was Traumatic. Nonetheless they managed both to work and to marry, which only goes to show that some people’s lives aren’t complicated enough already.

Everyone was functional, at least intermittently, excepting of course, dear Aunt Lucy, hospitalized for life up in Laconia. Schizophrenia—though she didn’t really seem that crazy, did she? Well, sometimes. She did what the rest of the family did—she just took it a little bit further. Like they’d all gotten their B.A. in Personal Insanity, but Aunt Lucy had gone all the way, completed the course, and actually made a career of it.

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