Camila + Haruki

Now I know everyone thinks their family is barmy, but my oba really was 気が変:  she dressed up in lime green tutus, wore Amy Winehouse wigs in horrendous colors with Christmas ornaments hanging from the bangs, and she was addicted to Children’s Tylenol 4.0, even after massive liver damage and two synthetic organ transplants.  She’s also hated me since I was a boy and now she hates me even more as a scholar because she thinks I have a superiority complex (and when it comes to mass hysteria and irrational grudges, she's on the mark).  It all started when I told her she was a bit meaty.  I was in Year 7 and I didn’t know better.  I didn’t realize that poor (or ill-advised) diction could turn a relative (or any human being) against you for the rest of your life.  Since my fatal childhood error, she’d dedicated her life to excluding me.  For example, during Christmas break,  she'd send my whole family really really dear Christmas gifts.  Everyone except me, that is.  Sometimes, to really drive her point home, she’d send me a gift-wrapped box that was completely empty.  Or it would have a Japanese note inside that said:

Dear Haruki,

Sorry about that, Kid.  Maybe Next Year.


-Your Meaty Aunt

And now after all these years, my mum wanted me to help our oba, this vengeful and eccentric woman with an appetite for death wishes, n-acetaminophen, and Hirohito dolls, a woman who had harbored a childish grudge against me since I could speak.  It was sadistic on my mum’s part to ask me, but kazoku is kazoku and I've never known how to say no to family.