I see dead people everywhere.
Jason's dad died.
That's Justin's best friend's dad. Justin grew up with them. He'd go hang out with Jason when his mom was busy--and especially when his mom was a single mom and working and in school or all that other stuff she did... Sandi, Jason's mom is "Second Mom."
All the years I've known Justin we've visited Second Mom almost as much as his biological Mom and definitely more than his dad (he lives in Colorado).
So Wayne was the one who told me, while I watched those two boys singing karaoke in Wayne's bar at Havasu Landing, "That's just who they are. They're just having some fun. "
I must have looked so prissy and shocked and totally out of place there--an Honors English high school teacher who brought papers with her for the weekend to grade on the drive up and who didn't drink much at all and kept trying to get her boyfriend? fiance? when was it? to have some water. I was totally surrounded by rednecks--and they would not be offended by the description. They sing the song with gusto "red neck yacht club...." They are them.
And I am used to it now. I am prepared for it. I figured out how to fit in and how to sit it out if that felt better. If I had too much grading to do, I just stayed in the double/triple-wide's living room and worked while they rode around in the sand dunes and drank beer. Watery American beer. I learned to hang out with the girls and help in the kitchen (redneck and Asian girl similarities) and karaoke too.
And Wayne owned the bar. It's the only bar in Havasu landing. He owned the liquor store across the road from it too. As he got older and his diabetes and stuff got worse he sold that. Then the bar. Then they moved to Phoenix--the whole family in different houses in the same neighborhood. Sandi and Wayne. Jason's older sister and her family of four. Jason and Amanda--married this summer. Amanda-Jason's-niece going to college there.
I think the last time I saw Wayne was when he dropped us off after Jason's wedding. That's what he did in his way--took care of us. Made sure the girls got home safely from his bar. Made sure everyone had a drink--and that (most of the time) they bought them.
So, we'll go up to Havasu this weekend (of course, in good form, Justin has a final on Friday), and it'll be different... again.