Part II: Family Ties

Oh, so you’re back again, huh? Here to pick my brain some more? We’re one more week closer to the due date of my baby girl than we were before, and lemme tell you, I cannot contain my excitement! I told my girl, she better be glad we’re not having twins. Twins run in my family, you know. My mom’s a twin — her and my uncle Roderick . . . fraternal. She’s older by six minutes, and she loves to drill that home when my uncle Rick thinks he’s got a one-up on her in anything.

Because the two of them have always been close — naming me “Deidrick” was a no-brainer for my mom. She’s Deidra, her twin is Roderick . . . you see the breakdown, right? I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve had to correct people on the pronunciation of my name. It’s simple, really, but some folks make it so hard. “Dee-drick.” Two syllables. Not hard, right? You’d think my name had like fifteen syllables in it the way people butcher it.

Not only are my mom and my uncle Rick twins, but my grandaunt Maureen and granduncle Maurice are also twins — Mom’s aunt and uncle. Yo . . . they are the coolest old people I know! My uncle Reece is the owner of a supreme vinyl and more store called The Last Days. You can find everything in his record store from Fleetwood Mac to Prince to The Average White Band to Fantasia, and it doesn’t end there.

This cat is so smooth, he smokes a pipe and wears a different Fedora every time I see him. And, he speaks in this lull type of tone — sort of like someone who is about to kick game to his crush, but knows what he’s doing. Think Gordon Parks — yeah, similar to him. I love hanging out with that cat. I can’t wait for my baby girl to meet him.

Now, Aunt Maureen is the female version of him. She’s a seamstress — owns her own place, too. A spot not too far from where I’m moving to she’s named Lines-A-Plenty. She’s big on fashion too — doesn’t leave home without a cashmere throw for her shoulders and keeps the finest yet simple skirts and blouses in her closet. When she smiles, the sun steps back to give her room. Baby girl is gonna love her.

What’s funny is Moms is a lot like Aunt Maureen and my uncle Rick is a lot like Uncle Reece. They took on the qualities of their father’s siblings instead of being much more like him.

Well, that’s a good thing cuz that cat is all sorts of trash.

I ain’t tryna disrespect my grandpa, but you know . . . I calls ’em like I sees ’em. He stepped out on my grandma more times than Moms and Uncle Rick can count and eventually, he just left her with twins who were six years old and a two-year-old who looked just like him — my uncle Mason. He’s shaping up to be just like my grandpa. I haven’t seen Uncle Mase in about two years and my grandpa — who knows where that cat is. I mean . . . it is what it is, you know?

Yo! Remember the car I told you, my homeboy, Amar asked his uncle about? It came through just three days ago. His uncle Khalil wants $7,500.00 for it — said he knocked off two grand for me cuz I’m young and tryna make my own way for my family. He said he’s willing to work with me on monthly installments, too, until the car is paid off. I told him I want to put $1,300 on it to get it outta his possession — then, I’d pay just under $700.00 for 9 months. My uncle Rick is a mechanic, so he’s going to check the car out for me — make sure ole boy ain’t tryna sell me a dud.

I think things are going pretty smoothly for us. Iesha is gonna work until the last two weeks before her due date — that is, if our little precious doesn’t make her entrance sooner than that. I told her she can take a little more time off if she feels like she needs to, but she’s adamant about working as close to her due date as she can. I have learned my lesson about tryna talk Iesha outta something she’s got her mind set up to do.

Nah, I don’t want those arguments.

I’m looking forward to that phrase, “Happy wife, happy life” because I am going to ask Iesha to marry me — probably in the next two years.

I’m the oldest kid in my family — gotta younger sister and a younger brother. Those two are excited about my baby girl as well. My sis just turned sixteen and my kid brother just turned thirteen. Those two are always at each other’s throats. I’m surprised my parents haven’t lost their voices from all the yelling they do at those bugaboos. I’ve always been a peaceful, real chill kid, you know? Moms and Pops never had any issues with me, and if I have anything to do with it, they never will.

Can you believe it, man?! I’m gonna be a dad soon. Like, really soon. Listen, I gotta hit the store up and pick up a few things for my mom. She’s making fried pork chops tonight — she needs cornmeal, flour, seasoning salt, and a couple of other items too. Duty calls. You know where to find me to shoot the shit.

Stay safe out there, man.

Originally published in soliloque via Medium.

Part I