August was worse trepidation, ambiguity - always a feeling of not being close enough, of being distant and disturbed. I wanted to lift her out of her depression, she felt she wasn't close to me in all the right ways. The more we talked about it, the further we grew from each other. There were occasional high points, but the relationship was draining the both of us.
we did play monopoly some then.
We took a trip up the coast of California in August, before she left for Swarthmore. Through Napa Valley, the Ferrari-Cerrano estate, where we sampled wine and skipped out, cuz we weren't prepared to foot a tasting bill. Up north, toward Mendocino, we camped out together, and spent a few hours sitting on coastal rocks under moonlight. In Sebastopol, we stopped at her aunt Gizelle's, where we took an outdoor shower together, overlooking a valley lined with apple orchards. Her aunt spent most of the time selling us on Rocky the Range chickens, organic fattened prime roasters requiring minimal setup for juicy meat. She was really into these chickens, they'd just made such a positive difference in her life. I mean you can come home, throw a chicken in the oven, and forty minutes later you have a good meal. See that meat? Tender. Juicy. I didn't have to do a thing! Just throw the chicken in the oven when you get home, and forty minutes later...
She wanted to send us off with some, we promised to buy one on our way home.
Chandra was unusually close to her mother, Pam. I remember finding her curled up in bed with her mom on several occasions. At other times she found her mother frustratingly detatched. Chandra spoke of deep subconscious bonding - sharing pain as twins. She changed her middle name from Marie to Zell, taking on her mother's maiden name.
Her mom is a Montessori school owner/administrator, having been a tofu burger saleswoman and an artist. At one point, Pam worked as a maid so her daughter could go to a posh Palo Alto all-girls boarding school.
All this resulted in Chandra graduating from high school at 15 years old.
Her mother's sacrifices and Chandra's incessant cooking and maternal leanings helped me recognize what my mother had provided for me, and forgive her for what she did not.
I stayed in San Francisco alone...
chandra | swat | life
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