Meet the Lites – Charlotte III

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Well, operation “TackyToo spies on you” is up and operating for trailers within my range. I hope to build up enough trust to have the court at least give me enough range on my anklet to cover the whole park. I’m having to pay a handy man to take care of the lots I can’t get to, and I don’t want to tip my hand on our security system just yet. I’m so N.S.A.

Picking up where we left off with my sister Charlotte, Jackson and I are moving in with Daddy and Charlotte is finishing her Senior year in high school. Like my Mom, Jackson and I don’t see Charlotte for another seven years. During this time Charlotte has gone off to college, paid for by Mom, taken a trip to France, paid for by Mom, and gotten herself married, paid for by Mom. Charlotte has earned a double degree in French and English and can spout nonsense in two languages.

This is not to say Charlotte isn’t smart, she is, but she is more likely to chase a rabbit down a hole than anybody I’ve ever been around. When we meet up again, she is married to a chemical engineer that works in the textile industry near Spartanburg, S.C. Judd is a good ol’ boy who was smarter than a Philadelphia lawyer. He turned me on to Dave Brubeck and no matter what else ever happens, I’m thankful for that. They had one child, Tabitha, and she inherited everything from her mom. I mean hair coloring, freckles and a nasty disposition.

It’s hard for me to ever blame the child, and I know that Judd was more patient than Job, but when Tabitha was about twelve, Charlotte up and took off. I guess she didn’t want to be around for those awkward teenage years, knowing what a pill she had been herself. She just took off and left Judd to cover the job himself. It’s hard to keep track of family when the go-between is gone, so I lost track of Judd and Tabitha for a long time.

Charlotte emerged a few years later at a Thanksgiving dinner hosted by Mom. She had a new boyfriend in tow, Dreidel Zaydel who was a gynecologist. We called him Dr. Dre because he demanded respect. He was as insufferable a little squirt as you ever hope to meet. The brain just exploded trying to figure out the attraction either could possibly have for the other. Well as the line goes, you can’t explain love, or nuclear physics, and so they were wed. Now here comes the funny part; and it’s ironic funny, and funny funny too. Turns out the Jews believe in Baptism. Who knew?

Seems that being Jewish is carried though the mother. Dr. Dre wanted his kids to be Jewish, therefore Charlotte had to convert. Part of the conversion process is getting Baptized, naked, in front of the congregation. I missed the ceremony, but I did confirm the requirement years later when a character in “Orange Is The New Black” converted in an episode.

The happy couple settle in Atlanta, have a couple of daughters, and after an appropriate amount of time, Charlotte hit the bricks for parts unknown. I believe Dr. Dre was able to find a nice Jewish step-mother for the kids, and they seemed to grow up less scarred than their half-sister Tabitha. I’m thinking the amount of exposure to Charlotte is a big factor in the wellness of children.

Charlotte is not heard from for years. There is a rumor she has married again in Texas, and there were some legal misgivings that Mom didn’t want to share. We fast forward to about ten years ago to a Christmas visit to Mom’s when Charlotte shows up with a really nice Hispanic fellow, Juan Gordito. After my usual eye roll, I had the opportunity to talk to Juan alone, and he was really, really a nice guy. I was tempted to take him outside and encourage him to flee at all haste, “don’t look back, just run”. I guess out of some bizarre familial loyalty, I didn’t. Thank God, he did it for himself about a year later. I’m glad he was able to spend his last days in peace.

Charlotte rented an apartment from Mom at a good rate, and attempted to support herself by teaching. Charlotte’s teaching career ended when she sued the state and county. The suit’s basis was an argument Charlotte had with a black child about the correct pronunciation of the French word, “poussey”. The child pushed Charlotte, and Charlotte fell, resulting in brain damage. As a result of the suit, Charlotte now has a certificate proving what we have always known, her brain is damaged.

Charlotte was awarded a full disability and retired to a life of chasing conspiracy theories on the internet in the apartment she rents from Mom. She lives there today, divorced from her kids and her siblings, and even her mother most of the time. Charlotte will appear again in later episodes, but for now you’ve got a pretty good picture.


Meet the Lites – Charlotte II

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Well, I got the spy cameras put in place without drawing attention to myself by anything other than a possum. After a quick tightening of my scrotal area, I grinned at him and the possum grinned back. Hopefully, we’ll gather evidence of another nocturnal predator and use the evidence to give him the old heave ho.

When last we left the continuing saga of Charlotte, I was five and recovering from a near amputation by means of Charlotte’s bicycle. The story will bump along until I’m nine or so and Charlotte is fifteen or sixteen. There used to be a phrase, “boy crazy” and I’ve heard it applied many times to Charlotte. Two events stand out vividly in my mind that speak to the “boy crazy” moniker.

The first involves a wading pool we used to frequent during the summer to cool off and to “get out of the house”. Charlotte was charged with taking me and my little brother to the pool, and she used this particular opportunity to meet up with her current boyfriend. During the course of this outing, I awakened the demons stirring deep with in Charlotte’s soul. Possibly the one hundredth rendition of  “Charlotte and Bubba kissing in a tree”, or some other misdeed pushed Charlotte over the edge. She followed me into the pool, fully clothed, to administer my first, and guaranteed to be my last, baptism.

Now, I don’t recall if my “life passed in front of me” or not, it couldn’t have been much at that point, but when I awoke I was up on the bank with Bubba pushing on my back and me throwing up water. On the way back to the house Charlotte regained her senses and concocted the story we would tell Mom. In return for my confirmation of the story, I was getting a temporary stay in my execution and some other considerations. Bubba was given a glimpse into the future and never returned. Bonne chance Bubba, and thanks.

My next clear memory was an escapade that ties in with my current problem with the park peeper. Now, before there was an internet and cell phones, there was still human behavior. One of those human behaviors is a curiosity about the human body, specifically how someone else looks naked. Kids handle it today with sexting and webcams, we didn’t have those.

This incident revolves around an evening when we were sitting in the living room, watching TV, and Daddy heard some suspicious noises on the side of the house. To avoid detection, Daddy went out the back door and circled around the house where he remained in the dark. The suspicious activity could be observed by the house lights and street light at the corner of the yard. Long story short, Charlotte is ahead of her time, she’s sexting some of the neighborhood boys without benefit of a cell phone. Daddy recognized some of the boys and was able to follow up and determine this was not just the case of some Venetian blinds being left open accidentally. Show time was known by the appropriate group, and only shared with the best of friends. Rather than being sent to a nunnery, my suggestion, Charlotte was grounded for what I believe was supposed to be the rest of high school.

At this juncture let me point out that sometimes punishing one child results in the punishment of the other children in the family as well. Such was the case in Charlotte’s penance. During this time I experienced the second near death at the hands of my sister.

The rough details are; Charlotte is washing dishes in the kitchen while I am passing through the kitchen being me, repeatedly. I probably don’t respond to threats to stop my actions until Charlotte takes the cast iron skillet she is washing and raises it above her head. A quick look confirms that the “lights are out” and I run hastily for the exit. I am too slow. When I awake, I find I have been tomahawked between the shoulder blades with a cast iron skillet thrown with all of the strength of a mad woman.

I awake in the hall next to the phone with Charlotte crying hysterically, “don’t die, don’t die”. Charlotte’s friend from the neighborhood is wiping my brow with a wet wash cloth. I have a lump the size of a baseball on my head and I can’t really raise my arms good due to the pain between my shoulders. The ensuing cover up establishes a sort of detente between Charlotte and I that stays in place until Jackson and I move in with Daddy. In truth, I probably seriously modified my behavior around my sister after the skillet incident. Having conjured up the beast twice now, I wasn’t going to be a statistic for “third times the charm”.

Like they say on those shopping channels, “but wait there’s more”, and we’ll get to it tomorrow. It is late and I have miles to go before I’m done.


Meet the Lites – Charlotte

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. There is some irony involved in reporting on my sister, Charlotte, the day after my confrontation with the park peeper, B.A. Ware. Excuse me, the alleged peeper. With regard to that problem, Mulva is going to pick up some of those little spy cameras over to the WalMart and we’ll see if we can get the goods on old B.A.

My sister Charlotte, Holy Jesus, where do I begin? I guess she is my longest living relationship next to Mom, so there’s mounds and mounds of dirt that can be used to fill in the holes of our familial relationship.

As previously stated, Daddy and Mom married at the beginning of World War II, when he was 18 and she was 14. Daddy went off to war and fought the Nazis for awhile, and then was given a leave before being transferred to the Pacific theater. During this leave, he and Mom visited around North Carolina and generally honeymooned until it was time for Daddy to report. My sister Charlotte was conceived during this time, and was named after the city where the condom broke, as was the custom of that time.

Mom moved in with Daddy’s people and she finished high school while Grandma Lite and Grandma’s mom, Granny Waller, raised the baby. There were assorted aunts still at home and my sister never lacked for one second of attention. She was a fair child, with that orange-red hair and freckled skin that bespoke of her Irish heritage. She was the apple of everyone’s eye until she turned six, at which time she had to share the limelight with someone else, me.

Back then a son was a big deal, we previously mentioned carrying on the bloodline and all. Six years of uninterrupted idolatry played heavily in how Charlotte recognized her loss of status, and my right to exist. We lived in a family where there was not enough love to go around, particularly from Mom. Charlotte now had to share favor from the family with me. As we got older, she was tasked with looking out for me. I can’t say which condition stuck in her craw worse, sharing attention or babysitting. Either way, I was an unnecessary evil as far as Charlotte was concerned.

My earliest recollection of Charlotte was riding on the fender behind her on her bicycle. My foot had gotten caught in between the spokes of the wheel and the frame of the bike. While I screamed, Charlotte applied more pressure to the pedals to offset the loss of momentum from my foot being sliced like a roast beef at a deli. Fortunately, other kids saw and heard what was going on, and grabbed the handlebars to stop Charlotte from her determined course. I spent three weeks in the hospital, missed the opening of school and have a huge deep scar to this day on my left ankle that bears testimony to the event. I was perhaps a millimeter away from being physically handicapped for life, I was five.

While I don’t think that Charlotte was responsible for the event, I do think that it was the first time I experienced Charlotte’s white hot laser focus that would later be characterized by a complete disassociation of her brain to her actions. The old saying goes, “the lights are on but nobody is at home”, in Charlotte’s case the lights go out and ghosts and haints start flying from the house to create havoc until the lights eventually come back on. I’m sure there’s some clinical words that fit better than, “madder than a hornet that’s been peed on”, but Charlotte’s lack of rational thought while lashing out blindly is like a hornet that just knows to sting in response to stimuli. 

Well, it’s late and we can continue this some more tomorrow. I ain’t going anywhere and I got some cameras to hang before everyone starts stirring.