Aunt Lyn showed up to the Easter party last. She bellowed her Tarzan cry as she entered the sliding glass doors from Aunt Millie’s balcony. She had just graduated from comedy school ready to deliver the polished routine that she had developed with her comedic classmates. She wasn’t wearing her usual buxom button-up shirt with the sleeves rolled up at the elbows. Instead she wore a tweed pants suit thickly weaved in an orange and brown design. Her steel cut bangs looked freshly chopped.
“What do you call that useless piece of skin on the end of a man’s penis?” Lyn hollered to the crowded room.
“What?” My mom asked, holding her glass of champagne.
“A man,” Lyn responded as she put her bags down on the floor. Everyone laughed, including our family friends Cliff and Bea. My siblings and I didn’t laugh. We had confused looks on our faces.
“Oh Lyn,” my mom chimed. “You are so funny. Are you still making art? Anne has been drawing so much in her sketchbooks lately. She’s taking an art class at school and has started painting. She’s getting good at depicting horses.” My mom looked at me approvingly. “You should talk to her about that animation job you have.”
“I quit that job,” Lyn said. “I’m dedicating my life to my art and my comedy. That’s it!”
“Wow Lyn,” Bea said, “that’s a big step. Are you still going to draw? Cliff and I still have that little pencil drawing you sent of us. We just love it.”
“No,” Lyn said abruptly, “your trash is my flash nowadays. I find trash and turn it into art.” My siblings and I sat awkwardly on whatever chairs we could find. My brother rolled his eyes and leaned over.
“Weird,” he said under his breath. “They’re not even drunk yet.” I laughed. I could see why my dad didn’t want to have much to do with his sisters sometimes. He probably hated their man-bashing jokes. I wondered how Lyn could quit her job. How would she make money? Lyn poured herself a glass of Korbel while Aunt Millie wrestled the turkey out of the oven. She plunked it down on the long table that dominated her living room.
“For dessert,” Lyn exclaimed, when Millie started carving the turkey, “I will do my routine.”
“Oh, no one wants to hear your jokes,” Millie said sarcastically.
“Come on Millie,” my mom said, “that’s not the right attitude. You should be more supportive.”
“Yeah Millie,” Bea said, “let her do her routine, me and Cliff have been hearing about it for months.” Millie was outnumbered, so after dinner Lyn arranged her props: a collection of bottles and some small boxes.