DRINKING CLOSER TO HOME
By Jessica Anya Blau
BECAUSE HOME IS WHERE THEY HAVE TO TAKE YOU IN
There is nothing like ten days with one's family to bring forth old obsessions and stir up childhood memories. When Anna, Portia, and Emery’s mother, Louise, suffers a massive heart attack, the three grown children return to Santa Barbara to be with their father, Buzzy, as they wait for Louise to either recover or die.
Anna can’t stop thinking about sex with strangers, although in junior high she was terrifyingly certain that her free-loving parents had syphilis (from which they would shortly die). Portia’s beach-bunny teen years feel far away as she struggles with an unfaithful husband who has left her feeling boneless and unsure. And though Emery’s greatest childhood fear was that The Law would catch up with their parents for any one of their numerous transgressions (marijuana plants in the backyard; peeing in public; the time Louise quit being a housewife and gave Emery's care over to eight-year-old Portia), now his only worry is that he won’t be able to create his own family, a newer, better, improved version that will trump the impetuousness and chaos that ruled his childhood home.
But this time together will also bring to the surface sometimes painful, often heartbreaking secrets that will shake the foundations of everything the three siblings know about themselves and assume about their family. Secrets that may, perhaps, change the way they view the past as well as the future.
Causes Jessica Blau Supports
Baltimore School for the Arts, 826DC, CityLit Project.