Eventually Katsisch and I arrive at the disheveled house of Yellavitch and the chattering begins, where we just meander around and point out the obvious in the most creative ways possible. Yellavitch's friends and roommates are getting a huge kick out of us, giggling and exchanging glances. One of them grabs my elbow and asks me to repeat my other sister's name.
"Why don't you just ask her?"
She shakes her head, terrified. "Interrupt her, are you kidding?"
Katsisch slips out of whatever tangent she was rambling about, demanding answers. "What did you say? Why are you talking about me?" For Katsisch, she's raising her voice slightly, mildly agitated. For the world standards of decent volume, she's shrieking in agony.
"We weren't talking about you. And stop yelling, you're scaring Ashley." I turn to grin at Yell's roommate, who looks at the ground, mortified.
Katsisch lowers her voice and giggles. "Sorry, Ashley."
And then we start talking about roller coasters for some reason, which inevitably progresses into a conversation about Six Flags, and then we do that thing where we argue and talk over each other for fifteen minutes about the Sixth Flag of Texas, and nobody fucking believes me when I sa "France." During these arguments, we never pause to let another person speak, but still listen completely to what the other sisters are saying while jabbering away.
"Fuck you, it's totally France."
"No way, there's the US-"
"-Mexico, the one where-."
"-where Texas was-"
"-the Lone Star of-"
"-that's what I'm saying, dude, the one where-"
"Texas was a country, and-"
"the Confederacy, and-"
"No, it's not fucking France."
"I'm telling you, it's France, but it's an old flag of France because-"
"Oh, because of the French-"
"it was changed after the-"
"Oh yeah, it would have been-"
"-different because it was before the French Revolution."
Content, we all take a breath. Then one of Yell's stupid ass friends says, "But why France?" Which swirls us all into another argument, because I made the mistake of guessing.
"I don't know--because of the Louisiana Purchase?"
Which throws the sisters into this historical uproar, with turning shit up to eleven and angry accusations, and low blows at my logic and knowledge because I had the audacity to suggest such an ingnorant concept. They argue with each other over the exact geographic parameters of the Louisiana Purchase until Yellavitch grabs her textbooks and starts poking at maps, and then it was yelling over the route of Lewis and Clarke, and then it was over whether or Livingston or Monroe said fucking whatever quote at the convention in Paris.
And then Yell says something like, "Thomas Jefferson sent Livingston to Paris in like 1800-"
To which Katsisch flips: "AHAH! HA! IT WAS 1801! AND THE TREATY WAS SIGNED IN fucking blah blah bullshit."
I have no idea, I did not take part in this discussion, and sit there interjecting little fireballs just piss them off, like, "Wait, I thought Napoleon sold Texas to the Indians," which illicits the kind of horrified reaction that normal people would have if I punched their baby and lit them on fire, because both sisters would launch to their feet and flail about, shouting blasphemes over my ludicrous perspective.
Eventually they turn to each other, while I sit there laughing, watching them argue over indigenous housing situations in the southwest and who exactly hunted buffalo.
I lean over to Yell's friends, who are huddled on the couch, entranced by the dance of insanity before their eyes, and say, "Welcome to the family. They are always like this."
"We have never seen her like this," one friend whispers to me.
"That's how we roll, kids. Here. Have some whiskey." I teach the friends how to fuel the argument when it dies down by shouting out ridiculous things, and we make popcorn.
"So how do you get them to stop?"
"Well, you have to trick them into forgetting what they're talking about. It's pretty easy. You could, like, distract them with food. Or ring the doorbell. They're like dogs, really, and have short term memories once they get distra--"
"You need to shut the fuck up right now or share that goddamn popcorn--" Katsisch doesn't even miss a beat "--and it was Paul Revere who wrote 'Indian Nation'."
Now they are speaking my language. "You need to specify that it's Paul Revere and the Raiders, because they-" I gesture to the friends "-don't know that you're not still talking about history and the American Revolution-" Yell opens her mouth to interrupt me "-not that Louisiana Purchase had anything to do with the war, but because people hear 'Paul Revere' and usually do not assume you're referring to 1960's garage rock."
Both sisters, who were yammering away during my entire speech, stop, their eyes focused on me. I have the conch.
"And the Raiders didn't write 'Indian Nation,' they wrote 'The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian.' Who needs another beer?"
I stand up, ending the fuck out of that conversation. And then I start singing it.
Ashley, the only one of Yell's friends whose name I can remember, says in between laughs, "You guys are all so--"
"Loquacious?" Katsisch and Yellavitch interrupt her simultaneously, and giggle.
You know, and then there was a song-and-dance number about how we fucking love each other and whatever.
If anyone wants to start a reality show about a dork-ass family, I got the first contestants right here.